Mainers asked to choose conservation priorities

Maine Conservation Districts are asking Mainers to participate in a statewide Natural Resources Assessment survey and attend local meetings to help determine priorities for protecting and improving land and water resources.

Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts are conducting the assessment in cooperation with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

According to a press release, the priorities articulated in the survey and at the meetings will inform state and local natural resource programs and funding opportunities for the next five years.

The conservation concerns gathered from the meetings and survey will be added to data that was collected in the first assessment, completed in 2011.

Anyone can complete a survey or attend a meeting, whether or not she owns land, farms or donates to a conservation group. The surveys, which take about 15 minutes to complete, must be turned in by March 31. The press release ends by urging citizens to “make your voice heard.”

Find the survey online at or get a paper copy from your local conservation district.

To find your district – and learn the date of any meetings in your area – go to


Garbage to Garden wins prize for its innovation

The Portland-based composting company Garbage to Garden has been named a Silver Prize Winner in the second annual Food+City Challenge Prize, a competition for business startups run by a nonprofit in Austin, Texas.

For its achievement – having “a top idea in global food system innovations,” according to a press release – Garbage to Garden received $5,000.

Company founder Tyler Frank traveled to Austin earlier this month to compete against 20 other finalists from around the world, all of whom are working on ideas aimed at improving or solving a range of urban food issues.

Among the competition – a company raising affordably priced grasshoppers for human food and one helping poor Ugandan families grow fruit trees.

The pool was narrowed to 10, who presented three-minute pitches to the judges before the Grand Prize winner and runners-up were chosen. Garbage to Garden was one of four Silver Prize winners.

–From staff reports

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