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Upcoming Webinar Opportunity: Maximizing Your Social Media

Upcoming MACD Webinar Opportunity: Maximizing Your Social Media



With the annual Tree Sale coming up throughout the state, to help districts maximize their sales and advertising, MACD will be hosting a Webinar on February 3rd, 2022 at 11am EST. MACD will share the tools of the trade to maximize the return on your social media content. Topics will include professional photography tips to get the best shots, editing photos with free tools, crafting your message, and measuring the impact your content has on your audience. Register before January 31st. Registration is $30 to cover speaker expenses.

MACD Members can register
here.

Conservation Technicians Win Awards at 2021 MACD Virtual Fall Convention

Conservation Technicians Win Awards at 2021 MACD Virtual Fall Convention

For immediate release: November 2021
Media contact: Dan Moilanen

Conservation technicians win awards at 2021 MACD Virtual Fall Convention

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FY 2022 Budget Headed to the Governor's Desk to be Signed, Including $3 Million for Michigan's Conservation Districts

FY 2022 Budget Headed to the Governor's Desk, Including $3 Million for Michigan's Conservation Districts


Today, the Michigan House of Representatives passed SB 82, the general appropriations act for government operations for FY '21-22. MACD is thrilled to report that due to our advocacy efforts, included in the bill was a $3 million appropriation for base-line operational support for all 75 of Michigan's Conservation Districts ($40,000 per district)! Today's passing of SB 82 represents a victory that was years in the making. Since 2009, despite being mandated under state law, Michigan's CDs haven't received a cent in state funding for operational expenses, outside of administrative support for specific grant-based programming.

Details on the operational grant requirements and benchmarks will be announced later, as MACD continues conversations with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

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MACD State Council Votes to Move 2021 Fall Convention to Virtual Setting

MACD State Council Votes to Move 2021 Fall Convention to Virtual Setting

Today at the MACD State Council Quarterly meeting, in the interest of the health and well-being of the entire Michigan Conservation District community, the State Council voted unanimously to move the 2021 Fall Convention to a virtual setting.

"Given the current rise of COVID-19 cases throughout the state, the high likelihood that our Federal and State partners would be prohibited from traveling, and the significant number of MACD members that have expressed concerns over meeting in person; the State Council concluded that moving the 2021 Fall Convention is the best course of action," stated MACD President Gerald Miller. He continued, "We would love to meet in person, as many new staff and directors haven't yet had the opportunity to meet their colleagues from around the state face-to-face, but until the pandemic subsides to safe levels, MACD feels it would be irresponsible to move forward with plans to reconvene in that setting."

MACD Executive Director Dan Moilanen expressed, "While disappointing, as I still haven't met a majority of our members in person, having only started in this role earlier this year; I agree with the State Council's decision and believe this is the best course of action. We still have a great slate of programming coming together that I think will be really engaging for the Michigan Conservation community." He continued, "Despite the lack of networking opportunities, sometimes the virtual setting presents perks like the capacity to record all sessions which can then be accessed at a later date. Also, for those with busy schedules or limited travel budgets, the virtual setting can be more accessible."

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Conservation District Day 2021 is Here!

Conservation District Day 2021 is Here!

By proclamation of Governor Whitmer no less, we are thrilled to celebrate Conservation District Day 2021 with all of Michigan's wonderful and hard-working Conservation Districts.

To help kick off CD Day, which lands on a Saturday this year, check out MDARD's "Fresh from the Field" podcast interview with MACD President and Kent CD Board President Jerry Miller, where he gives the low-down on what CDs are, why no-till farming rocks, and why Conservation Districts are so pivotal to the ecological and economic future of the Great Lakes State.

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Ottawa & Huron CDs Net Water Quality Grants

EGLE LogoMassive congrats to Ottawa and Huron Conservation Districts on their winning grant proposals totaling $1,691,065 from EGLE (The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy), awarded last week to support the Districts' watershed management projects benefitting wetlands, lakes, and streams.

Ottawa & Huron CDs each received the following project funding to reduce sediment, nutrients, and other contaminants to help restore impaired water bodies and protect high-quality water bodies:

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Three CDs Score EGLE Watershed Grants

EGLECongratulations to Chippewa Luce Mackinac, Genessee, and Isabella Conservation Districts on receiving grants totaling $102,495 to support their Conservation Districts' watershed projects from The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) this week.

The Watershed Council Support grants are funded under Michigan’s Public Act 166 of 2020.  Grants were limited to $40,000 per applicant and the projects must be put into action within a year of receiving the grants.

These hard-working districts received the following grant awards for their proposed watershed projects:
    •    Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District: $40,000
    •    Genesee Conservation District: $31,500
    •    Isabella Conservation District: $30,995

The grants are issued by EGLE’s Nonpoint Source Program, which helps local stakeholders reduce pollution and excess runoff by supporting efforts to develop and launch watershed management plans. The Nonpoint Source Program issues an annual request for proposals for projects, with the next request for proposals available in mid-July. It will be posted at Michigan.gov/NPS.

MACD Unveils New Logo!

The Michigan association of Conservation Districts is pleased to unveil our new logo.

After a year long development process, involving a committee of multiple MACD members, who collectively represented a diverse group of Michigan’s Conservation Districts, we’re excited to share the results.

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2021 Stewardship Week for Healthy Trees & Communties

2021 Stewardship Week: "Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities"

2021 Stewardship Week

Welcome to 2021 Stewardship Week, which starts this Sunday, April 25, and runs through Sunday, May 2. This year's theme is "Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities".

This year the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), who hosts the national Stewardship Week every year, chose to focus this year's theme on the lungs of our land -- TREES! -- and how they impact the health of our local communities.

