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Learn how to raise backyard chickens!

Keeping chickens and producing your own eggs can be rewarding, therapeutic and loads of fun.

Learn how to get started during an online Backyard Urban Chicken Program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, on Zoom.

Kalan Taylor, an agriculture and natural resources agent for the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension, will discuss chicken breeds, housing, health care, nutrition, manure management and food safety. She will also explain how to find out if your property is approved for chicken farming.

The $10 registration fee includes a certificate and teaching materials. To register, go to www.eventbrite.com and type in “backyard urban chicken program.” Registrants will receive the Zoom link on June 23.

For registration questions, contact Cynthia Rabey at 386-822-5778 or cynthia.rabey@ufl.edu.

Watch the weather, wait to water

Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division is encouraging residents who irrigate their lawns to take advantage of the summer rainy season and “watch the weather, wait to water.”

From July through September, yards need no more than a half-inch to three-quarters inch of water up to two times a week. If your lawn has received enough water from rainfall, turn off the irrigation system and turn it back on when needed.

The simplest way to determine if your yard needs water is to look for these visual clues:

Grass blades are folded in half lengthwise on at least one-third of your yard.

Grass blades appear blue-gray.

Grass blades do not spring back, leaving footprints on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

If your yard is showing signs that it needs water, check your local forecast to see if rain is on the way.
Use a rain gauge to determine how much rain your yard has received.
Install a rain sensor on your automatic irrigation system, and make sure it’s working properly.
Take full advantage of the rain. Make sure gutter downspouts are directed into landscaped areas or lawn.
Install a rain barrel to capture excess rainwater.

According to Volusia County’s water conservation ordinance, residents may water their lawns twice a week (if necessary) until standard time resumes Nov. 1, when the once-a-week schedule will return.

People who live at odd-numbered addresses may water Wednesdays and Saturdays, and people at even-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays. Businesses may water Tuesdays and Fridays. Each zone of your irrigation system may be watered no more than one hour or three-quarters of an inch a day. Watering is not permitted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The watering restrictions apply to all county residents, including those who live inside city limits. They cover city and county water, private wells and pumps, but do not include reclaimed water.

For more information about water conservation, visit volusia.org/water-conservation.

CARES Act funds available for homeless assistance

Volusia County has received nearly $450,000 in federal funds that are available to nonprofit organizations that are working to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 in the homeless population. Application for the funds, a total of $449,809, are being accepted through June 30. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and are part of the federal coronavirus relief, or CARES Act. The money is designed to help prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic among individuals and families who are homeless or are receiving homeless assistance.

Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to submit responses for these special funds, which can be used for:

• Emergency shelter renovation: $125,000

• Emergency shelter operations: $50,000

• Street outreach: $54,809

• Rapid re-housing: $220,000

All programs must serve the entire county and comply with the Commission on Homelessness for Volusia and Flagler Counties’ written standards. Use of Volusia County ESG funds is limited to Volusia County only.

Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30. Applications, including the written standards, are available by calling Edina Toth at 386-736-5955, ext. 12908, or 386-564-0387.


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