By Jenny Ammon

Starting back in February 2021 with featured guest board chair Terry Hsu, Marion SWCD ventured into the world of podcasting with the willing and talented partner KMUZ Willamette Wake Up. On the third Wednesday of every month, Marion SWCD shares a half-hour segment titled “Conservation Spotlight” on the Willamette Wake Up program. The podcast method is not a “normal” mode of outreach for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, so this opportunity was a welcome answer to the question of how to reach our Marion County residents during a pandemic. 

My friend and audio editing guru, Melanie Zermer, volunteer for KMUZ Community Radio, really took the time to set this new podcast program up for success. She recommended tips for speaking properly to sound professional, equipment to use for recording the best audio, direction on how and where to record from home (did you know closing the blinds in the room you are recording in can help with acoustics?), and insight for topics. Most important has been editing and adding branding and consistency to Willamette Wake Up programs like Marion SWCD’s “Conservation Spotlight.”

After 8 months of planning, writing scripts, contacting new engaging guests, and recording, I can share that this mode of outreach is fun, engaging, and has a shelf life unlike any more typical mode of conservation education. The mere fact that you can cover a timely topic, time-stamp that content, and share it with the world is pretty fascinating. Our guests have been varied, entertaining, and informative. We have chatted with an OSU forester, an ODA biocontrol expert, environmental education experts, a conservation planner, a Watershed Council director, and a dry-farming expert. 

This programming has become one more way Marion SWCD can serve our mission of protecting our natural resources through education. The Conservation Spotlight podcast will continue to shine a light on partnerships and programs in Marion County. We look forward to sharing our future guests with you and would love to hear from you about topics and speakers that would engage you, our valued listeners. Contact Jenny Ammon, Educator and Host, at [email protected]

Coming up on Conservation Spotlight:

  • October 20: Conservation Spotlight will feature Amy Boyd, Marion SWCD District Manager, discussing her background and looking forward to the future of conservation in Marion County.
  • November 17: Conservation Spotlight will feature Chong Kee Tan, Marion SWCD board member and farmer, to discuss his role in implementing conservation and his unique and awe-inspiring path to permaculture.
  • December 15: Conservation Spotlight will feature Amanda Stevens, owner and organic farmer at Nottinghamshire Farms in St. Paul, Oregon. We will discuss her path into organic farming, how they are implementing conservation projects with the help of Marion SWCD, and what farming into the future looks like for them.

Listen on KMUZ 100.7 and 88.5 FM Willamette Wake Up pn the third Wednesday of every month at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, or visit www.marionswcd.net for all past podcasts.