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Backyard Conservation Day ~ May 8, 2021

A Day of Education and Celebration of Licking County’s Natural Resources! 

Hands on activities for all ages include:  

Get in touch with your roots and pick up some native trees for your backyard!

Soil & Water staff will be on hand to answer questions about the trees species and provide planting demonstrations.  

For species availability and pricing, click here:  Licking Soil & Water Conservation District : For Sale or Rent 

Products available to help with planting process and protection will be available: 

Planting/Dibble Bar
Use: Dibble bars can be used for planting trees more efficiently than a hand shovel.
Description: Bar is 38" long. The blade is 3" wide x 10-1/4" long, 3/4" wide at top, tapering to a thin wedge.
Rental: Available for loan for 14 days with a $55 deposit (cash or check only) which is returned when equipment returned to Soil & Water office.
Dibble bars are also available for sale.

4' Tree tube and wood stake

These rigid tubes fit young trees up to 4 inches in diameter. The twin-walled, solid, translucent tubes provide maximum protection from animal browse, wind, chemical sprays and equipment. Each tree shelter has a laserline which is a perforated line that splits from the pressure of fast-growing trees and prevents strangulation. In addition, the greenhouse environment created inside the shelter promotes growth.

Visit the gardens around our office for ideas and inspiration to create your own rain garden!  

Rain gardens work with nature to collect and filter rainwater that runs off impervious surfaces like rooftops and driveways. The installation of impervious surfaces lead to increases in surface runoff and often results in increased flooding and stream bank erosion.  As water travels over impervious surfaces, it also has the potential to pick up pollutants.  

Tough plants that thrive during brief periods of inundation as well as drought do well in rain gardens, and they can be installed in a variety of residential and commercial landscapes.

Start planning your rain garden here:   Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative - Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative ( 

Staff will be on site to answer your specific questions about site location, plants and maintenance.  

Pick up a ready to install rain barrel to water your garden.

A rain barrel is a container used to collect and store rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to a storm drain or out onto your property. The collected water in the rain barrel can then be utilized for watering landscapes, lawns, and gardens, reducing water consumption and pollution.  

Staff will demonstrate how to install and maintain the ready to install 55 gallon plastic, food-grade barrel that comes ready to hook up to your downspout.  Includes spigot, inlet tube and overflow pipe fitted with screens to keep insects out.

Take a rain barrel home with you for $65.  (Only cash or check payment accepted) 

Rain Barrel information sheet available here: 

Learn how to keep small woodlots healthy

Wander our woodlot and learn tree identification tips.  Take home a tree identification guide!  

Identify Invasive Species

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is highly invasive and has been identified in the Soil & Water woodlot. This tree is often found in urban areas and thrives in disturbed and neglected sites.

The rapidly growing, invasive tree-of-heaven is difficult to eliminate due to its prolific seed production and root suckering ability.  The saying goes: “Chop down a tree-of-heaven, and 20 of its friends show up for the funeral”.
To control tree-of-heaven, you must control the roots. Learn when and how to apply systemic herbicides to successfully eradicate the tree.

Garlic mustard is a biennial herb that emits a garlic-like odor from crushed leaves.  In forests and woodlands, garlic mustard reduces growth of
wildflowers in the early spring before canopy leaf out, and suppresses soil fungi that are mutualistic with trees. It produces large quantities of seeds that can remain viable for up to 10 years.

Hand-pulling is effective in small infestations. Care must be taken to insure that the entire plant, including the root system, is removed and all plant materials are bagged and taken off-site. The plant can continue to mature and produce seeds even after it has been pulled. 

Learn more about eradicating garlic mustard and recipe ideas for this flavorful plant! 

Celebrating Wetlands!  

May is American Wetlands Month
Wetlands are renowned for their ability to remove excess nutrients, toxic substances, and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality and the overall health of waters in our communities.

Wetlands can absorb excess rain or river water so they protect against flooding. They are a form of green infrastructure that also provides recreational opportunities and serves as important habitat for many wildlife species.

Visit our newly renovated wetland area in the woodlot! 

We are always promoting community-based conservation at Licking Soil & Water.  Check out our latest news.

Previous Volume 77 Conservation Notes (2019)