Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

We support Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts who work for clean water and healthy soil every day.

Listen to Season 2 of Pike County Conservation District’s Podcast

The Pike County Conservation District has two new episodes of its podcast.

January episode– The Forestry Frontier

Our January Science on Tap speaker Logan Goddard, DCNR Service Forester for Pike/Monroe, and our local DCNR Fire Forester Garrett Beers are interviewed in this episode! Tune in as they discuss their favorite forestry factoids, sustainable forest management practices, and how deer affect our woods.

February episode – Hidden Geocache Treasures in Pike County

There’s a hidden treasure in Pike County, PA– and anyone can join the treasure hunt! In this episode, Jess Yoder, Assistant Planning Director, and Preservation Planner at the Pike County Planning & Mapping Office, shares the basics of geocaching, how to get started searching our area, and some of her favorite geocaching stories.

Click here to listen. 

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Women in Ag Event

The Women in Agriculture event had a full house. Photo by Andrea Boyce, Tioga County Conservation District. Photo used with permission.

Article by Isabela Weiss, WVIA News, Report for America (reprinted with permission)

Farmers shared experiences at Tioga County’s Women in Agriculture event.

Hosted by the Tioga County Conservation District, women traveled to network with other farmers across the state. Dairy farmer Julie Hess was a speaker at Tuesday’s event. She has attended every Women in Agriculture event since it started ten years ago.

“I’ve been coming to the Women in Ag meetings since they started holding it. And I’ve been bringing my daughter with me, even when she was in like fifth or sixth grade, because I think it’s important for female agricultural producers to meet other female agricultural producers,” said Hess. “But they say that women in agriculture is like the largest growing sector of farmers.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2017 Census found that women comprise 36 percent of the country’s 3.4 million agricultural producers and that newer farmers are skewing younger. The 2022 Census will come out in Feb. 2024.

Click here to read the entire article. 

 

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Allegheny County Conservation District Hosts Development Workshop

Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) hosted The Flow of Development in Allegheny County, a workshop for stakeholders and professionals on Allegheny County development patterns and mapping of existing stormwater infrastructure. This marks the first time ACCD has compiled datasets and mapped National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit applications in Allegheny County. These valuable datasets, designed to enhance transparency and collaboration, will be publicly accessible on the ACCD and Western Pennsylvania Data Center websites starting January 30, 2024.

Conservation Districts can now watch a recording of the event here or click here to read the press release.  

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Cumberland County Conservation District Hosts Cooperating Agency Meeting

The Cumberland County Conservation District board of directors poses for a photo at the meeting. They are (left to right) Glenn Kimmel, Denny Garman, Mike Berkheimer, Vic Barrick, Mike Wadel, Duff George, and PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh.

On January 23, 2024, Cumberland County Conservation District hosted a cooperating agency meeting in Newville, PA. Forty-three people attended the meeting. The goal of the meeting was to network and hear about the agency’s accomplishments in 2023 and provide important information about 2024 activities. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh participated in the event.

Cooperating agencies that participated include Farmland Preservation, Cumberland County Planning Department, Capital RC&D, USDA Farm Service Agency, Vector Control, Penn State Extension, PA Department of Environmental Protection, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, HRG, Kings Gap Environmental Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, PA Game Commission, and PACD.

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Bucks County Conservation District Holds Two Stormwater Management Workshops

Jim Walter of the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program in Bucks County discusses vegetation selection for the newly constructed rain garden in Bensalem Township as part of the workshop for lower Bucks County municipal staff.

In October 2023, the Bucks County Conservation District (BCCD) hosted two adult workshops on non-point source (NPS) pollution principles, reaching 40+ participants. Both workshops were held in the more populus and urbanized southern third of Bucks County, where municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) programs are in varying stages of development. Each workshop targeted audiences of either municipal representatives or residential property owners. One workshop presented the utility and efficiency of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to local municipal engineers and public works teams. While the other workshop introduced residents to the community benefits and DIY options associated with SLOW –SOAK –STORE stormwater best management practices. 

These workshops represented a joint effort by Bucks County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards, Friends of Poquessing Watershed, Bensalem Township, and Lower Southampton Township.

To see other upcoming events with BCCD, please visit https://bucksccd.org.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the 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 Districts Holds Rain Barrel Workshops

Photo of workshop participant provided by Lawrence County Conservation District.

Lawrence County Conservation District held two rain barrel workshops. Forty-eight participants received education regarding watersheds, nonpoint source pollution, water quality, stormwater management, and best management practices to help reduce stormwater runoff.

The presentations were followed by a tour of a rain garden and cistern used in the local community garden. Thirty rain barrels with adapter kits were distributed during the workshops.

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 Installs Downspout Planters

Berwick Borough maintenance department and CCCD staff built a prototype in early December. The Borough staff will build the remainder of the planters over the winter months. Photo provided by CCCD.

The Columbia County Conservation District (CCCD) has partnered with the Berwick Borough to install downspout planters throughout high-trafficked areas. The CCCD received a DEP Environmental Education Mini-Grant to complete this project. Berwick Borough is subject to an MS4 permit, so the CCCD and the Borough partnered to receive MS4 credits for the Borough and work towards meeting the County’s Countywide Action Plan goals.

Click here to read the entire article. 

 

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Carbon Environmental Center Installs Science-Themed Tree

Rosalie Clark of Nesquehoning sits reading under CCEEC’s science-themed tree. Clark suggested adding an ornament for her namesake, Rosalie Edge. Edge founded the world’s first sanctuary for birds of prey in the 1930s. Photo provided by Carbon County Conservation District.

This holiday season, the Carbon County Environmental Education Center (operated by full-time staff from the Carbon County Conservation District) invited children of all ages to help decorate a science-themed Christmas tree with ornaments depicting famous scientists, both past and present.

“It was just an idea, and our staff sort of ran with it,” said Susan Gallagher, the center’s Chief Naturalist. “We were talking about how kids should know the stories of all the people who’ve changed the world, and the next thing I knew, our part-time staff were making ornaments out of Petri dishes.”

Each ornament featured a picture of a famous–or not so famous–scientist on one side, with their contribution to scientific discovery written on the other.

The display included a reading area with age-appropriate books about scientists from all over the world and a sign-in sheet where children added their suggestions for more ornaments.

 

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Berks County Conservation District Featured on Local Program

BCTV.org recently released a video on urban agriculture programs. The video features Briana Johanson, Agriculture Resource Conservationist, and host Ryan Bradley, Clean City Coordinator for the City of Reading, discussing urban agriculture programs offered by the Berks County Conservation District.

Click here to watch the video. 

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Clarion Conservation District Holds Grazing Field Day

Rob Thompson, sheep farmer from Potter County, discussing his successes with improving his forages and reducing the parasite pressures in his 200-ewe flock by implementing a system that includes daily rotations and over 60-day rest periods between grazing events. Photo taken by Lindsay Shapiro from PA Sustainable Agriculture (PASA).

On October 20, 2023, ninety-eight farmers and agency employees attended an educational grazing field day titled “Harvesting Abundance: Sustainability in our Grazing Havens,” held at the Wilson Land & Cattle Co. in Tionesta, PA.

Most attendees plan to implement the conservation practices they learned, including soil health improvement, rotational grazing, biodiversity, and non-point source pollution reduction via cover crop planting with a no-till planter.

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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