Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

We support Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts who work for clean water and healthy soil every day.

DEP Announces 2023 Environmental Education Grant Awards

Twenty Conservation District Projects Funded for over $172,700

Allegheny County Conservation District: $4,999 to host field workshops for municipal managers to elevate their knowledge of watersheds, watershed planning, and best management practices to remedy non-point source pollution and impacts of climate change, such as localized flooding.

Bradford County Conservation District: $29,942 to hold a Forestry Education Symposium, providing two Forestry Education events for private landowners, forestry professionals, and logging professionals who are interested in expanding their knowledge of forest practices, sustainability, and forest health. Eight conservation districts as well as the Northern Tier Hardwood Association will partner to host the events. Each event will include multiple guest speakers and a field tour.

Bradford County Conservation District: $4,912 to supply six school districts with the necessary materials, curriculum, resources, and guidance to implement Eels in the Classroom, an interdisciplinary, standards-based, educational experience throughout the 2023/2024 school year and beyond.

Bucks County Conservation District: $17,500 to develop county-wide education programs, including presentations for youth (K-12) and multi-municipality public events. Programs will be accessed through a website menu of curriculums with associated displays, brochures, and hands-on materials.

Cameron County Conservation District: $5,000 to hold several elementary and high school student field studies, along with adult-based workshops and community events. Hands-on activities and demonstrations will address water issues involving flooding and climate change.

Columbia County Conservation District: $4,998 to partner with the Borough of Berwick to construct and install approximately 15 downspout planters at homes along main streets in the Borough. Hold at least one public workshop addressing benefits of downspout planters and other ways to reduce stormwater runoff, non-point source pollution, and improve water quality.

Dauphin County Conservation District: $5,000 to partner with municipalities to host Stormwater Management for Homeowners workshops on reducing non-point source pollution.

Delaware County Conservation District: $5,000 to host a one-day sustainability conference, located within an environmental justice area, that aligns with the DEP 2021 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan and the 2022 Delaware County Sustainability Plan. Multiple tracks will engage K-12 and college students, academics, community members and leaders, citizen scientists, non-profits, and businesses.

Indiana County Conservation District: $8,955 to incorporate environmental education principles into public outreach efforts. The initiative will incorporate current and relevant climate change and water quality information, hands-on materials, engaging activities, age-appropriate lessons, and in-person workshops.

Jefferson County Conservation District: $4,795 to hold a three-day outdoor camp for women and girls to increase knowledge about the environment, climate change, and sustainability.

Juniata County Conservation District: $1,440 to increase public awareness about stormwater pollutants by collaborating with the Mifflintown Borough maintenance department to stencil about 60 stormwater grates with the message “only rain in the drain.”

Lackawanna County Conservation District: $30,000 to create a permanent three-station stormwater best management practice demonstration area and hold three hands-on events for multiple audiences on stormwater and local water quality.

Lebanon County Conservation District: $4,758 to hold two streambank landowner workshops providing presentations, materials, and hands-on macroinvertebrate stream studies to educate landowners on assessing stream health.

Lehigh County Conservation District: $5,000 to develop an educational garden laboratory in a vacant school courtyard to improve students’ understanding of local climate change and water quality and other real-world sustainability challenges.

Mercer County Conservation District: $3,385 to conduct a three-week camp for middle school students, including outdoor activities that address climate change and water quality issues and education on science and/or environmentally themed careers.

Potter County Conservation District: $5,000 to use a stream simulation table to help municipal officials and workers understand stream processes and concepts related to stream management and in-stream construction.

Snyder County Conservation District: $3,298 to host two rain barrel workshops for residents and business owners of Snyder County who are interested in learning about storm water management. Each participant will receive one complete rain barrel and rain gutter garden for installation at their property.

Susquehanna County Conservation District: $19,722 to host education activities for school groups and community members along an interpretive trail. Trail signage features five points of interest highlighting climate change and regional water quality topics.

Westmoreland County Conservation District: $5,000 to provide stormwater education to 40 students in the Mosaic Community Development Center’s afterschool program. The conservation district will present two in-person educational programs for the students and work with the students and center to develop a demonstration rain garden that incorporates the lessons learned.

York County Conservation District: $4,039 to hold two seminars for residents on York County’s watersheds. The seminars will provide in-depth information on how residents’ actions can make a difference, even if they don’t have a waterway or a water body on their property.

Click here to read about all the projects funded.


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2023 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training

Submitted by: Katie Hollen, Watershed Specialist

Students getting their hands dirty at the Envirothon Soils Training! Photo provided by Lebanon County Conservation District.

On March 21, 2023, approximately eighty eager students attended the Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training. Middle and high school students from ELCO, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra school districts participated.

The training took place at the Lebanon Expo Center and was hosted by the Lebanon County Conservation District. Special guest instructors were Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff – Soil Scientist John Chibirka (Berks) and Technical Resource Conservationist Hana Blumenfeld (Lebanon).

