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The United Way of Susquehanna County is announcing its fifth annual fundraising campaign, with a goal of raising $250,000 in 2006. United Way support has been increasing steadily each year. Last year the organization exceeded its $200,000 goal and increased donations by 63 percent. Events scheduled to accomplish this year’s most ambitious goal yet include a Murder Mystery Dinner to be held on October 21 at the newly reconstructed Summit Restaurant in New Milford. They are also planning a food distribution for flood victims this season, plus the sale of the adorable and collectable Boyd Bears, made especially for the United Way.
The United Way works because of the generosity of its corporate and individual Leadership Club Givers who donate $500 or more, and thanks to thousands of other payroll deduction and individual donations. Because of such giving, local United Way agencies, the Red Cross and Interfaith, distributed over $500,000 in assistance to almost 300 families affected by the floods of 2006. They also provided meals for flood relief volunteers. With the help of NY Giants star, Chris Snee their second annual countywide Punt Pass and Kick Contest was a Fourth of July success. In addition, a donation from Proctor and Gamble allowed the United Way to distribute 50 used computers to local non-profits.
The Untied Way of Susquehanna County focuses upon providing basic services to the residents of the county by support of over 50 existing programs, through 19 different local agencies. It does not compete with or duplicate the work of existing organizations. Rather, it provides a single, unified fundraising structure to generate funds for trusted programs that are already working well within our community. Your one pledge can be directed to a charity of your choice, or it can be shared by all participating agencies.
Executive Director Ruth Donnelly is looking forward to finding new ways of working together to make Susquehanna County a better place, a more caring community for everyone. For information or to volunteer call her at (570) 278-3868.
The Susquehanna County Conservation District has two No-till Seeders available for the planting of Fall cover crops. The cover crop protects bare soil from erosion during the winter months by establishing a root network and vegetative cover that holds soil in place.
The specialized No-till equipment plants directly into the soil without the need for tilling or disking. A cover crop is especially useful for the protection of bare soil left after harvesting corn for silage. The organic matter left on the field from the cover crop shields the soil from erosion as mulch and provides food for beneficial soil organisms, especially earthworms. The cover crop can be harvested in the spring, tilled into the soil, or killed chemically or mechanically before the next planting.
Rye is a cold season plant that will grow back early in the spring, providing even more carbon and nutrients. Oats can also be planted as a cover crop to obtain the same erosion protection throughout the cold season, but will not grow back in the spring. Some farmers prefer planting oats instead of rye because the rye may grow too quickly in the spring and can be more difficult to remove from wetter fields without causing soil compaction.
The District’s No-till seeders are available for rent through a cost share program in conjunction with the Chesapeake Bay Program. The District will cost share $10 per acre of the $12.50 per acre cost of renting one of the no-till seeders to plant fall cover crops on at least 8 acres of land. Contact No-till Technician, Bill Zick, by calling 278-4600 ext. 282 or the Conservation District office at 278-4600 ext. 280 for further information.
Community Bank & Trust recently donated $25,000 to the Pre-School Scholarship Program administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties. This marks the second payment of a two-year $50,000 pledge. These scholarships will be awarded to local families who have an annual income of less than $50,000 and who send their children to the sixteen pre-schools enrolled in this program. More information about the schools and the scholarship is available in the Education Improvement section, and the Scholarship section of the Foundation’s web site at www.community-foundation.org.
Rural Development, an agency of the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has loan funds available for very-low income homeowners in rural areas.
Loans are available for general repairs to improve or modernize homes, remove health and safety hazards, and increase adaptability for households with persons with disabilities. Loans can be made for amounts up to $20,000, a maximum of 20 years repayment period, and at an interest rate of one percent annually. Individuals 62 years or older may quality for a grant in cases where an individual lacks the financial ability to repay a Section 504 loan.
USDA, Rural Development offers several housing programs and administers a water and wastewater financing program in rural areas, cities, and towns with populations less than 10,000. Other programs include technical assistance for community development; financial programs for community facilities such as fire trucks and day care centers; and loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs. For more information on the programs offered by Rural Development, contact the Wyoming Local Office at (570) 836–4157, ext. 4, or visit www.rurdev.udsa.gov/pa.
William “Rocky” Gleason, County Inventory Ecologist with the PA Nature Conservancy returned to Montrose on Thursday, September 28, to report on the completed natural areas inventory. Telling the group of about 20 people, mostly from Friends of Salt Springs, Woodbourne Forest and Florence Shelly Preserve, how much he loved the county, he heaped praise on residents for giving his staff so much helpful information about our extensive wetlands and wooded areas, and for getting permission from so many landowners to study their lands. He explained that the project could not be comprehensive, because so little time could be devoted to each county, but that it would serve as an overview for more in-depth studies by others.
Our area of the state is significant, Gleason said, because it contains remnant northern communities left by past glaciers. Exemplary natural communities found here include unbroken forest and peat bogs with acid water, sphagnum mosses and sedges. He suggested that buffers of natural vegetation be retained as much as possible around these bogs. Ideally, streams and wetlands should have a 100-meter forested buffer. The hydrology of some of these fragile habitats should not be altered – not even by beaver. Gleason also mentioned that non-native, invasive species of plants and animals should be discouraged. A beautiful power point, mostly taken in Susquehanna County, illustrated his talk.
Gleason left copies of the report for the Planning Commission and for each municipality in the county. The report includes a section for each township. Gleason discussed the project as it related to Ararat Township. The colored map highlighted the many lakes, wetlands and streams, each with a 100-meter buffer and supporting habitat, filling half the township.
The inventory is meant to be a planning tool to help the municipalities make the most of their natural resources. The project was funded in part by a state grant from DCNR Wild Resource Conservation Program, DCED, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service through a State Wildlife Grants program. Copies of the inventory on CD are available from the county planning office.
The Susquehanna County Oral History Project is organizing its second series of training and interviewing sessions. Because of the large number of students participating this year, they are looking for more volunteers to help.
SCOHP teaches high school students interviewing and research methods, arranges interviews with seniors, and records and helps transcribe the interviews. Students learn valuable skills, seniors share their experiences, and the community gains invaluable local history.
Anyone interested in working with students, interviewing, being interviewed, gathering local history, reading and transcribing it, or even producing a film or website showcasing some highlights is encouraged to become involved. SCOHP can match your interests with their needs and turn your free time into making history.
For more information, call Debra Adleman at 278-3371.
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