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.

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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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Westmoreland Conservation District Holds Green Infrastructure Tour

WCD staff were on hand to talk about the swales, riparian buffer restoration, and monitoring project at the Westmoreland County Community College. Photo provided by WCD.

In June, the Westmoreland Conservation District (WCD) held a green infrastructure tour in the Turtle Creek, Sewickley Creek, and Jacobs Creek Watersheds. The tour highlighted how green infrastructure projects can help manage stormwater and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Among the attendees were municipal managers and engineers, elected officials, staff from a water and sewer authority, and staff from the urban redevelopment authority.

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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Chester County Conservation District Holds Chesapeake Bay Boat Tour

Photo provided by Chester County Conservation District.

Submitted by Paige LaDuca, Chesapeake Bay Resource Conservationist, Chester County Conservation District

On August 15th, Chester County Conservation District staff and local farmers had the opportunity to attend an educational tour given by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We departed from the Baltimore Aquarium and discussed the effects that rivers and tributaries have on the Bay before continuing our journey to test water turbidity (clearness), dredge the bottom of the Harbor for sediment, and view the city’s aquatic trash wheels and skimmers.

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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Franklin County Holds its Annual Summer Conservation Farm Tour

Photo provided by FCCD.

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

The Franklin County Conservation District (FCCD) held its third annual Summer Conservation Farm Tour on August 1, 2018, which was made possible through a PACD Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Project. In addition to recognizing the FCCD’s Conservation Farmer of the Year, this tour also provided attendees with a first-hand look at Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce soil and nutrient runoff leaving the farm. This year’s Conservation Farmer of the Year was Martin Farms in Chambersburg.

Financial and other support for this project was 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. The FCCD also received financial support from AgChoice Farm Credit.

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Graduating Seniors of Lehigh Carbon Community College Create Conservation Video Series for Lehigh County Conservation District

Screenshot of the Environmental Education Video.

Submitted by: Jolie Chylack, Environmental Education & Outreach Coordinator, Lehigh County Conservation District

As many students in the Lehigh Valley area are walking down the aisle to graduate from one of our regions notable secondary, undergraduate, or graduate learning institutions, we would like to highlight a conservation video production project that several senior students from Lehigh Carbon Community College recently completed in partnership with the Lehigh County Conservation District!

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Explore Armstrong Conservation District’s Mobile Exhibit at the July Conference

Armstrong Conservation District’s H2Oh! on the GO! mobile exhibit will be parked at the NACD Northeast Regional Meeting & PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference from July 15-18, 2018. The Armstrong Conservation District is generously making this interactive, educational, traveling exhibit available for our attendees to explore during the conference.

The conference is taking place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel, Lancaster, PA. Click here to register or for more information. 

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