The Osceola-Lake Conservation District will be holding its Annual Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Reed City Depot, 200 N. Chestnut St., Reed City. The meeting agenda includes a Gypsy Moth presentation and District Director election.

Many local property owners have expressed concern with the health of their trees and what can be done to decrease mortality associated with gypsy moth defoliation. The Osceola-Lake Conservation District’s mission is to educate the public on proven methods and techniques in treating gypsy moth infestations.

Anyone interested in conservation is invited to meet the Osceola-Lake Conservation District team. We are always looking for community engagement in the programs that we offer.

Gypsy Moth Presentation

Lymantria dispar, commonly called gypsy moth, populations are increasing in many areas in central Michigan. This educational presentation will help property owners identify and create a course of action in combating this non-native pest. Rick Lucas, FAP Forester, will be the presenter. Rick has over 30 years of experience and was the forester during the gypsy moth outbreaks in the 1980s and 1990s. He offers a wealth of insight in the differences between what happened in the past and what is currently taking place regarding gypsy moth. He will also give property owners clues they can look for to see if local populations are increasing or decreasing. This presentation will be sure to not disappoint anyone interested in battling gypsy moth.

For those of you that cannot attend the presentation, there is still good news. A naturally occurring virus and fungus help keep the gypsy moth populations in check by killing gypsy moth caterpillars. As the gypsy moth populations increase, the virus and fungus populations will also increase.

To learn more about how the virus and fungus regulate gypsy moth populations, visit osceolalakecd.org. There is a lot of great information on the website under the gypsy moth tab. This information includes: gypsy moth life cycle, the virus and fungus, surveying egg masses, frequently asked questions, and a list of aerial applicators.

Director Election

Director elections will follow the gypsy moth presentation. This election is to fill a one-year term. John Beam is the candidate running for District Director. John was appointed to the Board of Directors this year after the passing of Chairperson Pat Kailing. John resides in Pinora Township in Lake County. John has been active in Boy Scouts and assisted with the soil conservation merit badge. He also owns a twenty-acre farm that is MAEAP verified.

Absentee ballots are available for voting in this election. Please see contact information below. Residents are individuals of legal age who can demonstrate residency in the Osceola-Lake Conservation District via one piece of identification.

Additional Upcoming Event- Michigan Grassfest

We are excited to announce that the Osceola-Lake Conservation District will be helping to host the first-ever Michigan Grassfest in partnership with local farms, MSUE, NRCS and the Newaygo Conservation District. For many livestock producers and grass farmers in Michigan, accessing new markets for their products can be very challenging. Michigan Grassfest is the first of a series of farmer-led events aimed at bringing farms together to share their experiences, foster collaboration, and learn what other farms are doing to be successful.

The event will be held on Nov. 5 at the Reed City Depot. Doors open at 3 p.m. and a free dinner, sponsored by Cisco Seeds, will be served at 5 p.m. Please RSVP by contacting the Osceola-Lake Conservation District at 231-465-8012.

Mark Your Calendars

Please mark your calendars, the Osceola-Lake Conservation Districts Annual Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Grassfest event will be held on Nov. 5 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Both events will be held at the Reed City Depot. If you plan to attend, please RSVP or if you have any questions, contact the Osceola-Lake Conservation District at (231)-465-8012 or email mark.sweppenheiser@macd.org.

Mark Sweppenheiser is the District Manager for Osceola-Lake Conservation District. For more information, contact him at (231) 465-8012, mark.sweppenheiser@macd.org, or stop by the Osceola-Lake Conservation District Office at 138 W. Upton, Suite 2, Reed City.