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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Columbia County Conservation District’s Good Water = Good Fishing Event Featured in News

WNEP featured Columbia County Conservation District (CCCD) and PA Fish & Boat Commission’s Good Water = Good Fishing event on a PA Outdoor Life segment. CCCD Watershed Specialist Brittney Hartzell is featured in the video. Click here to view the nine-minute segment.

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Columbia County Conservation District Hosts CREP Workshop

Participants learn about the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill that is available for use by landowners. Photo provided by Columbia County Conservation District.

The Columbia County Conservation District used a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grant, administered by PACD, to host a CREP Workshop at the Montour Preserve in Danville, PA on March 28, 2019. Forty-five people attended the workshop and heard presentations from the Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PA Game Commission about the new mid-contract management rules and how landowners can use CREP to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. A demonstration on how to use the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill was also part of the workshop.

Financial support for the CREP 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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Jefferson County Conservation District Holds Manure Workshop

Robb Meinen of Penn State Extension presents on nutrient cycling and the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program at the workshop. Photo provided by Jefferson County Conservation District.

In February, Jefferson County Conservation District (JCCD) held a manure management workshop in Brookville, PA. The workshop was part of the district’s Manure Management Manual and Chapter 102 Compliance Mini-grant Program project (administered by PACD). Through the project, JCCD reached thirteen farmers.

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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2019 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training

By Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist

Students exploring soil properties in Lebanon County. Photo provided by Stephanie Harmon.

On March 12, 2019, a chilly day with hints of spring, ninety energetic middle and high school Envirothon students from Lebanon County school districts, including Cornwall-Lebanon, Eastern Lebanon County, Lebanon, Myerstown Enrichment, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra got their hands dirty at Soils Training at the Lebanon Expo Center.

The training was hosted by the Lebanon County Conservation District and coordinated by Watershed Specialist and Lebanon County Envirothon Coordinator, Stephanie Harmon. Special guest instructors included the following USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff: Resource Soil Scientist John Chibirka, Assistant State Conservationist Charlie Hanner, and Soil Conservationist Lindsey Bream.

The training began with a presentation on the basics of soils components, understanding maps, surveys and landforms, land use, decision making, protection, and the importance of understanding soils. John used his whimsical personality to charm and excite students about the varied importances of soil characteristics and features.

After the presentation, students rotated through two stations where they (literally) got their hands dirty by practicing the “Soil Texture by Feel” method and reading a soil textural triangle to determine the classification of two different soil samples. Additionally, students reviewed differences in soil colors and practiced how to read the color scientifically, using a “Munsell color book” (a book of color chips that follow the Munsell System of Color Notation) as used by soil scientists. Finally, students were provided an introduction and history of topographical maps and practiced reading and measuring contour lines and understanding the many different features of topographical maps.

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Farm Stewardship Program with Berks County Conservation District

Submitted by Berks County Conservation District

Before (left) and after pictures of installed BMPs to address resource concerns on a farm operation in the Maiden Creek Watershed. Photos submitted by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) partnered with Stroud Water Research Center in January 2015 to administer their Farm Stewardship Program in Berks County. This program is designed to entice farmers to install at least a 35’ wide Forested Riparian Buffer on all streams on their operation. In turn they receive vouchers for $4,000 per acre of installed Forested Riparian Buffer to help cover the cost of approved Best Management Practices (BMPs) on their operation.

Between 2015 and 2018, BCCD enrolled 24 sites in the Farm Stewardship program, of which 22 were farming operations. In three years of the Farm Stewardship Program in Berks County, a total of 105 acres of Forested Riparian Buffers were installed. resulting in over 57,000 feet of streambank protection covering over 33,000 feet of stream, and planting over 8,000 trees and shrubs along streams. Through these cooperators, BCCD had 263 BMPs installed including 44 Plans (Conservation Plans, Manure Management Plans, Nutrient Management Plans), 62 Forested-Riparian-Buffer-related BMPs, and an additional 157 BMPs on farm operations.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Allegheny County Conservation District Holds Erosion Control Workshop


Allegheny County Conservation District Executive Director Heather Manzo greets over 100 attendees at the second annual Erosion Control Workshop. Photo provided by Allegheny County Conservation District.

The Allegheny County Conservation District held its second annual Erosion Control Workshop on February 14 and 15, 2019. The district had over 100 participants, ranging from contractors and consultants to developers. This two-day workshop focused on proper installation and maintenance of erosion and sediment controls. Each participant left with an erosion and sediment field guide designed by the district to take into the field while conducting inspections.

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