$2,500 Awarded to Conservation Districts to Promote CREP in PA

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded $2,500 for projects in three counties for the 2021 Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Mini-Grants. Conservation districts will use these grants to work with landowners to prevent pollution in our streams, lakes, and rivers. Projects will take place until June 2021 and will be virtual events or mailings.

The following conservation districts were awarded up to $1,000 as part of the 2021 CREP mini-grant round:

Cameron       $500
Indiana         $1,000
Lycoming      $1,000

Projects include postcards, brochures, fact sheets, webinars, and videos. Participants can ask questions about the CREP program and learn how to maintain land already in the program.

The CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by PACD through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Additional support is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Click here for more information on the CREP program: https://www.creppa.org. You can also follow CREP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/creppa.org.

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Rain Barrel Workshop

Lebanon County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Stephanie Harmon (right) helps a participant load their rain barrel into their vehicle.

The Lebanon County Conservation District (LCCD) Watershed Specialist Stephanie Harmon held a virtual workshop on non-point source pollution via a PowerPoint presentation. Participants were introduced to the concepts of water quality, quantity, and how homeowners can help minimize non-point source (NPS) pollution in and around their own homes.

Through this grant, twenty-four rain barrels were purchased and distributed to workshop participants. Rain barrel pick-up was held from April 1-2, 2021, at the Lebanon Valley Agricultural Center. Pick-ups were scheduled in 15-minute intervals to implement proper social distancing due to the Coronavirus and current CDC guidelines.

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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Lehigh County Conservation District Holds Successful Virtual Rain Barrel Workshop

Sue Sampson of Lehigh County Authority (left) and Laura Hopek of Lehigh County Conservation District distribute rain barrels during a contactless pick-up event on a beautiful Saturday morning.

On March 13, 2021, the Lehigh County Conservation District, in partnership with the Penn State Extension and Lehigh County Authority, provided a virtual presentation to 50 homeowners residing in Allentown on rain barrels and the importance of managing stormwater runoff.

Each participant received their FREE rain barrel, accessories, and informational brochures the following week at a contactless pick-up event. Partners will reach out to participants in the next weeks to ensure that barrels have been installed correctly. A gallery of painted barrels will be shared with participants.

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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CREP Mini-grant Application Deadline Extended!

PACD is accepting mini-grant applications up to $1,000 (increased from $500) to implement virtual educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment and/or CREP maintenance.

The application deadline is April 9, 2021.

Project examples include virtual meetings or workshops, educational videos, educational publications, postcards, and fact sheets.

The guidelines and application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts are posted here. Questions should be directed to Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

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.

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Thirty-eight Pollution Prevention Projects Funded through NPS Mini-grant Program

Chester County Conservation District’s Municipal Workshop project (funded in the 2020-21 NPS mini-grant round) includes a rain garden.

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded over $60,000. With this funding, thirty-eight pollution reduction projects will take place in twenty-seven counties. These projects promote water pollution prevention activities through the Non-point Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place through May 2022.

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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A description of the projects funded in the past is available at www.pacd.org under the Education tab.

Click here for the list with summaries of 2021-22 NPS Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant projects and here for the press release. 

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New, Short Round of CREP Mini-grants Now Accepting Applications

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $500 to implement virtual educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment, and/or CREP maintenance.

The guidelines and application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts are posted here. Questions should be directed to PACD Program Manager Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

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.

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Armstrong Conservation District Holds Municipal Workshop

Pictured are Gregg Smith, Resource Conservationist DGLVR (left), and Ken Blake, Mahoning Township Supervisor. Photo provided by Armstrong County Conservation District.

The Armstrong Conservation District held a workshop for municipal officials on December 15, 2020. Thirty-nine municipal officials representing fifteen municipalities attended the workshop. Topics included stormwater management ordinances; dirt, gravel, and low volume road program (DGLVR) updates; MS4 permit requirements; and meeting MS4 compliance using environmentally sensitive maintenance practices on DGLVR and watershed restoration efforts.

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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Perry County Conservation District Holds Field Day & Launches Podcast

Photo provided by Perry County Conservation District.

On August 7, 2020, the Perry County Conservation District held an equipment demo day. A diverse audience of farmers attended, ranging from those concerned about soil health to farmers who use 100% tillage. Demonstrations included soil disturbance by running a grain drill and no-till equipment.A rainfall simulator was shared, and many conversations were started about erosion versus the ability to get the seed in the ground in less than ideal conditions.

The district also created a podcast to facilitate sharing farmers’ success stories to create a positive culture around conservation. Click here to listen to the “Carefully Cultivated” podcast, which currently has 11 episodes!

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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$60,000 Available for 2021-22 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 January 29, 2021. Click here for the online application and more information. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.  

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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Template Signage Available

PACD received a PA Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education grant for Template Watershed Signage. This project aims to provide templates for conservation districts to use for interpretative signage to educate the public on completed stream restoration projects. Draft versions of the signs were shown to the watershed specialists during their annual meeting in October.

The templates are complete and now available at this link. The topics are vegetative buffers, fish structures, and macroinvertebrates. The templates are in Publisher so districts can insert their logo, update the URL and phone number, and swap out photos.

Districts may apply for the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant program (see above) to create a sign using the templates. Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org about what should be included in this type of application.

Thanks to Tammy Piper at Franklin County Conservation District for partnering with PACD on this project.

Financial and other support for this signage has been provided by the Department of Environmental Protection’s 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program.

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