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Congrats on the Grants!

Congrats on the Grants!

Michigan CDs Bring in the Green with 2021 Funding Awards

A variety of 2021 grant awards were announced this week that will contribute much-needed funds to several Michigan Conservation Districts. Our congratulations to all of the successful applicants for the following grant programs!


Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP)

This year's Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) has awarded a total of $1,841,100 to Michigan Conservation Districts! This program is designed to address strategic issues of prevention, detection, eradication, and control for both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species in Michigan. An especially pivotal endeavor this year, after last year's funding freeze during the vital invasive species intervention seasons of Spring and Summer 2020.

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MACD Thanks Lori Phalen, Retiring Executive Director

MACD Thanks Lori Phalen, Retiring Executive Director

Lori Phalen

When we transitioned into 2021, a very special era ended as Lori Phalen stepped down as MACD's Executive Director.

It's been a busy year already, but we very much want to give a massive "Thank you!" (and a bittersweet farewell) to Lori as she embraces her well-earned retirement from the ED position. (Lucky for us, Lori will continue supporting MACD as our Grant Coordinator -- we couldn't let her go that fast.)

Lori has served as MACDs Executive Director for over 14 years, and has been pivotal to the success of MACD through her tenure. Her passion and advocacy have inspired many to take an active role in the conservation of Michigan’s natural resources.

Behind the scenes, Lori was a “Jill of all Traits,” juggling tasks from event management to fundraising to program development to website developing (including this one). Her tireless hours of dedication reflected her passion for Michigan’s natural resources.



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MACD Issues Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity

MACD Issues Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity

Michigan Association of Conservation Districts leaders are deeply repulsed by the acts of violence, xenophobia, racism, and bigotry occurring across our state and nation. We are horrified and angered by the recent series of attacks against members of the Asian and Asian-American communities. We condemn these and all acts of violence, xenophobia, racism, and bigotry. Everyone should be able to pursue their life goals without fear of being targeted.

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MACD Urges Michigan Legislature to Extend Open Meetings Act Amendments Allowing Remote Participation

MACD Urges Michigan Legislature to Extend Open Meetings Act Amendments Allowing Remote Participation  

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts urges the Michigan Legislature to extend the amendments to the Open Meetings Act, allowing remote/digital participation to continue indefinitely as outlined in House Bill 4371 introduced by Rep. Cara Clemente.

Conservation Districts are unique local units of government that are the local providers of natural resource management services; utilizing state, federal, and private sector resources to solve today’s conservation challenges. In order to be held accountable by the voting public, as local units of government we are legally required to adhere to the Open Meetings Act.

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MACD Hires Dan Moilanen as New Executive Director

MACD Hires Dan Moilanen as New Executive Director 

MACD Dan Moilanen Executive Director

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) announced today it has hired Dan Moilanen to lead as the organization’s new Executive Director.

Lori Phalen, the current Executive Director, is retiring effective December 31 after 14 years of service in the position.

Looking to MACD's future, Moilanen sees Conservation Districts as the key touchpoint for integrating conservation work into local communities, and improving the natural health and habitat of Michigan's many unique regions.

“As the ‘boots on the ground’ in our communities across the state, Michigan's Conservation Districts will continue to play a pivotal role in protecting our natural resources by promoting sustainable practices, reforestation efforts, and other critical conservation work," Moilanen said.

Moilanen has held a variety of legislative, political, and community-focused roles, and is a graduate of Albion College. He is the current Board Chair of the Genesee County Conservation District. Moilanen is also the former Owner of Vehicle City Tacos, a popular downtown Flint business.

“Dan Moilanen brings a wealth of experience in small business ownership, community service, and political engagement to the position as Executive Director,” said Jerry Miller, MACD President and Kent County
Conservation District Board Chair.

“I have enjoyed serving with Dan on the Genesee Conservation District Board, and look forward to working with him as he transitions into his new position as Executive Director of MACD,” said Nancy Szikszay, Genesee County farmer and Board Member of the Genesee County Conservation District.

Dan Moilanen New Executive Director MACD

MACD is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established in 1937 through the monumental Soil Conservation District Law in response to the Dust Bowl and extreme drought across the country. The Association consists of 75 locally-led Conservation Districts that assist farmers, producers, and foresters with implementing conservation practices across Michigan’s 83 counties.

While the work of Michigan’s Conservation Districts has evolved over the last 83 years, the core mission has remained the same: protect Michigan’s natural resources and empower all Michiganders to do the same.

“As a life-long outdoorsman and environmentalist, I consider conservation and environmental stewardship a sacred duty,” said Moilanen.

"As MACD's Executive Director, I will advocate for member districts and do everything I can to help build capacity in our local units of government to secure a financially sound future.”

Moilanen will officially begin his position on January 4, 2021.

To learn more about the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, visit macd.org.

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts Applauds Gov. Whitmer for Establishing July 17 as Michigan Conservation District Day

Executive Proclamation Celebrates 83rd Anniversary of Key Conservation Law,
Local Protection of Michigan’s Natural Resources

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) applauds Governor Gretchen Whitmer for establishing July 17, 2020 as Conservation District Day!

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Welcome to MACD's New Website!

Welcome to MACD's New Website!MACD Logo

Welcome to the new Michigan Association of Conservation Districts Website! Our new website serves a two-fold purpose:

  1. CD Showcase: The site's 'front-facing' public side provides a striking statewide online showcase of the power and programs of Michigan Conservation Districts.
  2. Members-Only Hub: Our new private, members-only area offers our District community a collaborative communication, information and networking hub.  

With our new site's two sides – the front-facing public website and the members-only area – this is an amazingly robust system that will continuously evolve. 

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