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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Susquehanna County Conservation District Radio Program Available Online

The Susquehanna County Conservation District has been developing local weekly radio outreach for many years. The “Conservation Corner” radio spot is aired for approximately 10 minutes on Thursdays. The radio spots from October 2018 to the present are now available online.

Recent topics include: riparian buffers, spotted lanternfly, wild turkeys, and Susquehanna County’s recycling efforts.

Click here to listen.

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Berks County Conservation District Sponsors 10 New Trout in the Classroom Aquariums

Conservation District Education & Outreach Coordinator Evan Corondi sorts brook trout eggs received from the PFBC in early November. Photo provided by BCCD.

Last month, the Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) in partnership with the Tulpehocken Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) sponsored 10 new Trout in the Classroom aquarium setups for schools in Berks County. In addition, the BCCD funded two Trout in the Classroom display aquariums, one for the Berks County Agricultural Center Lobby and another for Berks Nature.

Schools that participate in the Trout in the Classroom program received brook trout eggs from the PFBC in early November. Trout eggs have started to hatch in the classroom aquariums, and students will continue to take care of the trout throughout the school year until they are fingerlings (about 2 – 3 inches long). Teachers use the aquarium ecosystem in lesson plans to learn about good water quality, life cycles, and being good stewards of natural resources.

In late April, students get to release the trout fingerlings into a PFBC-approved trout stream. Over 20 Berks County schools, and 16 of 19 Berks schools districts, now have an active Trout in the Classroom program.

Click here for more information. 

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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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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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Soil and Water Quality Field Day

Janette Lesher of NRCS and Ryan Cherwinski of NCCD discuss the importance of cover cropping and soil health.

By: Judy Becker, District Manager, Northumberland County Conservation District

The Northumberland County Conservation District (NCCD), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Schuylkill Conservation District held a joint Soil and Water Quality Field Day on August 29, 2018, at the Agricultural Research Service Lab in Klingerstown, PA. The meeting was free for attendees.

The Field Day was offered in two sessions. Session 1 covered new information about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Session 2 covered important research that occurred in the Mahantongo Creek Watershed. Attendees had the option to sign up for one session or both.

Topics for both sessions were provided by representatives of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Pheasants Forever, the ARS Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, NRCS, NCCD, and the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance. Time was also provided for questions during both sessions. Approximately 100 people were in attendance. The meeting was paid for by the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program and grant funding that was available from the Schuylkill Conservation District.

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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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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