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County of Grande Prairie hosting webinar series on soil health

The County of Grande Prairie is looking to help people dig deep in knowledge as part of a healthy soil webinar series.

Soil Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator Kate Winterford says that the webinar series will touch on topics like what soil healths mean while addressing some of the main concerns that are seen in the county when it comes to soil health, which include soil compaction and soil erosion. Winterford explains that compaction is when the dirt particles are squished together, which reduces the space between the particles.

“This can affect the soil’s ability to hold or receive water and nutrients.”

Erosion happens along rivers or bodies of water, where the power of the water can change the landscape by the land being compromised, or washed away.

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“It can affect their properties, along with the infrastructure that might be on the properties,” Winterford explains. “We want to help people stabilize their soil and have as healthy soil as possible. That will, in turn, make sure that the water is healthy and make sure that there is a healthy ecosystem.”

The three-part webinar series is being hosted by Plant and Soil Health Educator Joel Williams. Williams specializes in plant and soil dynamics, along with a focus on food systems and agroecological transitions.

“Joel has spoken at many different events and lectured to different farming audiences all around the world, including Australia, the U.K., Europe, Central Asia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada and the U.S. So he has quite a broad background, so we are really excited to have him as a speaker,” Winterford says.

Part one of the three-part series happened at the beginning of November, with the second part of the series taking place next week, and the final part of the series will happen at the beginning of December. Winterford says the reasoning for holding the seminar online is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take part in or watch the series.

If someone who wants to watch the series ends up missing one of the webinars, or wants to re-watch the entire series, the videos will be uploaded to the County of Grande Prairie YouTube channel. Those who would like to take part in the last two parts of the series can sign up online to get the zoom link.

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