Snyder County Conservation District Holds Farmer Meeting

Snyder County’s annual Farmers Meeting was held on February 14, 2020. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held its annual Farmers Winter Meeting on Friday, February 14, 2020, near Selinsgrove.

Ninety-six people attended the meeting. Topics presented during the meeting included understanding the science and the practical application of soil health on your farms, U.S. Department of Agriculture updates, the PA Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) tax credit program, repairing and maintaining farm lanes, and the SCCD’s stream buffer program.

Guest speakers came from the farming community, PA No-Till Alliance, Stroud Water Resource Center, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, PA State Conservation Commission, Penn State Center for Dirt & Gravel Roads Studies, SCCD, and Penn State Extension.

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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Jefferson, Clarion and Armstrong Conservation Districts Hold Workshop for Foresters

Alicia Ramsey, E&S/DGLVR Technician for the Clarion Conservation District presents during the workshop.

On January 9, 2020, Jefferson Conservation District hosted an “Erosion and Sedimentation Control in our Forests” Workshop for foresters, loggers and contractors at the Cobblestone Inn in Punxsutawney.

Presenters from Bureau of Forestry, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Armstrong Conservation District, Clarion Conservation District and Jefferson Conservation District provided attendees with a wide variety of information about topics including erosion and sedimentation control, Chapter 105 regulations, invasive plant species and ticks, fish and boat regulations, and insects and forest health.

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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Over $67,000 Awarded to Conservation Districts through Nonpoint Source Mini-grant Program

The Northampton County Conservation District held an Act 48 workshop, Agriculture and You, to educate teachers as part of their 2019-20 NPS mini-grant project.

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded over $67,000 for forty-one pollution reduction projects in twenty-nine counties. These projects educate adults on water pollution prevention. Projects are funded through the Non-point Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place over the next year.

Click here to read the entire press release and here for a summary of funded projects. 

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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Lawrence County Conservation District Creates Edible Rain Garden

The rain garden is planted and mulched. Photo provided by Lawrence County Conservation District.

The Lawrence County Conservation District (LCCD) created an edible rain garden for their 2019-20 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant Project.

LCCD Watershed Specialist Mary Burris installed an edible rain garden at the Lower East Side Community Garden in conjunction with the Lower East Side Neighborhood Watch, Tri-County CleanWays, and DON Enterprises. Columbia Gas also provided volunteer labor and heavy machinery.

The community garden feeds more than 50 families, and the edible rain garden will supply blueberries, elderberries, Aronia berries, strawberries, and rhubarb. The rain garden also serves as a stormwater best management practice to catch and slow runoff and will provide a location for education programs.

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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Armstrong Conservation District Holds Stormwater Management Workshop

A stormwater workshop was held in October at the Armstrong Conservation District. Photo provided by Armstrong Conservation District.

On October 28, 2019, the Armstrong Conservation District held a stormwater workshop. Thirty-five attendees attended the workshop. As part of the project, the district distributed thirty-two rain barrels, produced a stormwater sign, and created a rain barrel demonstration area at the conservation district office.

This project was funded by a PA Department of Environmental Protection environmental education grant and a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant through PACD.

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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$60,000 Available for 2020-21 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continuing to support conservation district educational projects, PACD is ready to open a new round of Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grants!

Grants up to $2,000 are awarded to conservation districts for adult educational projects that offer strategies for reducing and preventing NPS Pollution. Projects should stimulate a local awareness of water quality issues, promote the theme “We All Live Downstream,” and encourage citizen participation in activities to improve water quality in local watersheds.

The deadline for NPS mini-grant applications is March 2, 2020. Click here for the online application and more information. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger

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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The Work-Free Zone (Garden)

Photo provided by BCCD.

By: Kevin Brown, Ag. Resource Specialist, Bradford County Conservation District

Yes, that’s what I said, a garden that takes no work. This is a picture of our garden here at the office. I mulched it, planted it, spent maybe 15 minutes (total) weeding it at different times, and am now harvesting it. I know there are a lot of non-believers out there. My wife said it wouldn’t work. My co-workers said it wouldn’t work and wanted to know who was going to be the one spending the time needed to weed and water it. My response was, “If it works the way it’s supposed to, no one.” Even my mother said that when she read the first gardening article I wrote, “I couldn’t believe your name was associated with it. You never wanted anything to do with a garden.” And she’s right. I still don’t. But voilà! Here we are. I can handle a garden if I don’t have to do anything to make it a garden. Doesn’t everyone like to have super fresh vegetables if all they have to do is pick them? Well, you can.

Click here to read the entire article and here to read a news piece on the project. 

This workshop is part of the Bradford County Education & Outreach Mini-grant Project.

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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Pike County Conservation District Completes Bioswale Project

Photo provided by the Pike County Conservation District.

In August, the Pike County Conservation District refurbished a bioswale on the district’s property as part of their Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Project. The bioswale filters and slows down the movement of stormwater runoff. (What is the difference between the bioswale and a rain garden? Click here to find out.)

An educational sign was installed to teach the public how the bioswale functions and the positive effect this type of installment can have on local water resources. The district plans to use the site as a demonstration area for future educational programs.

The sign is available on the Educational Events Sample Materials page on the PACD website. Click here to view the sample materials from previously funded mini-grant projects. Districts are encouraged to use these materials for their own activities rather than starting from scratch.

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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Northampton County Conservation District Holds Teacher Workshop

Northampton County Conservation District’s Act 48 teacher workshop visits Kline Farm’s cheese operation. Photo provided by NCCD.

The Northampton County Conservation District held an Act 48 workshop, Agriculture and You, to educate teachers. The teachers were able to observe agricultural practices that improve water quality. The program introduced local educators to nutrient and manure management, non-point source pollution control, and environmental conservation practices implemented on Lehigh Valley farms.

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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Potter County Conservation District Features Grazing Trial Kit during Field Day

Tim Elder with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service talks about rotational grazing to the group of farmers before heading out to the pasture. Photo provided by PCCD.

Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) brought together local producers this summer to demonstrate how rotational grazing can benefit their farm both financially and environmentally. First, the district selected a farm to use rotational grazing equipment to demonstrate the benefits of rotational grazing management.

PCCD then partnered with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Penn State Extension to develop a grazing plan for the selected farm. They took representative soil samples to test the biological activity of continuously grazed and rotationally grazed pastures with the same soil type. This information was presented during the field day.

Essential supplies for a grazing kit were purchased, including temporary fence, reels, posts, and automatic gate (Batt-Latch). The kit was given to the selected beef farmer in early July to install. On August 28, 2019, a field day was held at the farm to showcase the project and to discuss the benefits and challenges of rotational grazing.

In the future, another farmer that has an interest in this management style will be selected to use the grazing kit.

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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