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Expo on McLean County farm to showcase key conservation practices

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[JULY 12, 2004]  URBANA -- The state's premier soil and water conservation event of the year is coming to central Illinois in August.

The Illinois Conservation Expo 2004 will be Aug. 24-26 on the farm of Richard and Robert Lasser in Anchor, located in McLean County. The statewide event is a showcase for the construction and exhibition of conservation and land improvement practices and equipment.

"This is a mammoth project," said Bob Frazee, a natural resources educator with University of Illinois Extension. "There will be more than a million dollars worth of construction equipment being demonstrated and used on site. People attending will be able to watch the construction of a number of conservation practices, such as a water and sediment control basin, subsurface tile drainage installation, constructed wetland, a farm pond, and grassed waterways."

There are 11 conservation sites in all, and tours will be given each day from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., as well as 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Tour guides at each site will give an eight- to 10-minute overview of the environmental benefits and recommend construction procedures for each practice.

Frazee said there is also a soil pit display and demonstrations on pipeline safety, private water well-head assessment, septic suitability analysis and septic tank installation.

The Illinois Conservation Expo 2004 is sponsored by the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association in cooperation with the National Resources Conservation Service, the McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District, Farm Service Agency, Trees Forever, and U of I Extension.


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Specialists and engineers from the National Resources Conservation Service and the McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District have worked with the Lassers for more than six months to plan and design the conservation practices best suited to their 160-acre farm.

"This has been an amazing cooperative venture involving a variety of conservation agencies," said Frazee. "The expo will provide an opportunity for individual landowners to learn more about conservation practices and how to implement those practices in order to protect their natural resources."

Hours for the expo are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 and 26, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 25. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Food and drink concessions will be available at the show.

For more information, contact Joetta Carroll, executive director of the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association, at (815) 684-1517 or Frazee at (309) 694-7501, ext. 226.

Directions to Illinois Conservation Expo 2004

From Interstate 74: Take Exit 172 at Mahomet and go north on Illinois Route 47 to Gibson City. Proceed north of Gibson City 2 miles to County Road 700N; then go 5 miles west to 4100E, following the signs.

From Bloomington: From Veterans Parkway take Illinois Route 9 east 29 miles to County Road 4100E. Turn left and go two miles north, following the signs.

[University of Illinois news release]

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