Today we also received an update from John Ransom and Tad Peacock of the Benzie Conservation District.
Executive Director Tad Peacock explained that conservation districts have their origin in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's.  This was such an environmental catastrophe that FDR sent an advisor to Washington to press for the passage of a soil conservation act.  The resulting legislation created a conservation district for virtually every county in the country.
In 2008 when Tad came on board at the Benzie Conservation District, the only money in the till was $11,000 from a state grant.  A millage for the District in 2010 passed by only six votes.  Subsequent millages in 2014 and 2018 passed by increasingly large margins.  The District now has a budget of $250,000 and a staff of four with which it serves four counties.
John Ransom is the Conservation Specialist at the District, providing hands-on help for such things as water quality assessments and invasive species treatment.  He takes the lead from partners such as the lake associations for whom the District provides meetings in the spring and fall.  Other projects include volunteer efforts such as river clean-ups and water tours.  John is happy to evaluate home sites from an environmental perspective if requested to do so.
We are fortunate to have such an active and productive conservation district in our midst.