Clean Water
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Conserving Water

By reducing impervious surface.

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Land conservation and land use planning/advocacy are the primary ways that PEC works to reduce impervious surfaces.
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Improving Water Quality

Through land management.

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From rural to suburban to urban, there are best management practices (native plantings, livestock fencing) that make water cleaner.
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Restoring Connections

By removing barriers.

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Culverts, low-water crossings and linear infrastructure (i.e. pipelines, highways) can serve as disruptions to healthy stream flow.
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Measuring Success

Through stream monitoring.

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Monitoring water quality, biological populations, and physical features of stream habitat are all vital to understanding stream health.
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Some citizens in the Commonwealth have been able to put into place innovative practices to protect the local streams from polluted runoff. This article is about how the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, together with Oakwood Farm, have developed a cooperative model “Chesapeake Bay-Friendly Horse Farm”.

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This small, model farm is managing to keep four thoroughbreds happy and healthy while protecting the local creek that borders the farm – all on less than five acres.  Results are what count to Edith Kennedy, owner of Oakwood Farm.  Ms. Kennedy has found that she has saved time and money putting many of the farms best management practices to work on her farm.

When visiting the farm one sees green pastures beyond blue stone sacrifice lots that exist on either side of the barn.  Pasture layouts and size are controlled through the use of flexible interior fencing that is changed to accommodate field rotations and weather conditions.

Details of management include the types of grasses used for weed control and grazing.  The stream is protected by fencing to create a riparian buffer 25 feet off of the stream bank.  The pasture in this area appears robust and healthy with no areas of exposed soil or erosion evident.

A little more exotic is the use of an aerated composter to turn the manure generated by the equine residents into usable compost for gardens and fields.  The hardy vegetable garden located just west of the barn was confirmation of the effectiveness of this soil amendment and fertilizer.

The efficiency and effectiveness of this operation was impressive.  Techniques employed at Oakwood Farm include the following:

Pasture Management-
  • Controlled Grazing
  • Seeding, Feeding, and Fertilizing
  • Weed Control
  • Low Energy Water Troughs
  • Riparian Buffers
  • Electric and New Materials
  • Movable Fencing/ Varying Layouts
Mud Management-
  • Directed  Run-off and Water Flow
  • Dry and Grass Paddocks
  • Blue Stone Sacrifice Areas
Alternative Feeding-
  • Slow-Feeders for Hay

Manure Management-

  • Composting
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Photo by Gem Bingol. Movable, flexible fencing within
the pasture allows more control over grazing
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Photo by Gem Bingol. Solar energy runs composting
controls for the three bins used for farm manure. 

Article Contributed by Patti Psaris
To learn more about this Chesapeake Bay Friendly Farm, contact the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District at 571-379-7514 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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