Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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Conservation District and PACD Staff Members Receive Performance Awards from NRCS

Mike Schlauch (left) and Andy Wodehouse (right). Photos provided by awardees.

Two conservation district and PACD staff members were nominated for performance awards from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are:

Mike Schlauch – Conservation Specialist, Luzerne Conservation District – PACD’s Conservation District Umbrella Program

During Fiscal Year 2023, Mike wrote 232 acres of EQIP/CTA/CREP conservation plans for seven producers. Mike has been prompt in completing all Highly Erodible Land determinations assigned to him, 40 in total. Throughout the year, Mike has either assisted the engineering staff with, or completed on his own, eight Inventory and Evaluations and five surveys/designs.. Due to staff turnover, Mike has been critical in achieving the agency’s mission within Luzerne County.

Andy Wodehouse – PACD TAG Program

Andy Wodehouse was asked to prepare for a training event and deliver that training to all new Civil Engineering Technicians and Soil Conservation Technicians in the entire North East area. The Training Topic was “Basic Surveying.” He put together an excellent training event. This training was to teach new employees entry-level surveying techniques and how to use survey equipment. The training was hands-on and delivered very effectively. He did a fantastic job putting this training event together. This training will decrease assistance needed by the technical office, increase productivity, get more practices built, assist with construction inspection, and start earning Job Approval for each employee. This task is not normally assigned and is in addition to yearly assigned performance goals.

Congratulations to Mike and Andy for their exceptional work!

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Cliff Lane Wins National Award

Cliff Lane accepts the award in San Diego. Photo provided by Jennifer Ramey.

Cliff Lane, McKean County Conservation District Secretary/Treasurer, PACD North West Region Director & National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) North East Region Representative, was presented with the National Association of Conservation District Employees Outstanding Conservation District Board Member Award. The award was presented during the NACD annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month. Congratulations Cliff!

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Pennsylvania Posters Place in National Contest

Evelyn Warner’s poster (top) and Cora Petrunak’s poster (bottom) placed in the 2023 national poster contest.

Two Pennsylvania posters placed in the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) contest!

  • Evelyn Warner from Cambria County won 2nd place in the 10-12th grade category.
  • Cora Petrunak, from Lehigh County, won 3rd place in the 2-3 grade category.

The winners are posted on the NACD Flickr account

Congratulations to the students and the Cambria and Lehigh County Conservation Districts for the national win!


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Congratulations to 2023 Conservation District Video Award Winners

The 4th Annual Conservation District Video Awards were presented on Thursday, February 15. The 1st place CONDIVA trophy for the highest-scoring video of 2023 was awarded to Monroe County Conservation District for Maple Sugaring. Two runner-up entries tied for 2nd place: Living in Our Waters: The Wonders of Macroinvertebrates, submitted by Beaver County Conservation District, and iMap Invasives Scavenger Hunt, submitted by Pike County Conservation District. Visit Building for Tomorrow for links to the video of the presentation and all the 2023 entries.

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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2024 Poster Contest Theme: May the Forest Be with You, Always

The submission deadline for the 2024 National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Poster Contest is June 30, 2024. The theme is “May the Forest Be with You Always.”

New for this year are four categories.

  • Hand Drawn Poster – NACD welcomes students from kindergarten to 12th grade to unleash their artistic talents. You can create posters using traditional hand-drawn methods to illustrate the NACD contest theme beautifully. What’s important is that your artwork is entirely your creation – no team efforts! Size requirements: While we prefer posters to be 11 x 17 inches as they work well for future advertisements, we’ll happily accept posters of all sizes!
  • Braille Poster – New to 2024! Introducing the NACD Braille Poster Contest. This inclusive competition invites blind and low-vision students in grades K-12 to participate, using braille to create posters championing natural resource conservation.
  • Additional Assist Poster – Introducing the NACD Inclusive Poster Contest, which is open to all students who may benefit from extra assistance completing their posters. This contest promotes accessibility and embraces diversity by providing a platform for students of varying abilities to express their creativity and advocate for natural resource conservation. Participants are encouraged to create posters that celebrate inclusivity and the beauty of our environment.
  • Digital Poster – NACD’s Digital Poster Contest for 7th-12th grades welcomes digital artistry. Use graphic arts programs to create posters featuring the NACD contest theme, but remember, no copyrighted content outside of the NACD logo.

NACD just announced the new categories, and PACD decided to include them in the 2024 contest, so districts are aware of the change and can plan accordingly for next year if they’d like to participate.

Please note that there is no longer a size requirement because the posters are submitted electronically.

Click here for the poster contest flyer and here for the entry forms. Contact Roxanne at with questions.

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Nominations for PACD Conservation Awards Now Being Accepted Using New Simplified Process

Thomas Boldin (second from the right), Centre County Conservation District, receives the Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director Excellence Award at the 2023 PACD Awards Luncheon.

Nominations are now being accepted for the PACD Conservation Awards. New for 2024, the award nominations have been simplified and streamlined with an online nomination form. Nominations must be received by April 30, 2024.

The awards are:

Contact Roxanne Dohner at or 717-794-6108 with any questions.


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Westmoreland Conservation District Recognized by Chamber of Commerce

Screenshot of Westmoreland Conservation District Manager Rob Cronauer from video.

The Westmoreland Conservation District received the 2023 Non-profit of the Year award from the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce at their annual business meeting and award celebration. The award recognizes the programs and partnerships the district has made in its nearly 75-year history.

Watch this video spotlight to learn more about the district and how it helps communities. 


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Watershed Specialist Photo Contest

The conservation district watershed specialists hold a photo contest during their annual meeting. The contest has four categories and an overall top winner.

Here are the 2023 results:

  • Miscellaneous Water – A Seldom Seen Passage, Cori Trice, Chester County Conservation District
  • Water at Work – Elk Creek – Steelhead Run, Scott Alexander, Fulton County Conservation District
  • People and Water – Meadow Grounds Lake – Autumn Morning, Scott Alexander, Fulton County Conservation District
  • Water as Art – Reflecting on New Hope, Vy Trinh, Adams County Conservation District
  • Best in Show – Soon to Be Shaded, Tyler Keefer, Lancaster County Conservation District

Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you to all those who participated in the contest. It’s great to see photos from across the state! Click here to view the full versions of the winning photos. 

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Piper Sherburne to Receive Invasive Species Award

Piper Sherburne, PACD South East Region Director and Chair of the Berks County Conservation District, was nominated and selected to receive the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) Advocacy Award!

“It is NAISMA’s honor to recognize Piper for her demonstrated local, regional, and national influence and leadership in natural resource protection and invasive species management. Piper is known to work closely with partners at all levels to advance policy, funding, and efforts to create a regional Pennsylvania Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) to better address invasive species threats and impacts, which, if successful, will benefit the entire state of Pennsylvania,” said Kate Wilson, NAISMA President.

About the award: “This award recognizes outstanding leadership and advocacy in the policy/program realm at state, tribal, and/or federal levels. Special attention is given to advocacy for congressional bills, support, outreach, and/or policies that directly advance invasive species prevention and management.”

The award will be presented at the NAISMA conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, on October 18, 2023.

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