Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District

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2017 ACE Camp

2017 Land Use Council Envirothon

The Land Use Council hosted the 2017 Envirothon on March 15. Several schools, including Mercer County High School, sent students to compete in a competition based on 4 different categories. These included Wildlife, Aquatics, Soils and Forestry. The students were given a brief presentation from experts in these fields and then were given a test in each category. The winning team, which was Midland High School will go on to compete at the State Level. All of the teams did very well and it was a fun and educational day for everyone. We wish Midland High School the best of luck at State. And congratulations to all teams for an outstanding job!

Quail and Pheasants Use Mercer County CRP SAFE Habitat

By Scott James, Pheasants Forever Partnership Biologist


As a partnership wildlife biologist, I wanted to help the SWCD and NRCS staff assess grassland bird use on CRP SAFE habitat areas in west Mercer County.  SAFE stands for State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement and Mercer County has thousands of acres of relatively new SAFE habitat, including a habitat cluster in the sandy areas of west Mercer County.  Paul Grissom and NRCS staff planned the habitat and Bill Joseph working for SWCD planted most of the habitat.  I wanted to count how many quail, pheasants, and grassland birds were using the SAFE habitat and how many were using non-SAFE habitat.  Specifically, I counted grassland birds making breeding calls in the spring and quail coveys making covey calls in the fall.  My results are below but in short, more quail, pheasants and grassland birds were heard on SAFE habitat fields than on non-SAFE habitat fields.  In addition to this data, countless conservation landowners and hunters have stated they’ve seen more pheasants and quail using habitat in the past three years than in the past ten years.  Habitat conservation works so please let us know if you want to create more habitat!