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 hmiller@pacd.org 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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QuickBooks Training Webinar Recordings Available to Conservation Districts

The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts partnered with SEK CPAs & Advisors to offer a QuickBooks training program to conservation districts. Basic, advanced, and payroll sessions were included in the training. The webinars were held on August 12, September 9, and September 23, 2021.

Support Accountant Supervisor Bonnie Aleshire, and Senior Associate Mandy Walls with SEK CPAs & Advisors taught all three workshops.

Recordings of the webinars can be found on the Pennsylvania Clean Water Academy. (You must be logged in to access.)

Any conservation district staff who work with QuickBooks are encouraged to view the trainings. For more information, please contact Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

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Lehigh County Conservation District Hosts Pesticide Applicators Training

Rich Shearman of SiteOne Landscape Supply demonstrates correct calibration of spray equipment. Photo provided by Lehigh County Conservation District.

Lehigh County Conservation District and Lower Macungie Township partnered to host a daylong training for certified pesticide applicators on September 14, 2021, at the Township’s Community Center.

Forty-two municipal representatives attended, including several townships, boroughs, and county parks. Instruction was provided on the proper choice, mixing, application, and disposal of herbicides and pesticides. Identification and control of common invasive weeds tied into the hands-on demo for correct mixing of herbicides and equipment calibration.

The training also included the latest recommendations for spotted lanternfly remediation, the biology and elimination of mosquitoes, and information on the Department of Environmental Protection’s black fly program. In addition, an update was provided on a long-term research project to determine the prevalence of various tick species and the pathogens they carry in the Greater Lehigh Valley Area.

Municipalities that attended received credit toward their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) training requirements. In addition to the MS4 credits, licensed attendees received PA pesticide applicator credits.

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Dive Deeper Summit Held in Harrisburg and Virtually

(Top left) PACD’s Shannon Wehinger; (top right) Penn State Extension’s Jennifer Fetter welcomes attendees; and (bottom) Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center’s Kristen Koch demonstrates a buffer model at the Dive Deeper 2021 conference.

Formal and non-formal educators convened in Harrisburg on September 23, 2021, for The Dive Deeper Summit. The summit gathers youth water educators in the Mid-Atlantic Region that pairs knowledge and resource sharing with networking opportunities. Attendees could participate in person or virtually this year.

Shannon Wehinger, PACD Director of Communications and Education, and conservation district staff attended the summit. The summit provided ample opportunities to experience hands-on activities to enhance water education.

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