Columbia County Conservation District Says Don’t Flush Meds

Columbia County Conservation District led an outreach campaign to promote local take-back centers for unused medications. The campaign reached, the specific target audience of those over 50, who are more likely to be in possession of unused medications in the home, as well as the general public. The campaign included making two large signs at local parks (pictured), informational fliers, posters for pharmacies, and radio public service announcements.

Financial and other support for this project 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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Franklin County Conservation District Turns First Grade Field Trip Into a Full-Day Event

Over 700 students attended the first grade field trip. Photo provided by Franklin County Conservation District.

The fourth annual Franklin County Conservation District’s First Grade Field Trip saw a big change this year—it went from a half-day event for the students to an all-day event! The conservation district worked with the Chambersburg Area School District to make this field trip a full-day event in response to feedback from teachers. Once again, the event was held at Caledonia State Park over the course of four days, with approximately 700 first graders (from 31 classes across 13 different elementary schools) and 100 adults (teachers and parent chaperones) in attendance.

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Lehigh County Conservation District Holds Poster Contest

The Lehigh County Conservation District’s “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life” Middle School Poster Contest First Place Winner was Kiran Kadewari of Springhouse Middle School.

In mid-May, the Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD) was pleasantly surprised to receive more than 150 poster submissions related to this year’s Conservation District Poster theme: “Healthy Soils are Full of Life”. These many works of art, some depicting curvy worms spelling out “SOIL” and magnified microbes extolling merits of healthy soil, are evidence that conservation and creativity is alive and well-understood among art and science students in the Lehigh Valley!

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Another Great Year for the PA Envirothon

The 34th Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition was held at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown on May 23 and 24, 2017. High school students from 64 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event.

Congratulations to the 5-member team from Penncrest High School, Delaware County, which took top honors. The 2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon champions will represent the Commonwealth at the 29th North American competition planned for July 23-29 at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. More than 46 states, eight Canadian provinces, and one Canadian territory have initiated Envirothon contests based on the program that was originally developed by Pennsylvania’s conservation districts. Best of luck to the Delaware County team this summer.

Congratulations to the Pennsylvania Envirothon Board of Directors and volunteers for another great year!

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PACD Awards Nearly $70,000 to Conservation Districts for Nonpoint Pollution Prevention Educational Projects

This field test kit was created as part of the Perry County Conservation District’s “SCOPE” mini-grant project. Photo taken by Kristie Smith, PCCD Watershed Specialist.

Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts were recently awarded more than $69,840 for 37 projects in 31 counties. The projects promote water pollution prevention activities through the Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place over the next 13 months.

Click here to see a list of projects funded as part of the 2017-18 NPS Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant round. 

Funding for the grants, up to $2,000 each, is provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

 

 

 

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District Educators Attend the PAEE Conference

Tabletop stormwater best management practices demonstration given by Katy DeMent, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse; Mandi Lyon, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Mary Ann Steiner, Steiner Learning Design. Photo by Brittney Coleman.

PACD awarded seven scholarships for conservation district environmental educators to attend the PA Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) Conference March 13-14, 2017, at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center in Sandy Lake, PA.

“It was terrific to participate in a program that included so much diversity in terms of ages of participants/ideas/activities. The conference was well rounded, creative and comprehensive” said Jolie Chylack, the Lehigh County Conservation District’s Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator.

The annual two-day conference featured respected speakers, seminars, workshops, and learning experiences covering a wide range of environmental topics. The scholarships gave district educators the opportunity to learn new techniques, discover the latest tools and materials available to them, and to network with other environmental educators from across the state.

The scholarships were made possible through an Environmental Education Grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

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Agricultural Conservation Technical Training Concludes

There were 28 attendees of the Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Basic Level held March 20-24, 2017 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and affiliates, Farmland Preservation, Department of Environmental Protection, and PACD’s engineering assistance program.

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Staff from 23 Conservation Districts Receive Technical Training

Alaina Vecere, Water Pollution Biologist for the Department of Environmental Protection, discusses the Chapter 105 program on March 22, 2017.

The Spring 102/105 Technical Training – Basic/Refresher session provided concentrated classroom instruction to 42 employees from 23 conservation districts and the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The training session took place March 20-23, 2017, in State College, Centre County.

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Montgomery County Conservation District Drives Change at Golf Courses

Montgomery County Conservation District recently completed their Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant titled, “Montgomery County Golf Course Environmental Education & Outreach.” As part of the project, Agricultural Conservation Specialist Jessica Moldofsky produced a rack card called “The Green: Golf Course Conservation.” In addition to creating one for her county, she also produced one for PACD which any district may reproduce and use. Email swehinger@pacd.org for the full size document or click here for the online version. 

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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Columbia County Conservation District Proves Good Water = Good Coffee

Columbia County Conservation District recently held a well-attended outreach event called, “Good Water = Good Coffee.” Watershed Specialist Heather Almer brought together a chemistry professor, a coffee brewmaster from a local coffee house, and their conservation district staff to participate in a discussion at the Bloomsburg Public Library. The event explored how water chemistry and quality plays a role in the flavor of coffee. Coffee samples were compared using hard water, soft water, and filtered soft water to learn how these elements affect taste.

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