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2020 Poster Contest Theme “Where would we BEE without Pollinators?”

JUST IN TIME FOR BACK TO SCHOOL!! The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has announced the 2020 Poster Contest theme: “Where would we BEE without Pollinators.” PACD will be accepting photos of your county’s winners until June 30, 2020. We are very excited to see all the artistic entries for this year’s theme!

Click here to read more. 

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Potter County Conservation District Features Grazing Trial Kit during Field Day

Tim Elder with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service talks about rotational grazing to the group of farmers before heading out to the pasture. Photo provided by PCCD.

Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) brought together local producers this summer to demonstrate how rotational grazing can benefit their farm both financially and environmentally. First, the district selected a farm to use rotational grazing equipment to demonstrate the benefits of rotational grazing management.

PCCD then partnered with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Penn State Extension to develop a grazing plan for the selected farm. They took representative soil samples to test the biological activity of continuously grazed and rotationally grazed pastures with the same soil type. This information was presented during the field day.

Essential supplies for a grazing kit were purchased, including temporary fence, reels, posts, and automatic gate (Batt-Latch). The kit was given to the selected beef farmer in early July to install. On August 28, 2019, a field day was held at the farm to showcase the project and to discuss the benefits and challenges of rotational grazing.

In the future, another farmer that has an interest in this management style will be selected to use the grazing kit.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Cambria County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

Mark Stockley, Resource Conservation Supervisor at the Cambria County Conservation District, speaks during the breakfast. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

On October 4, 2019, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Cambria County for the district’s legislative breakfast. Approximately 50 people attended the event. During the breakfast, the district highlighted stream restoration and flood control projects.

Click here to read an article on the event. 

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Reminder: Strategic Planning Grant Letter of Intent Deadline is November 20

Funding available to offset costs associated with strategic planning activity has been increased to $1,500 per qualifying district for 2020. Districts interested in applying for a Strategic Planning Grant have until November 20 to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. The LOI should include information on the timeframe and process for plan development, as well as the date of board approval for the grant application.

Detailed information on the Strategic Planning Grants program, including program requirements and a list of recent facilitators, can be found at the Building for Tomorrow website

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Have You Seen Building for Tomorrow’s Online Training Modules?

Earlier this month, the Building for Tomorrow Program, which provides leadership development training and resources to Pennsylvania’s conservation districts, announced the launch of its newly redesigned website at https://www.paleadership.org.

The new training modules page features an easy-to-navigate interface and a quiz function that allows users to save their progress. It’s an excellent tool for conservation district managers to use to onboard new staff and orient newly-appointed directors.

All conservation district personnel are encouraged to visit the new site and provide feedback and suggestions on content that can be added to support leadership development initiatives.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Watershed Specialists Meet in State College

Watershed Specialist Meghan Rogalus with the Bucks County Conservation District won Best of Show in the 2019 Watershed Specialist Photo Contest for her photograph “Secluded Spot on the Tohicken” in the Water as Art category.

Over 80 attendees, including 66 watershed specialists, participated in the 19th Annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting at Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, PA, October 2-4, 2019.

Sessions included new tools for planting riparian buffers, grants and resources, and updates on Growing Greener. Thursday morning there was a concurrent track for new watershed specialists. The last day was reserved for a watershed restoration and riparian buffer tour. The tour was hosted by the ClearWater Conservancy and the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife Program, the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, landowners Stan and Dar Smith, and Native Creations.

Each year, the watershed specialists hold a photo contest. This year, there were over 40 entries (the highest ever)!

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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20,000 acres of Farmland Preserved in Cumberland County

PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding speaks at the Cumberland County farmland preservation celebration.

On September 26, 2019, PACD Software Specialist Nick Yeagy traveled to Cumberland County for the celebration of 20,000 acres of preserved farmland.

He joined Cumberland County officials and farmland preservation staff for a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the county’s participation in Pennsylvania’s state farmland preservation program, held at Paulus Farm Market in Mechanicsburg. The Paulus family has preserved 219 acres of farmland, which grows much of the produce sold at their market, since the establishment of the county program in 1989.

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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Berks County Conservation District Holds Bite of Berks Scholarship Fundraiser

Photo used with permission from BCCD.

On Monday, September 23, 2019, the Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) hosted the annual “A Bite of Berks Scholarship Fundraiser.”

Here are a few of the highlights from the evening:

  • Deputy Greg Hostetter joined the event and said a few words.
  • The district awarded $20,500 in scholarships; partners gave an additional $2,500 in scholarships; there was a special award for the Berks Science Fair winner.
  • Several award recipients were recognized, including Farmer of the Year, Conservation Individual of the Year, and others.
  • After the scholarship and awards portion of the evening was complete, guests enjoyed food samples made by local restaurants, caterers, bakeries, food trucks, and others who used an ingredient that was grown or produced in Berks County. Guests tasted and then voted for their favorite. Awards were given to the top 3 in each of 4 categories.
  • There was a Silent Auction with proceeds benefiting the BCCD Scholarship fund.
  • Dave Kline’s Mountain folk Trio provided music.

Click here view the winners. Click here to read about the scholarship winners. 

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