By Laura Hopek, Lehigh County Conservation District Watershed Specialist
Photos and article reprinted with permission from the Fall 2014 Lehigh County Conservation District Newsletter.
The Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD), in partnership with Parkland School District (PSD), Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc. (KCE), and South Whitehall Township (SWT) received funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Environmental Education (EE) grant and Penn State University on behalf of its Penn State Public Media to support the Water Blues – Green Solutions local reporting initiative to install rain gardens in vacant courtyards located at Orefield and Springhouse Middle Schools.
Also, funding was received from the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) to implement a Bird Exploration program, which enabled the Watershed Specialist to purchase and install a bird bath, bird feeder, and bird house in the rain gardens. Rain gardens help control stormwater runoff from surrounding rooftops and sidewalks, while serving as a living laboratory for students. Students will be able to study the native wildlife, birds, bumblebees, and beneficial insects that are attracted to the plants, which also provide a food source and serve as shelter for these species. We want to thank KCE for conducting the infiltration tests, SWT for donating their time and equipment, and Upper Macungie Township (UMT) for providing mulch.
With assistance from the Watershed Specialist, students and staff helped design the layout of the rain gardens, planted 150 native shrubs and flowers, and added finishing touches to the gardens.
Project partners would like to thank Lehigh Valley Home & Garden Center, Tall Timbers Nursery, Dan Schantz Greenhouse, Best Line Equipment, Plantique, Herbeins, Edge of the Woods, and 4 Seasons Nursery for their discounts and donations.
- Staff Training Conference – February 25 & 26, 2015 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center, State College – Program focus: leadership and public communication skills training for program staff.
- District Manager Summit – June 10 & 11, 2015 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center, State College – Program focus: leadership training and expertise/experience exchange.
More information concerning registration and conference agendas will be provided at a future date.
Your input is important! Mark your calendars for your region’s spring 2015 PACD region meeting.
PACD South Central Region Meeting
March 11, 2015
Cumberland County Conservation District, Carlisle, PA
PACD North Central Region Meeting
March 13, 2015
Clinton County Conservation District, Mill Hall, PA
PACD South East Region Meeting
March 19, 2015
Franconia Heritage Restaurant, Telford, PA
PACD North West Region Meeting
March 24, 2015
DCNR Bureau of Forestry District Office, Clarion, PA
PACD North East Region Meeting
April 10, 2015
DEP Northeast Regional Office, Wilkes-Barre, PA
On Thursday, November 6, Shippensburg University’s Geography and Earth Science Department hosted their annual career fair.
The afternoon allowed several groups to come and set up display tables for students to visit and speak with directly regarding future employment opportunities in the environmental field. Kim Falvey, Cumberland County Conservation District Technician, and Tammy Piper, Watershed Specialist/Act 38 Technician with the Franklin County Conservation District were both on hand to speak with students about all of the work districts are involved in on a daily basis. Tammy was joined by Justin Atkins, NRCS District Conservationist at the Chambersburg Field Office, as their two offices work together to offer a summer internship experience to interested students.
Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PACD Director of Public Affairs and Education, was also available to speak with students about the work of the Association and how their efforts support each of the 66 districts.
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