New Round of CREP Mini-grants Now Accepting Applications

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $2,500 to implement 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 Amy Brown at abrown@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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Westmoreland Conservation District Holds Municipal Roundtable


Scott Hilty and Emily Mallisee of Murrysville take a riparian buffer education sign designed by the district. 

The Westmoreland Conservation District held a successful “No-Mow” Riparian Buffer Education Project as part of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Program. Fifty people, representing 20 municipalities, attended the annual Municipal Roundtable held in late January at the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center. Attendees learned about stormwater issues, riparian buffers, mosquito habitat controls, and permitting. Attendees were invited to take no-mow signs with them to install in their new or existing riparian buffers.

Click here for more pictures of the municipal roundtable.

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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Clarion Hosts Non-Point Source Pollution Impact Tour

The second stop on the tour was Longacres Potato Farm. Tour attendees saw potato sorting and spoke to the owner about conservation practices on the farm. Photo provided by Clarion County Conservation District.

On October 25, 2018, the Clarion County Conservation District hosted a field tour on the impacts of nonpoint source pollution. There were four stops on the tour, including an acid mine drainage passive treatment system, a potato farm, a dirt and gravel road project site, and the construction site of a new office for the Cook Forest State Park.

Attendees included elected officials and district board members. The tour highlighted past and future nonpoint source pollution projects that will improve 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.

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Bedford County Conservation District Conducts Project for Homeowners

The conservation district had an educational booth for homeowners on August 8, 2018, at the Bedford County Farmers Market. Photo provided by Bedford County Conservation District.

Bedford County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Prevention Educational Mini-grant to conduct a project for homeowners. The “Homeowners Practices to Minimize NPS Pollution” project provided education at a variety of events in the county, such as the county fair, farmers market, and the home and garden club. Rain barrels were also distributed as part of the 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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New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$60,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts

Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), conservation districts are eligible for mini-grants (up to $1,500) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would help farmers understand requirements and lead to the development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion and sedimentation plan. Districts are encouraged to use these mini-grant funds to market to and train private consultants (including certified crop advisors, seed/fertilizer salespeople, etc.) to help their clients write manure management plans.

Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. You should hear within a week if your project is approved for funding. Please note that there is limited funding available for this round and mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This grant will pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis.

The mini-grant application and guidelines are available here.  The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019 (or until all funds are allocated). Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 28, 2019. No extensions will be granted. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants.

Please note that there will not be any more “train the trainer” workshops. Instead, the PA Department of Environmental Protection is working with Penn State Extension staff to create web-based training for district staff to access as needed.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

 

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McKean County Conservation District Holds Streamside Stewardship Workshop

Streamside Stewardship Workshop participants view an agricultural stream crossing and adjacent streambank stabilization structures on the tour at S & D Farms. These best management practices significantly reduce pollution from sedimentation in the watershed and protect stream banks. Photo provided by McKean County Conservation District.

McKean County Conservation District held a Streamside Stewardship Workshop on October 20, 2018. The workshop was for landowners with a stream on their property. Participants learned about practices and tools to improve stream riparian areas and reduce non-point source pollution in local streams. Topics included  tree planting tips for successful riparian buffers, identifying invasive plants, and a demonstration of practices for healthy streams.

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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Indiana Holds Grazing Field Day

Landowner Dave Pounds explains how he uses his heavy use area to manage forage in his rotational grazing system at the October Southwest Project Grass Field Day and Pasture Walk hosted by the Indiana County Conservation District. Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

As part of the Indiana County Conservation District’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant project, the district hosted over 40 attendees at a field day and pasture walk. Attendees learned about conservation practices to implement on agricultural land.

The field day was hosted at the Dave Pounds Farm where rotational grazing, no-till renovation of pastures, and other best management practices were showcased. Speakers included J.B. Harrold, Southwest regional USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grazing specialist, and Dr. Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics.

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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Butler Completes Storm Drain Stenciling and Marker Program

Photo of stencil provided by Butler County Conservation District.

During the 2017-18 round of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program, Butler County Conservation District (BCCD) received a $1,913 grant for stormwater education.

BCCD produced and distributed storm drain educational brochures and stenciled storm drains in three housing developments in Buffalo Township. Working with the homeowners associations, the district held an event where homeowners and family members helped with the storm drain stenciling. Educational brochures were also distributed to these neighborhoods.

BCCD also marked 30 storm drains on Main Street in Saxonburg where many events are held each year. The project increased the community’s knowledge about nonpoint source pollution and the steps they can take to reduce it.

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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Elk County Conservation District Holds Successful Agriculture Tour with Unique Twist

Hops at Hoffman Appalachian Farm. Photo provided by ECCD.

By Kelsey Kilhoffer, Resource Conservation Technician, Elk County Conservation District

On August 14, 2018, the Elk County Conservation District (ECCD) held a successful Agriculture Bus Tour. Twenty-six attendees toured Hoffman Appalachian Farm, Straub Brewery, and Chocolate Drop Farm, all located in St. Marys, PA.

At Hoffman Appalachian Farm, owner Joshua Brock gave a tour of his hop farm and explained the hop growing process. Brock plans to implement a solar powered irrigation system that utilizes the capture and reuse of rain water. The tour continued at Straub Brewery where George Hasselman gave a very informative overview of the facility’s history and brewing process. The tour wrapped up at Chocolate Drop Farm, owned by John and Sylvia Straub. They feed the spent grain from Straub’s brewing process to their 17 Hereford beef cattle. They also practice rotational grazing. This has greatly minimized any heavy use areas on their property, reducing nutrient runoff. It was fascinating to see the process from beginning to end. From the growing of the crops, to production, to use of the spent grains, each phase was uniquely interesting.

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.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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Dauphin County Conservation District Holds Stormwater Management Workshop

Photo of the workshop was provided by Dauphin County Conservation District.

The Dauphin County Conservation District held a “Stormwater Management and Control for Your Home” workshop on August 4 at Londonderry Township. The workshop included a presentation on general nonpoint source pollution, stormwater basics, and low impact development strategies. This was followed by an demonstration on stormwater and how low impact development works to reduce stormwater runoff. Finally, participants were give rain barrels to take home for use on their properties.

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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