EAST LANSING, Mich. -

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wayne Conservation District are hosting an initial acre ceremony for local officials to learn about the recently launched soil survey of metropolitan Wayne County.

The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 21 at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

"A soil survey is a valuable resource for local governments and anyone else with an interest in land use," said Garry Lee, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

A three-year soil mapping project was recently launched for urban Wayne County. The project will evaluate soils in 24 cities in metropolitan Wayne County using a variety of technologies.

During the initial acre ceremony, USDA officials will talk about the purpose of the soil mapping project and how the information can be used and accessed. USDA soil scientists will also conduct a soil sampling demonstration.

Metropolitan Wayne County is the only area of Michigan without detailed soil mapping information available. The 24 municipalities in the soil mapping project area have entered into a formal agreement with the USDA and have committed resources to the project. The final product of the soil survey will provide cities and their citizens with a valuable tool for future development, conservation and resource planning. When the project is completed, the soils information will be publically available at no cost.