Assistance

Assistance is available to any land occupier, whether a farm or a non-farm landowner who resides on or owns land within the district is eligible to receive assistance. The district can only provide assistance which relates to the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

WCCD Soil Health Services- WCCD offers soil sampling to Worcester County land owners and occupiers.  For a reasonable $40 per sample fee, our staff will visit your site and take soil samples for you.  They will then dry your samples and mail them to UMaine’s Soil and testing Lab located in Orono Maine.  Once the lab has finished their analysis, our staff will then walk you through the results, and can make recommendations based on your needs.

Interested in learning more or ordering a soil sample? Click here for more information.

Composting

Integrating compost into your soil is one way to improve your soil health and at the same time reduce your household waste. Composting, when done correctly, can give a boost to your soil’s ecosystem by adding organic material, nutrients, and a diversity of micro-organisms. We sell compost bins and help landowners install and know how to use them.

Riverdale Mills of Northbridge, MA designed pre-cut modular panels for us. The picture here shows 5 panels for a complete composter with cover. The 36” x 36” panels with with 1-1/2” space openings, which allows for ventilation to improve composting. The panels are made of the highest quality, strongest and longest lasting 12.5 gauge high performance weather resistant PVC coated wire mesh available. The PVC coating has a smooth thick uniform coating that does not peal or crack even when exposed to harsh marine environments. The cost of each panel is $16, a whole set of 5 panels is $80. You may purchase panels online here or by contacting our seedling sale coordinator, Kathryn Zichelle Sullivan () if you are interested, and we can help you effectively start to compost, or improve your current composting efforts.

Workshops

We offer workshops on soil health, composting, plant-soil interactions, soil mapping, and other Our staff and affiliates can offer workshops or guest lectures upon request. Just email our conservation planner Joel Betts at with your interest or a request or for more information. First see our workshops page here topics [insert link, go to our workshops page, see below for information to add to workshops page]. Our workshops page also offers a list of workshops that have been offered by WCCD in the past and potential future topics.

“If I am not a farmer – is this for me?” Soil health is for everyone! WCCD strives to make conservation accessible to Worcester county residents, independent of scale. Call our office with any questions [list phone number].

Additional Soil Health Resources to Browse:

NRCS Soil Health Resources- https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nd/soils/health/

(North Dakota NRCS – based, but they are one of the leaders in this area)

Cornell University Soil Health Resources – https://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu

Soil Food Web, by Dr. Elaine Ingram – https://www.soilfoodweb.com

Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Education (SARE) – https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/What-is-Soil-Health

National Soil Maps through NRCS Web Soil Survey – https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm

Soil Health Card – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd401840&ext=pdf

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is the federal agency that helps farmers and other landowners improve and protect their natural resources. We work in partnership with NRCS to deliver land conservation knowledge and practices.

Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) is a private, non-profit, non-governmental association of the 13 Massachusetts districts, operating under its own constitution and by-laws. WCCD and MACD also work together toward a common goal enabling districts to achieve greater recognition from, and access to, both the legislature and governmental agencies as we as from people in the private sector.

Together through the District Grant Program funded by Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) WCCD is in the planning stages in developing conservation and nutrient management plans for farms within impaired watersheds, with a special focus on land within the Long Island Sound watershed. We will educate professionals, landowners, students and the general public about soil health through workshops, press releases, social media, and the development of educational materials for schools. We will work with NRCS to implement good soil conservation practices on the agricultural, forestry and developed landscape.