The morning started with John delivering a presentation on soil forming factors, soil color, soil texture, soil horizons, and more. Students viewed a soil map of Pennsylvania and learned about the importance of understanding soils for land use decisions. They were also introduced to our state soil, Hazleton.

After the presentation, students got their hands dirty using the soil textural triangle to classify two different soil samples. John and Hana assisted the students as they practiced making ribbons with soil and estimating the amounts of sand, silt, and clay in each sample. Students also used Munsell Soil Color Books to determine the color of each soil sample.

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Blair County Conservation District Shares “Creepy Critters” Program

Blair County Conservation District Educator, J.T. Bandzuh, at Tyrone-Snyder Public Library. Photo provided by Blair County Conservation District.

Submitted by J.T. Bandzuh, Blair County Conservation District

Blair County Conservation District Educator, J.T. Bandzuh, has been visiting several county schools and public libraries, hosting a “Creepy Critters” show and tell presentation. The program has welcomed children of all ages to join Bandzuh to listen to The Leaf Thief story about the changing seasons.

After storytime, Bandzuh introduced students to bats, owls, and several nocturnal mammals, explaining their roles in their local environments. The lessons were taught through pelts, skeletons, mounts, and the inspection of owl pellets.


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Reminder: Register for iMapInvasives Training for Conservation Districts

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and PACD are partnering to offer a free iMapInvasives Overview and Training for Conservation Districts!

When: The training will be offered via Zoom on June 28, 2022, beginning at 10 am.

Webinar Description: iMapInvasives is a comprehensive tool for online invasive species data management. It includes many aspects that appeal to natural resource managers, community scientists, and other interested members of the public. By providing a tool that advances knowledge and understanding of invasive species distributions across Pennsylvania, iMapInvasives promotes strategic decisions for conducting future survey and management work in priority locations across the Commonwealth.

Amy Jewitt, Invasive Species Coordinator at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Lead Administrator of the Pennsylvania iMapInvasives Program, will provide an overview of the iMapInvasives Program for PACD and Conservation District staff. Amy will show a variety of visual elements from the database and explain tools offered in the platform that are of value for PACD and conservation district staff regarding understanding species distributions, prioritizing management efforts, and using the platform as a data clearinghouse for conservation districts across the state.

Registration: Please click here to register for the event. 

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2022 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training

Submitted by Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist

On March 22, 2022, an unseasonably pleasant day with hints of spring, nearly one hundred energetic middle and high school Envirothon students from Lebanon County school districts, including ELCO, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra, got their hands dirty at an Envirothon Soils Training held at the Lebanon Expo Center. 

Click here to read the entire article. 

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PACD Creates Responsible Use of De-Icers PSA – Please Share!

PACD created a public service announcement (PSA) to encourage citizens to reduce the use of salt and de-icers to prevent pollution. Please share!

Materials include:

Click here to view the webpage of materials. Please share the PSA scripts with your local radio stations. In addition, conservation districts and partners are encouraged to share the video on their social media channels.

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Save the Date: 2022 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting

Mark your calendars for February 23 & 24 (dates updated 12/14/21) for the 2022 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting. The meeting will include information and updates on current programs and what to expect in the future. The first day will provide statewide information, followed by a day focused on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Staff from PA state agencies, USDA-NRCS, and conservation districts are encouraged to attend.

More information to come! Registration will open in January.

Please get in touch with Holly Miller at with questions.

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Blair County Conservation District Educator Visits Williamsburg Elementary School for Halloween Event

BCCD District Educator J.T. Bandzuh reads The Leaf Thief during an Animals of Halloween workshop at Williamsburg Elementary School. Photo taken by Jayme Elvey (Williamsburg Elementary School).

Blair County Conservation District Educator J.T. Bandzuh visited Williamsburg Elementary School on October 25, 2021, to host an “Animals of Halloween” show-and-tell presentation. Pre-K and Kindergarten classes combined to listen to J.T. read The Leaf Thief and to discuss fall and the changes brought about during the season.

After story time, J.T. introduced students to bats, owls, and spiders – explaining to students their contributions to their local environments. The lessons were taught through hand puppets, skeletons and mounts of bats and owls, and the inspection of owl pellets.

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Carbon County Creates Unique Educational Activity

Carbon County Educator Franklin Klock examines “poop” to the delight of second graders. Photo provided by Carbon County Conservation District.

Carbon County Environmental Education Center has developed a fun demonstration for elementary students on the relationships between plants, animals, and soil. The “Poop Plop” is played by mixing brightly colored beads into a plastic bag full of chocolate pudding. The pudding is then piped across a gameboard as “poop” from a bear or fox, depositing the beads as “seeds” onto places where they might–or might not–germinate, such as in good soil, near a rotting log, or along a road.

Educators then examine the poop by hand to dig out the seeds. Seed colors correspond to student teams, with teams earning points depending on where the seeds have landed. The activity aligns with academic standards for ecology and the environment.

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