Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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

Columbia County Conservation District Holds Rain Barrel Workshop at Local Farm Market

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

The Columbia County Conservation District held two separate rain barrel workshops. The 49 attendees learned about non-point source pollution, how it affects our waterways, and best management practices that can be used at home to reduce stormwater.

Thanks to partners at Rohrbach’s Farm Market and the Coca-Cola syrup factory near Allentown, who donated all the barrels for free, the district was able to host two workshops instead of the original plan to hold one. A total of 45 50-gallon rain barrels were distributed to be installed around Columbia County to reduce stormwater.

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, Montour, and Luzerne County Conservation Districts Hold Grazing Workshop and Pasture Walk

Photo provided by Gary Rinehimer.

The “Maximizing Grazing for Maximum Benefit Workshop and Pasture Walk” was offered by the Columbia, Montour, and Luzerne County Conservation Districts on April 18, 2024.

Russ Wilson and Dave Hartman shared their insights on managing pastures and the animals that rely on them. The morning session featured Russ at the Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center Auditorium. Then, Dave led a pasture walk at his farm in the afternoon. They emphasized management that provides livestock with extended grazing in the late fall and early winter while providing enough nutrition to finish with a high-quality product. The rain held off, so the 55 farmers and agency personnel in attendance could see best practices applied at the farm level.

Financial support for this event was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through a Growing Greener Grant.

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McKean County Conservation District Hosts Erosion Control in Our Forests Workshop

Participants from McKean County Conservation District’s Erosion Control in our Forests Workshop are pictured. This project was funded through the 2023-24 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant Program.

Last fall, the McKean County Conservation District held an Erosion Control in Our Forests Workshop. Thirty foresters, loggers, logging contractors, and private forest landowners attended the event. Attendees learned more about the fundamentals of erosion control, permitting, planning before a timber harvest, best management practices to implement during the harvest, and stream crossing practices.

The workshop was made possible through a multi-county effort by the conservation districts of Tioga, Potter, Cameron, Elk, and McKean Counties in cooperation with the PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry.

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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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Legislative Luncheon

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event.

The Tioga County Conservation District (TCCD) held a Legislative Luncheon in Wellsboro, PA, on May 10, 2024. Senator Yaw’s office, Representative Owlett, the Tioga County Commissioners, PACD, the State Conservation Commission, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the TCCD Board and staff were all represented.

The district highlighted its accomplishments from 2023, achieved through grant funding, partnerships, and the support of its legislators. The district concluded by looking forward to providing leadership, education, and technical assistance in 2024.

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Venango Conservation District Holds Farm Tour

Photo of Farm Bus Tour provided by Venango Conservation District.

On April 26, Venango Conservation District hosted a Farm Bus Tour at three beef farms in Utica, PA. About 30 people attended to learn about grazing systems, nonpoint source pollution, manure/nutrient management, safety tips, and funding sources for constructing agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs).

The district would like to thank all of the amazing presenters who shared their expertise and time with them, and the Metz, Dunkerly, and Mahler families for allowing the group to tour their farms! The district also extends their appreciation to Project Grass NW Chapter for sponsoring breakfast and the Utica Volunteer Fire Department for allowing the use of their space.

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 Conservation Bike Ride

Photo provided by Westmoreland Conservation District.

The Westmoreland Conservation District partnered with the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association and the Coal and Coke Trail Chapter to host the 2024 Pedaling for Conservation bike ride along the Coal and Coke Trail. Participants learned about stormwater, streambank erosion, problems related to abandoned mine drainage, and mosquito testing for West Nile Virus.

Check the district’s Facebook page for more fantastic photos from the event. 

 

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Montgomery County Conservation District Holds Tour of “Food Forest”

Tour of a Riparian Buffer “Food Forest” at Martha’s Community Farm photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

On April 20, 2024, Montgomery County Conservation District’s Watershed Specialist Brian Vadino worked in partnership with Martha’s Choice Marketplace and Community Farm and Penn State Master Watershed Stewards Program in Montgomery County to host a tour of a riparian buffer food forest planting project that was completed at the Farm along Perkiomen Creek in Fall 2022.

The riparian buffer tour was designed to showcase the completed project and was delivered in conjunction with a public tour of other planting areas (gardens and greenhouses) located at Martha’s Choice Marketplace and Community Farm. The Farm is the largest food pantry in Montgomery County, serving almost 20,000 individuals and delivering 1.5 million pounds of food every year. 

Click here to view a short video about the event. 

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 US Environmental Protection Agency.

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Berks County Conservation District Holds Ribbon Cutting for SWAG Bus

Berks County Conservation District holds ribbon cutting ceremony for their SWAG bus.

On May 4, 2024, The Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) held its annual Conservation Celebration and Seedling Sale at Berks County Agricultural Center. The celebration included live music, food trucks, a rain barrel auction, and exhibits from partners.

During the event, BCCD held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new and much anticipated SWAG Bus. The Soil, Water, and Agricultural Mobile Education Bus is filled with hands-on educational displays. It will be used to teach children and adults about conserving natural resources in Berks County. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event (pictured second from right).

The district also held a seedling sale dedication ceremony for former board member Mark Wolfskill.

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2024 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training

NRCS Soil Scientist John Chibirka leads students in a soil texture exercise at the 2024 Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training.

Submitted by: Lebanon County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Katie Hollen

On March 20, 2024, approximately eighty students attended the Lebanon County Envirothon Soils Training. Middle and high school students participated from ELCO; the Lebanon, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra school districts; Lebanon Christian Academy; and Myerstown Enrichment Center.

The Lebanon County Conservation District hosted the hands-on training at the Lebanon Expo Center. Soil Scientist John Chibirka (Berks) and Assistant State Conservationist Charlie Hanner (Lebanon) from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) were special guest instructors.

John began the morning with a presentation on soil forming factors, soil texture, soil horizons, and more. Students viewed a soil map of Pennsylvania and learned about the importance of understanding soil properties when making land-use decisions. They also learned about our state soil, Hazleton.

After the presentation, students used the soil textural triangle to classify different soil samples. John assisted the students as they practiced making ribbons with soil and estimating the amounts of sand, silt, and clay in each sample. He also showed them how to use Munsell Soil Color Books to determine the color of each soil sample. Charlie introduced students to topographic maps and led an exercise in which students used soil surveys to determine the soil types at their schools.

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