Northampton County Conservation District Holds Stream Workshop for Teachers

Teachers look at macroinvertebrates they collected. Photo provided by Northampton County Conservation District.

Northampton County Conservation District held a workshop for teachers titled “FUNdamentals of Stream Ecology.” The workshop focused on methods to assess the water quality of a stream via visual and biological assessment (kick seines, d-frames, and leaf packs) and identification of nonpoint source pollution issues by comparing two stream types (urban, natural). The attending educators were introduced to the terminology associated with stream ecology and were provided information, literature, and techniques to be applied in their classrooms.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Snyder County Conservation District Holds Soil Health Toolbox Field Day

Lisa Blazure Soil Health Coordinator, Stroud Water Research Center, gave a presentation about, until recently, the mostly unrecognized soil biology that works cooperatively with plants to extract soil nutrients and soil matter more effectively. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held a Soil Health Toolbox Field Day event on BDS Farms in Beaver Springs on November 10, 2021. Thirty-nine farmers, consultants, and conservationists attended this field day.

Farmers learned about:

  • How their farm’s “soil herd” can work for them.
  • Improved soil health can minimize soil and nutrient losses.
  • Various cover crop mixes and establishment practices.
  • How better soil health can improve soil water infiltration and resistance to erosion.

Click here to read more. 

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Centre County Conservation District Holds Homeowner Workshop

(Left to right): Tyler Fox, Centre County Conservation District Chesapeake Bay Technician Allyson Ulsh, and Isaac Nulton. Tyler and Isaac are interns with the Agriculture and Environment Center at Penn State who helped present at the workshop for presentation experience.

Centre County Conservation District held a workshop on November 3, 2021, in Bellefonte, PA. The workshop focused on educating homeowners on local water quality issues. This was an excellent opportunity for the district to have open dialogue and foster relationships within the residential community. Attendees left with a better understanding of local water quality issues, stormwater management practices, and resources to manage stormwater on their property.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

$40,000 Available for 2021-22 “Bonus Round” Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

PACD opened a “bonus” round of Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grants! Grants up to $2,500 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to conservation districts for adult educational projects that offer strategies for reducing and preventing NPS Pollution. Notifications will be made on a rolling basis so projects can start as soon as possible. Projects will need to be completed in enough time to submit a final report by May 6, 2022.

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 December 31, 2021, or until funds are allocated. Click here for the online application and more information.

PACD still plans to open the 2022-23 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant round in January 2022. Final reports for the January 2022 round will be due May 2023. $60,000 will be available, however, the grant amount will be up to $2,000 per project. Districts may apply for both rounds. There is no limit to the number of applications a conservation district may submit.

Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

Continue Reading No Comments

$10,000 Available for 2021-22 Stormwater Training Video Mini-Grant Program for Conservation Districts

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s continuing support of conservation district educational projects, PACD is ready to open a round of Stormwater Training Video Mini-grants!

Conservation district staff are a great resource. We are looking to share your expertise and offer five mini-grants up to $2,000 for districts to develop content. Conservation districts will use grant funds to develop instructional videos on the operation and maintenance needs of a specific best management practice (BMP) for MS4 permittees. BMP types prioritized for funding are: detention basins and extended detention basins, rain gardens/bioretention basins, infiltration basins, and vegetated swales.

Only one mini-grant will be awarded per BMP. Mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Conservation districts may apply for more than one mini-grant, but preference will be given to districts who have not been awarded a mini-grant.

To apply for funding, simply email Nick Yeagy your preferred BMP(s) along with alternates in case your first choice was already awarded. Applications will be accepted until November 17, 2021, or all five mini-grants are awarded, whichever comes first. Click here for more information. 

Financial and other support for the Stormwater Training Video Mini-Grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Continue Reading No Comments

Juniata County Conservation District Holds Field Day

NRCS District Conservationist Melissa Erdman presents soil health buckets during a workshop. Photo provided by Juniata County Conservation District.

During the Buckets of Benefits Field Day held on August 18, 2021, at Greenbar Farms, LLC, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Melissa Erdman instructed local farmers in using the contents of two soil health buckets presented by Juniata County Conservation District.

Soil health buckets contain nutrient test and soil health analysis kits, soil thermometers, penetrometers, soil probes, materials to conduct infiltration tests, and more. Buckets are available for agricultural testing with technical support at no cost to the farmer.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Erosion Control in Our Forests Workshop Held in Potter County

Group photo in the upper right: (left to right): Chuck Coup, SFI Program Manager; Jason Childs, PCCD Manager; Andrew Mickey, PCCD Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Specialist; Sherry Dunmire, McKean County Conservation District Resource Conservationist; Maddie Stanisch, McKean County Conservation District Resource Conservationist (front row); Ryan Grimm, Elk County Conservation District (ECCD) Resource Conservationist (back row); Victoria Challingsworth, ECCD Resource Conservationist; Micaela Lefever, ECCD Watershed Technician; Scott Moore, Tioga Co Resource Conservationist; Glenn Dunn, PCCD Resource Conservationist; Eric Monger, DCNR Bureau of Forestry Service Forester.

On Friday, October 8, 2021, the Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) hosted “Erosion Control in Our Forests”–a Sustainable Forestry Initiative workshop for foresters, loggers, logging contractors, and private forest landowners.

Held at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and on-field sites within the Susquehannock Forest, the event provided Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Society of American Foresters (SAF) credits. The workshop was held with the support and expertise of several speakers and organizations, including the PA Department of Agriculture, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, and Elk, McKean, Cameron, and Tioga County Conservation Districts.

In total, 51 attendees participated. Topics covered included erosion prevention/102/105 permitting, planning harvests, stream crossings, and post-timbering best management practices.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Elk County Conservation District Holds AMD Tour

Eli Long from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy leads the Cherry Run AMD site tour. Photo provided by Elk County Conservation District.

In August, the Elk County Conservation District held an acid mine drainage (AMD) educational workshop and site tour in Force, PA. Topics during the workshop included how AMD forms, how it is remediated, and an experiment for participants on to “Make their own AMD.”  A tour of a local site followed.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Jefferson County Conservation District Holds Rain Barrel Workshop

Watershed Specialist Evan DeLong standing next to installed rain barrel and sign by the Jefferson County Conservation District office.

In June, Jefferson County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant to hold their first-ever rain barrel workshop. The district educated over 13 participants about the importance of nonpoint source pollution, water conservation, and water quality.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments

Cumberland County Conservation District Holds Rain Garden Workshop

Photo of rain garden workshop provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

At the Upper Allen Township’s annual stormwater workshop on May 20, 2021, residents had the opportunity to learn how to design, install, and maintain a rain garden.

The workshop included presentations on “Local Watersheds in Cumberland County” by Lori Glace with Cumberland County Conservation District, and “How to Construct Rain Gardens” by Andy Yencha with Penn State Extension. The workshop ended with a live demonstration of planting a rain garden at the Upper Allen Township municipal building.

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.

Continue Reading No Comments