District News, Programs, Events & Information

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities:

OCSCD has numerous internship and volunteer opportunities. Valuable experiences are available in soil conservation, public outreach, education programs and presentations, botanical research, urban agriculture initiatives, technology, graphic design, clerical and office management, and more.  Please review project descriptions and submit your application, or contact the District for more information: 609-971-7002

Program Series: Get the Dirt on Your Soil!

*Due to COVID-19 concerns, please call ahead or email to check the status of the following programs.

Healthy lawns and gardens start with healthy soil. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County is hosting a 2020 series of programs focusing on SOIL. Learn more about your soil and how to keep it healthy. Location: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, 08755. Please register by calling (732) 505-3671 or tbecker@co.ocean.nj.us Nonrefundable program fee of $10 each day.

April 16, 6:00-8:00pm: Digging Deeper. What’s Your Soil Telling You?
Get the scoop on your soil by taking a soil test! Come find out the importance of testing your soil, how to conduct a soil test, and how to interpret the results to keep your lawn and garden healthy and happy. Presented by Dr. Stephanie Murphy, Director of the Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory.
May 14, 6:00-8:00pm: Root Out Soil Compaction. Soil compaction is a major problem impacting your yard and garden. Come learn about what causes compaction, how it affects soil health, and how to correct soil compaction in the home landscape. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers Extension of Ocean & Atlantic Counties.

2020 Poster Contest for Kids:

The 2020 NJ Conservation Poster Contest has concluded. OCSCD is excited to announce our Grand Champion Winner, Timmy Cheung, of New Egypt High School. Timmy is also the First Place Winner for his 10-12 grade group. The First Place Winner for the 7-9 Grade Group is Holly Depasquale of Lake Riviera Middle School. The First Place Winner for the 4-6 grade group is Lucia Street of Berkeley Township. Congratulations to all our winners! Please visit the Poster Contest page to see the winning posters.

The NJ Conservation Poster Contest is an annual contest sponsored by the NJ Department of Agriculture, the NJ Association of Conservation Districts and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. It aims to promote a better understanding of the connection between natural resources and humans in a fun and creative way that engages students throughout the county, state and nation. It is open to all students from grades 2-12. The 2020 theme was: “Where would we BEE without Pollinators?” The Ocean County Grand Champion Winner receives a $50 cash prize. Find out more about the contest, the prizes, and how to enter. All Ocean County entries were received by March 1, 2020. For questions, contact: Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD, 609-971-7002 ext. 114, education@soildistrict.org

OCSCD Presenting at Pinelands Short Course: Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard

Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, this event was cancelled.

The NJ Pinelands Commission will once again host their annual Pinelands Short Course – a day-long event featuring educational presentations that explore the unique history, ecology and culture of the Pinelands. OCSCD and Barnegat Bay Partnership are teaming-up to present “Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard”. Learn about the challenges that climate change poses to the residential landscape and how to mitigate the impacts. March 14. Location: Stockton University 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205. Cost: Adult: $50, Senior: $45, Student: $45. For more information, contact Joel Mott (609) 684-7300, ext. 125 or info@pinelands.nj.gov

2020 Environmental Educators Roundtable:

Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, this event was canceled.

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District is excited to announce our 23rd Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable. This well attended event features an array of hands-on workshops, exhibitors, resource sharing, networking, a light dinner, and door prizes. Save the Date – Wednesday, April 22, from 3:00-8:00pm. Registration now open. For more information contact Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD, 609-971-7002 ext. 114, education@soildistrict.org

OCSCD District Director Achieves Major Milestone

Ocean County Soil Conservation District Director, Christine Raabe, completed the State of New Jersey Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. The nationally accredited program is administered by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) and delivered by Rutgers University – Newark’s School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA). The graduation ceremony on August 16, 2019 marked the end of 21 courses designed to instill the necessary skills for participants to advance within their organizations by becoming stronger leaders, more strategic thinkers, and more knowledgeable and experienced managers.

In order to attain success as a local conservation leader, OCSCD requires financial resources coupled with broad support from the communities and partners within the county. Utilizing a team approach, OCSCD will engage staff in developing a strategic plan while also maximizing staff talents, expertise and interests, and expanding its primary mission. Through a thoughtful and systematic process, the District will focus on implementing: “2020 Vision for the Ocean County Soil Conservation District – Creating a Sustainable Future for Conservation and Stewardship – A Strategic Plan”.

OCSCD Employees Honored

Ocean County Soil Conservation District staff received numerous accolades at this year’s New Jersey Association of Conservation District’s Annual Meeting in December, 2019. OCSCD’s Education Outreach Specialist, Becky Laboy, received the 2019 Award for “Outstanding Service as a Professional Conservationist. Four technical staff: Jean Baluski, Jessica Pinto, Kristin Adams and Brittany Moore, were recognized for their “Outstanding Implementation of the Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Program”.

OCSCD’s Jersey-Friendly Garden Wins “2018 Garden of Distinction” Award!

Through a grant funded by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, Ocean County Soil Conservation District installed a Jersey-Friendly Garden at the OceanFirst Bank Hooper Avenue Administrative Office, which was honored with a “2018 Garden of Distrinction” award by the prestigious Pennsylvania Horticulture Society. The Jersey-Friendly garden includes native and “Jersey-Friendly” non-native plants that are drought-tolerant, require low-to-no maintenance, and support native birds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects. Read about our 22 Jersey-Friendly gardens installed throughout Ocean County. Learn how you can create your own Jersey-Friendly garden through the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, designed with home gardeners in mind!

New Soil Restoration Standards

In accordance with P.L. 2010, Chapter 113, the State Soil Conservation Committee has revised its Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey to include provisions for mitigating the negative impacts of soil compaction on construction sites subject to review and regulation by the New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, N.J.S.A. 4:24-39, et seq. These provisions have been included within Sections 8 (Topsoiling) and 19 (Land Grading) of the Standards.(http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/anr/nrc/njerosion.html)

Effective December 7th, 2017, any application submitted to a local Soil Conservation District for erosion and sediment control plan certification must include provisions to mitigate potential soil compaction in accordance with the revised Standards. Previously certified Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plans, plans eligible for re-certification and minor revisions are not subject to the adopted amendments. There are 11 identified exceptions outlined on page 19-2 of the Land Grading Standard.

2016 Northeast Regional NACD Conference

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District sponsored the 2016 Northeast Regional NACD Conference. Participants from around the northeast spent a few days in the Garden State exploring the diverse conservation opportunities in the agricultural, coastal, natural (Pinelands), and urban environments found throughout New Jersey and the northeast. Click here for more information.

Educate, Demonstrate, Activate

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District is featured in the summer 2015 edition of The Resource… Connect to the full newsletter on the NACD (National Association of Conservation Districts) website.

Ocean County U-Pick Farms

Visit the Asbury Park Press for an informative article on Ocean County U Pick Farms.