Ribbon Cutting Held in Luzerne County for $325,000 Growing Greener Grant Project

Submitted by Jennifer Lauri, Conservation Specialist, Luzerne Conservation District

Photo provided by Luzerne Conservation District.

On Saturday June 8, 2019, The Lands at Hillside Farms held an official unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dr. Doug Ayers Dairy Barn, a two-year project. Amy Brown, formerly with the Luzerne Conservation District (now Program Manager at PACD) originally approached the farm with an idea for a Growing Greener Grant.

The community, donors, conservation district staff, staff from The Lands at Hillside Farms, and members of the press gathered on June 8. Attendees toured the new 15,000 square foot facility.

The Lands at Hillside Farms has worked with the Luzerne Conservation District in the past to plant hundreds of trees along the stream on the farm. The farm has also installed a rain garden, a green parking lot to reduce the amount of impervious surface, and bird boxes all around the property to control the pests.

The total contribution from the Luzerne Conservation District, through a DEP Growing Greener Grant, was $325,000.

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Franklin County Conservation District Holds Sixth Annual First Grade Field Trip

Submitted by Jennifer Bratthauar, Ag Conservation Technician, Franklin County Conservation District

Identifying macroinvertebrates. Photo provided by Franklin County Conservation District.

For the sixth year, the Franklin County Conservation District hosted the First Grade Field Trip at Caledonia State Park on April 30, May 1, May 14 and May 15. This year’s field trip included a variety of educational stations including agriculture, wildlife, water quality (macroinvertebrates and runoff), dairy, forestry and a nature trail scavenger hunt. Approximately 712 first graders from 32 classes across 13 different elementary schools attended.

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Chester County Conservation District Holds New Director and Employee Tour

Submitted by Chester County Conservation District

Mushroom photo provided by Chester County Conservation District. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sprenkle.

On the morning of June 5, 2019, Chester County Conservation District board members, employees, and representatives from the American Farmland Trust, Chester County Commissioners’ Office, National Fish and Wildlife Federation, and William Penn Foundation had the opportunity to visit two sites where BMPs have been installed with the assistance of the conservation district.

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Pike County Conservation District Holds Municipal Lunch and Learn

Bob Myers, Shohola Township; Penney Luhrs, Milford Township; Cheryl Schmitt, Porter Township; JoAnn Rose, Palmyra Township and PCCD Associate Director; Krista Predmore, Delaware Township; Joanna Donahue, Blooming Grove Township; Ken Coutts, Palmyra Township and PCCD Director; Michele Long, PCCD Executive Director; Ellen Enslin, PCCD Senior Resource Conservationist; Chris Ingulli, PCCD Administrative Manager; Stanley Whittaker, Lehman Township; Jerry Dotey, Westfall Township; George Schmitt, Porter Township; Nick Mazza, Blooming Grove Township; Tim Rohner, Lehman Township; Bill Schneider, Westfall Township; Mike Mrozinski, Pike County Planning Director.

Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) hosted a Lunch and Learn workshop for municipalities this spring at the Pike County Training Center. Staff highlighted district services that benefit local townships and boroughs.

Representatives from nine of Pike County’s 13 municipalities attended. PCCD Executive Director Michele Long provided an overview of the district’s mission and core programs such as erosion control, waterways permitting, and the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program that funds repairs on local roads to improve stormwater management. Senior Resource Conservationist Ellen Enslin outlined the types of permit-related correspondence that is shared with municipalities, and Administrative Manager Chris Ingulli discussed inspection reports.

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Legislative Roundtable

(Left to right): Commissioner William Ames; Teresa Leitner, Legislative Secretary for Representative Helm; Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director; Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz; Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, PA Department of Environmental Protection; Randall Leisure, Board Chairman, Lebanon County Conservation District; Katie Doster, District Manager; Jennifer Albright, Director, Lebanon County Conservation District; Katherine Hetherington Cunfer, Deputy District Director for Congressman Meuser; PA Representative Frank Ryan.

Staff from the Lebanon County Conservation District met with local legislators on May 31, 2019. The meeting included staff discussion on conservation programs in Lebanon County. These include agricultural land preservation, erosion and sedimentation, Envirothon, mosquito-borne disease control, and agricultural programs.

PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell was on hand to discuss the ongoing Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. The group also discussed MS4 and the state budget as it relates to conservation efforts.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh also attended the event.

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Erie County Conservation District Hosts “Enviro Lab” Week

Erie County Conservation District held an Enviro-lab week where mobile educational labs were brought to the county for students and legislators to tour. Armstrong Conservation District’s H2Oh! on the GO! mobile lab was part of the event.

Click here to read more and to watch a video.

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Jefferson County Conservation District Holds CREP Workshop

John Brundege, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, explains why riparian forest buffers are important. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

The Jefferson County Conservation District hosted a Wildlife Conservation Workshop on March 28, 2019, at the district office in Brookville. Thirteen individuals learned about the benefits of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), noxious/invasive weed identification and management, riparian buffers, and wildlife in grassland areas. Presenters Mike Kerr, Kimberly Bohn, John Brundege, Tim Hoppe, and Megan Whitlatch provided important information and answered many questions from attendees.

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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Over $72,000 Awarded to Conservation Districts through Nonpoint Source Mini-grant Program

McKean County Conservation District Manager Sandy Thompson speaks during a best management practices tour. The tour was part of their 2018-19 NPS pollution prevention educational mini-grant.

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded over $72,000 for thirty-five pollution reduction projects in thirty-one 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 including the list 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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Berks County Holds Riparian Forested Buffer Showcase

By Christine Griesemer, Agricultural Resource Conservationist, Berks County Conservation District

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District recently held a Forested Riparian Buffer Showcase on April 26, 2019, at the Berks County 4H Center in Leesport, PA. This project was made possible by a $3,000 mini-grant provided through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts).

Thanks to funding from this grant, a 0.5 acre demonstration Forested Riparian Buffer was established near the Berks County 4-H Center.

Click here to read the entire article.

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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Lackawanna County Conservation District Holds Rain Barrel Workshops

Photo of rain barrel workshop provided by Lackawanna County Conservation District.

Through their 2018-19 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant (administered by PACD), the Lackawanna County Conservation District conducted two workshops on non-point source pollution. Twenty county residents registered and attended the workshops, including local municipal employees and one county commissioner. The workshops were held in August 2018 and April 2019.

The district educated attendees on the causes of stormwater and ways to use rain barrels to mitigate some of its negative impacts. The project successfully engaged residents of Lackawanna County in managing stormwater in their backyards.

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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