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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PACD Announces State Level Winners of NACD Poster Contest

Leah Hartman’s poster (Carbon County) is pictured.

PACD announces the five state-level winners of the National Association of Conservation District’s 2019 “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper” poster contest.

The winners in each category are:

K-1 Leah Hartman – Carbon County
2-3 Tvisha Jani – Delaware County
4-6 Karlee Dwyer – Delaware County
7-9 Marializ Jordan – Delaware County
10-12 Makenna Bankes – Carbon County

Best wishes to the state level winners in the upcoming national judging competition. For more information about the NACD poster contest, visit http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-and-education-materials/contests/.

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Register for the CPESC Review Course and Exam – Lebanon, PA

Discount available for conservation district staff

The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) is co-hosting a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) Review Course on September 3, 2019. The exam will be September 4, 2019. Both the review course and exam will take place at the Lebanon County Conservation District Office, 2120 Cornwall Rd., Lebanon, PA.

The CPESC certification is a professional designation for erosion and sedimentation technicians, engineers, and other specialists involved in design, construction, inspection or other aspects of erosion and sedimentation control. If you have not yet started the CPESC certification process, we recommend you go to the Envirocert International, Inc. website and review the requirements and process now.

The review course is designed to ensure CPESC applicants understand what concepts will be covered by the exam and acts as a review for most of those concepts. Note that there is special pricing for PA conservation district staff for the review course. The cost is $175 for conservation district employees and $365 for everyone else. The exam fee is $150. Before registering, contact Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org or 717-238-7223 x104 for a district staff discount code or with any questions.

Click here for the registration link and here with instructions on how to register.

The review course is open to anyone including conservation districts, agency staff, or private companies, who is actively pursuing a CPESC certification through EnviroCert International, Inc. Please pass this information along to anyone who may be interested.

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Ag Progress Days 2019: Volunteers Needed

Please consider volunteering at the Conservation District Exhibit at the Penn State’s 2019 Ag Progress Days.

Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA, and features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.

About 60% of the 45,000 expected to attend are actively engaged in agriculture or related activities. With so many farming families from across Pennsylvania at this event, it’s a great opportunity to call attention to the work and programs districts do.

This year’s event will be held August 13-15, 2019. Volunteers are needed for the shifts listed below. Send your name and contact information to jmcnamara@pacd.org or call 717-238-7223 with questions or to schedule your shift.

Tuesday, Aug. 13:     9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (1 volunteer needed)

Tuesday, Aug. 13:     1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Wednesday, Aug. 14: 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Wednesday, Aug. 14: 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Wednesday, Aug. 14: 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Thursday, Aug. 15:   9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Thursday, Aug. 15:   1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m (1 volunteer needed)

A final volunteer schedule, parking passes, and other show information will be sent to volunteers when available. For more information on Ag Progress Days go to the event website at http://agsci.psu.edu/apd.

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2019 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training

By Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist

Students exploring soil properties in Lebanon County. Photo provided by Stephanie Harmon.

On March 12, 2019, a chilly day with hints of spring, ninety energetic middle and high school Envirothon students from Lebanon County school districts, including Cornwall-Lebanon, Eastern Lebanon County, Lebanon, Myerstown Enrichment, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra got their hands dirty at Soils Training at the Lebanon Expo Center.

The training was hosted by the Lebanon County Conservation District and coordinated by Watershed Specialist and Lebanon County Envirothon Coordinator, Stephanie Harmon. Special guest instructors included the following USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff: Resource Soil Scientist John Chibirka, Assistant State Conservationist Charlie Hanner, and Soil Conservationist Lindsey Bream.

The training began with a presentation on the basics of soils components, understanding maps, surveys and landforms, land use, decision making, protection, and the importance of understanding soils. John used his whimsical personality to charm and excite students about the varied importances of soil characteristics and features.

After the presentation, students rotated through two stations where they (literally) got their hands dirty by practicing the “Soil Texture by Feel” method and reading a soil textural triangle to determine the classification of two different soil samples. Additionally, students reviewed differences in soil colors and practiced how to read the color scientifically, using a “Munsell color book” (a book of color chips that follow the Munsell System of Color Notation) as used by soil scientists. Finally, students were provided an introduction and history of topographical maps and practiced reading and measuring contour lines and understanding the many different features of topographical maps.

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Conservation Districts Represented at Riparian Buffer Summit

Pike County Conservation District Executive Director Michele Long (left), and PACD Program Manager Amy Brown attended the Riparian Buffer Summit in Harrisburg February 20-21, 2019. The event was hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Photo provided by Michele Long.

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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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