Indiana County Conservation District Hosts CREP Workshops and Field Day

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

This summer the Indiana County Conservation District (District) was awarded a CREP mini-grant to work with and educate landowners about stream buffer planting and weed maintenance on local CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) land. The ultimate goal is to prevent pollution and improve water quality in our local streams, lakes, and rivers. The District used these grant funds to participate in multiple events as public educational opportunities, in addition to holding two workshops and one field day. These events focused on explaining the financial and environmental benefits of the CREP program. Through this grant, the District reached over 500 landowners with educational materials and hosted nearly 40 attendees at workshop and field day events. Attendees were educated on the identification and maintenance of noxious and invasive weed species, as well as the benefits of stream buffers and how to successfully plant them.
DEP left-rgb 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.
   

Continue Reading No Comments

Beaver County Conservation District Holds Soil Health and Cover Crop Event

District Conservationist Andy Gaver digs into a hay field and discusses what healthy soil should look and feel like. Photo submitted by Beaver County Conservation District.

District Conservationist Andy Gaver digs into a hay field and discusses what healthy soil should look and feel like. Photo submitted by Beaver County Conservation District.

Fourteen farmers spent the evening learning about soil health and cover crops at Fischer’s Windy Ridge Dairy in Fombell, Beaver County, on August 12, 2016. The event was hosted by Andy Gaver, District Conservationist at USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Jeff Leindecker, Agriculture Conservationist at Beaver County Conservation District. After a soil health demonstration, attendees were taken to a perennial hay field to see what healthy soil looks like. Several holes were dug and plant/root clumps were passed around for observation. “Healthy soil aggregates should resemble cottage cheese,” commented Andy Gaver. Once attendees had a good feel for healthy soil, the group moved to a 5 acre long-season multi-species cover crop. The field had a history of heavy tillage and the surface soil structure was completely degraded. After two months in cover, improved soil aggregate stability was observed and rainfall infiltration saw an inch of simulated rainfall infiltrate in less than two minutes. Before planting the cover crop, it took more than ten minutes for an inch of simulated rainfall to infiltrate. Financial and other support for this field day provided by: Fischer’s Windy Ridge Dairy, Deerfield Farms Service, Inc., Progressive Dairy Systems, King’s AgriSeeds, Beaver County Conservation District, and USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service.  

Continue Reading No Comments

State Level Poster Contest Winners Announced

The 4th-6th grade winner in the state level poster contest was submitted by Sreekethav Vaka of Delaware County.

The 4th-6th grade winner in the state level poster contest was submitted by Sreekethav Vaka of Delaware County.

PACD and the PACD Auxiliary are pleased to announce the five state level winners of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) 2016 “We All Need Trees” poster contest. The winners in each age category are:
  • K – 1st Grade: Sabrina Ibragimova, Berks County
  • 2nd – 3rd Grade: Shricharan Ilayanambi, Delaware County
  • 4th – 6th Grade: Sreekethav Vaka, Delaware County
  • 7th – 9th Grade: Mara Yahner, Cambria County
  • 10th – 12th Grade: Shaianne Perkins, Carbon County
To promote the importance of trees, students from kindergarten through twelfth grades entered posters conveying their thoughts and ideas through original artwork. Submissions were judged based on the entry’s conservation message, visual effectiveness, originality, and universal appeal. PACD thanks all of the participants in the contest for their interest and dedication to conservation. 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.  

Continue Reading No Comments

Susquehanna County Conservation District Hosts Trip to Stroud Water Research Center

Submitted by Susquehanna County Conservation District
Students from Susquehanna County test water quality at the Stroud Water Research Center. Photos provided by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

Students from Susquehanna County test water quality at the Stroud Water Research Center. Photos provided by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

The Susquehanna County Conservation District hosted a trip to Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, PA, for the Susquehanna County Envirothon’s first, second, and third place students. Students from Blue Ridge and Susquehanna Community High Schools were given a tour of the research center and hands-on interaction in the outdoor classroom. Students used LaMotte kits to measure nitrogen, pH, water temperature, and velocity in the White Clay Creek where they put their knowledge to work. Students got to see one of the longest monitored streams in the United States, the White Clay Creek. Thank you to everyone who came out and made it a great day for the students. We look forward to next year’s trip!

Continue Reading No Comments

Manager’s Summit Attracts 60 to State College

The management summit took place in State College June 7-8. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

The management summit took place in State College June 7-8. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

The PA Leadership Development Committee held a Manager’s Summit June 7-8, 2016 in State College. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended both days of the meeting and PACD Executive Assistant & Meeting Planner Molly Burns attended the first day. Over 60 attendees enjoyed presentations and discussion on topics such as developing an effective board, building a winning district team, and more.

Continue Reading No Comments

Montgomery County Hosts 2016 Envirothon and BioBlitz

Submitted by Krista Scheirer, Watershed Specialist, Montgomery County Conservation District
Students using a GPS camera unit to record a species during the BioBlitz.  Photo Credit: Jen Isett. Photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

Students using a GPS camera unit to record a species during the BioBlitz. Photo Credit: Jen Isett. Photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

The Montgomery County Conservation District hosted three Envirothon events this spring in an effort to provide free environmental education for local students. Approximately 300 students participated in the events, which were held for the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. The middle school students also took part in a National Geographic BioBlitz, which is an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. “In about an hour altogether, the students found 34 unique species. Kristin Byers, from the PA Alliance for Geographic Education, led a station at our middle school event, where students used GPS units to take photos of as many species as they could find. In total, they made 242 observations. This exploration was exciting to watch and really engaging for the students. After the event, the photos were uploaded to iNaturalist, an app that helps to identify the species,” said Krista Scheirer, Montgomery County Conservation District Watershed Specialist. Click here for the project page, which includes the results of the BioBlitz. Click here to read the full press release on the event.  

Continue Reading No Comments

Franklin County Conservation District Hosts First Grade Field Trip

FranklinFieldTrip

First grade students look for macroinvertebrates during their field trip hosted by the Franklin County Conservation District (FCCD). Photo provided by FCCD.

For the third year in a row, the Franklin County Conservation District hosted a field trip at Caledonia State Park for all of the first graders in the Chambersburg Area School District. There were approximately 688 first graders from 31 classes at 12 different elementary schools in the district. Click here to read more.

Continue Reading No Comments