Farm Show Volunteers Needed

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show runs from January 5-12, 2019, in Harrisburg, PA. This year, the conservation districts will share booth space with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Two volunteers are needed for the following shifts:

  • Saturday, 1/5 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1/6 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Monday, 1/7 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 1/9 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday, 1/10 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, 1/11 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 1/12 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.

Volunteers receive a free parking pass to the event. Please email PACD Administrative Assistant Jann McNamara at jmcnamara@pacd.org to sign up or for more information.

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Conservation Districts Represented at Dive Deeper IV Summit

Sallie Gregory, Lancaster County Conservation District Educator, leads a session during the Dive Deeper Summit. Photo taken by Shannon Wehinger.

Formal and non-formal educators convened in Harrisburg on September 20, 2018, for The Dive Deeper Summit. The summit is a gathering of youth water educators in the Mid-Atlantic Region that pairs knowledge and resource sharing with networking opportunities.

Shannon Wehinger, PACD Director of Communications and Education, and several conservation district staff attended the summit. Sallie Gregory, Lancaster County Conservation District’s educator, co-presented at the “Kids Keeping Manure Out of Our Water” session. During this session, three activities were conducted based on the draft “Manure Management Planning for Youth Animal Projects” program, which is due to be finalized in June of 2019. The activity booklet is filled with activities to help youth understand PA Department of Environmental Protection regulations.

The summit provided ample opportunities to experience hands-on activities to enhance water education.

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2019 Poster Contest Theme: Life in the Soil: DIG DEEPER

Just in time for Back-to-School! The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has announced the 2019 Poster Contest theme: “Life in the Soil:  DIG DEEPER.” PACD will be accepting photos of your county’s winners until June 30, 2019.  We can’t wait to see all of the artistic entries for this year’s theme!

Click here for the Pennsylvania contest flyer and here to read more about the NACD contest. 

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Conservation Districts Reach over 2,800 Landowners through Manure Management Mini-grant Program

The results are in! During the 2017-18 Manure Management Manual and Chapter 102 Compliance Workshops Mini-grant Program, 38 conservation districts reached over 2,800 landowners across the state.

Other outcomes include:

  • Full-day workshops held: 37
  • Half-day workshops held: 36
  • One-on-one sessions held: 181
  • Manure management plans written: 426 covering 32,798.9 acres
  • Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation plans written: 78 covering 6,482.73 acres

In addition to completing plans, conservation district staff improved awareness of the revised Manure Management Manual and assisted farmers in understanding manure management and Chapter 102 requirements.

PACD would like to thank the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for providing the funding for this program as well as supporting conservation districts as they help landowners achieve compliance.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

 

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Staff from 20 Conservation Districts Attend Annual Technical Training

Conservation district and DEP staff participate in the plan review session. Photo taken by Jay Braund.

The 2018 Basic/Refresher 102/105 Technical Training course provided concentrated classroom instruction to over 40 employees of Pennsylvania’s conservation districts and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) who work with the Chapter 102 and 105 programs. The four-day course took place March 19-22, 2018, in State College, PA.

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New Round of CREP Mini-grants Now Accepting Applications

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $3,000 to implement educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment and/or CREP maintenance.

The guidelines and application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts are posted here. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

 

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Registration for Spring 102/105 Topic-Based Training Opens

Registration is now open for 102/105 Topic-based Technical Training. The course is open to conservation district and DEP staff and will take place April 10-12, 2018, at the Ramada Conference Center in State College, PA. There is little or no cost to attend. Click here to register or for more information. Questions? Contact Molly Burns at mburns@pacd.org.

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$10,000 Available for 2018 Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

Grants up to $2,000 are awarded to conservation districts for adult educational projects that offer strategies for reducing and preventing Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution. Projects should stimulate a local awareness of water quality issues, promote the theme “We All Live Downstream,” and encourage citizen participation in activities to improve water quality in local watersheds.

The deadline for NPS mini-grant applications is March 2, 2018. Click here for the online application and more information.  Please note that a Google Account is required to submit an application. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger.

Financial and other support for the NPS Mini-grant Program 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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Free Communications Webinars Offered to Conservation Districts

PACD has scheduled seven free webinar series for conservation districts. Presented by Water Words That Work, LLC, these environmental communication trainings will begin in February 2018 and end in May 2018. How do we get more participation at our programs? How can we effectively reach our target audiences and the general public? What are the most cost-effective means to get the word out about our programs? Find out answers to these questions and more during these webinars.

New for this year, “Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners” will teach the tricks of the trade that top “ag whisperers” use to get voluntary conservation projects on the ground. If you need more landowners to take you up on your offer, this course is for you! This webinar series will be repeated four times – so only sign up for one series.

The dates are (all webinars will be held 9-10:30am):

  • Water Words that Work – Trainings: February 20, 22, 27
  • More Than a Message – Trainings: March 6, 13, 15
  • Perfect Outreach Projects – Trainings: March 20, 22, 23
  • Cutting the Deal with Rural Landowners Group 1 – Trainings: February 7, 9, 14
  • Cutting the Deal with Rural Landowners Group 2 – Trainings: March 27, 29, and April 3
  • Cutting the Deal with Rural Landowners Group 3 – Training: April 10, 12, 17
  • Cutting the Deal with Rural Landowners Group 4 – Trainings: May 1, 3, 8

Click here to register. 

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

Click here to view a flyer with more information.

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Manure Management Facilitator Training Concludes

Instructor Charlie White speaks to the attendees of the Manure Management Train the Trainer event in Perry County on January 25, 2018.

Thirty-three participants were trained as facilitators through the Manure Management Train the Trainer program this January. The training events were held in Clarion, Perry, and Wyoming Counties.

Participants learned how to use the Manure Management Manual to write plans and guide others through using the manual.

PACD facilitates the trainings for the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Instruction is provided by Jerry Martin, Senior Penn State Extension Associate and Dr. Charles White, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management, at Penn State.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).   

 

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