Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

We inspire and partner with our community to protect the natural resources and agricultural future of our District.

The Living Kingdoms Beneath Our Feet

Did you know that soils support more life beneath their surface than exists above? Soil is a living, dynamic resource at the surface of the earth. It is a complex habitat of mineral and organic particles; living organisms including plant roots, microbes, and larger animals; and pores filled with air or water. In a thimble full of soil—about a gram in weight—you can expect to find 100 million to 1 billion bacteria! This video explores the living kingdoms beneath our feet and helps illustrate the fact that soils support more life beneath their surface than what exists above the surface What is a living soil? It’s where the plant and the soil are one. This is symbiosis at its best.

Source:  USDA NRCS


Carbon Farming: Increasing Fertility & Water Holding Capacity


The Carbon Cycle: 

Carbon constantly cycles through five pools on planet earth. Light energy coming from our sun functions as the fuel for the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is a critical natural process that moves carbon through our atmosphere, biosphere, pedosphere, lithosphere, and oceans.

Human activity has tipped the balance of the carbon cycle through extracting enormous quantities of deeply sequestered fossil carbon as fossil fuels. These dense forms of carbon, when burned, release massive amounts of energy and carbon dioxide.

More carbon dioxide is now being released than the earth’s land-based plant life and oceans can naturally reabsorb. The excess carbon dioxide has formed a blanket in our atmosphere—trapping the sun’s heat and changing our climate, as seen in shifts in our earth’s jet stream, ocean currents, and air temperature. Rainfall patterns are changing and glaciers (water storage for many communities) are melting quickly.

We have an opportunity to restore balance within the carbon cycle in a way that will ameliorate climate change, build resilience to drought and increase our agricultural productivity naturally. This document is an introduction to a natural solution called Carbon Farming.

The Science of Soil Health: Cycle, Re-cycle, Repeat

Carbon’s journey through the soil powers life as we know it

As global temperatures rise, there’s growing interest in getting carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) out of the atmosphere and getting carbon into the soil.

But what form does that carbon take and how, exactly, does the cycling process work? In the first episode of season three’s The Science of Soil Health, Dr. Will Brinton provides a brief, yet holistic explanation about this living and life-giving process. After you watch this four-minute video, you’ll never think of the soil carbon cycle the same way again.

Source:  USDA NRCS

Announcing the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards

Grand Prize Winner, by Melissa Groo


Species: Great Egret
Where: Port Richey, FL
Camera: Canon 1D Mark IV with a Canon EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens and a Skimmer ground pod; 1/800 second at f/4.5; ISO 1600

“A friend took me to a little-known heron and egret rookery. It was dark and gloomy, and the sun would be setting soon. I cranked up my ISO to get more light on the birds flying in for the night. When I couldn’t get enough shutter speed for sharp photos of the birds in flight, I decided to do portraits of the birds that had landed. I noticed this Great Egret and his bright-green lores. He immediately began to fluff out his feathers, then went through the most beautiful series of displaying poses. Later I was struck by how much this portrait reminded me of an Audubon painting.”

Check out the rest of the photos here.

Source:  Audubon, 2015 Photo Awards