Twenty-six Nonpoint Source Mini-Grant Projects Completed

In the 2020-21 Nonpoint Source Pollution mini-grant round, 26 projects were completed by 20 conservation districts, reaching over 1,460 adults. Click here to see the outcomes and here to see a map of projects completed.

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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Beaver County Conservation District Holds Agricultural Workshops

On May 12, 2021, Jen Linebaugh, Beaver County Conservation District’s Resource Conservationist, discussed with farmers the permits needed for agricultural activities. Photo provided by BCCD.

The Beaver County Conservation District held two agricultural workshops in May. The Agricultural Gathering and Manure Management Plan Writing Workshop were held outside at the district pavilion. Participants learned about grazing and forage management, agricultural erosion and sedimentation, and manure management.

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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Lawrence County Conservation District Installs Dry Creek and Rain Garden

Photo of dry creek provided by Lawrence County Conservation District.

The Lawrence County Conservation District installed a dry creek and rain garden at the South Side Community Garden. The community garden is situated on the site of a demolished elementary school. There are remains of asphalt and concrete just below the grass on a significant portion of the site perimeter. Rain sheet flows much faster than on a typical grassed site and flows over spots that had creosote-soaked railroad tie beds recently removed. The dry creek and rain garden capture that flow and allow it to infiltrate rather than runoff.

The district adapted to COVID-19 restrictions and educated the volunteers and neighbors who help build the dry creek and rain garden with a nonpoint source presentation. The district also created a booklet for homeowners on stormwater management, and an informational sign will be installed at the site.

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 Conservation District Holds Backyard Conservation Workshop

Tricia Mazik gives the introduction and plan for the Backyard Conservation workshop to the attendees. Photo provided by Clarion Conservation District.

Clarion Conservation District held a Backyard Conservation workshop on May 6, 2021. The district had to turn away folks after their maximum number of attendees was exceeded. The workshop topics included edible and pollinator rain gardens, rain barrels, and no-till gardening. The event was held outside at the conservation district office.

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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Westmoreland Conservation District Produces Equine Video Series

Westmoreland Conservation District planned to host a workshop/pasture walk for equine owners. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the project was reimagined as a video series. The conservation district created a three-part video series showing the connection between horse farm practices and water quality and how the use of manure management plans and good pasture management will reduce those impacts.

  • The first video is an introduction to nonpoint source pollution and how horse farms may impact water quality. 
  • The second video walks the viewer through writing their farm’s manure management plan. 
  • The third video discusses the importance of pasture management. 

The videos contain helpful tips and suggested resources that will help horse owners achieve their goals. The videos are available on the Westmoreland Conservation District YouTube channel

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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Snyder County Conservation District Holds Farmers Spring Thaw Meeting

Attendees listen to one of the presentations during the meeting. Photo provided by SCCD.

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held its Farmers Spring Thaw Meeting on April 9, 2021, in the Paxtonville United Methodist Church’s roofed picnic pavilion.

Fifty-six people attended the meeting. Topics included better management of farm soils and manure, updates on Snyder County’s Action Plan, USDA program updates, and protecting water resources while mixing and loading.

Guest presenters from the conservation district, Snyder County Commissioners, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Penn State Extension presented either in person or through recordings.

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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Snyder County Conservation District Hosts Manure Management Workshops

Barry Spangler, Snyder County Conservation District Agricultural Conservation Technician, gives a presentation to farmers about how to write their own manure management plan. Photo provided by SCCD.

Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held four half-day manure management plan writing workshops in October 2020 and March 2021. Thirteen farmers attended.

Barry Spangler, SCCD Agricultural Conservation Technician, gave an overview of the new Manure Management Manual and other agricultural environmental regulations. He gave a step-by-step process of writing manure management plans that meet these new regulations.

Spangler also showed a video demonstrating PAOneStop, a free Penn State-managed website where farmers can create their own maps. 

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 Produces Grazing Video Series

Screenshot of Benefits and Methods of Rotational Grazing video.

Potter County Conservation District planned to bring together local producers for an on-farm field day to demonstrate how rotational gazing can benefit their farm financially and environmentally. However, with COVID-19 restrictions, the format was changed from an in-person field day to a series of rotational grazing videos.

The videos include:

The videos are available on the district YouTube channel

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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$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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