Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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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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Monroe County Conservation District Holds Buffer Workshop and Tree Planting

David Hooker (center) with Monroe County Conservation District demonstrates how to properly plant a tree, including the need to free up the outer roots when removing a tree from the container to prevent the tree from becoming root bound. Photo provided by MCCD.

On April 13, 2024, the Monroe County Conservation District held a riparian buffer workshop and tree planting at Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Stroudsburg, PA. Fifty-four people attended the event.

The event included hands-on conservation, such as tree planting, and a presentation on how attendees can protect water quality. The participants also toured the site to learn about previous restoration efforts and how they are working to protect the county’s water resources.

The project was funded by the PACD Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program.

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 County Conservation District Opens Agricultural Small Grant Program

Photo of the 2023 Thank A Farmer Dash Race Start provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

Friends of the Indiana County Conservation District has announced that it is now accepting applications for the agriculture small grant program funded through the Cambria/Indiana Farmer Assistance Fund at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

The program provides financial support to small farmers in Indiana and Cambria Counties for business plan development or implementation that focuses on sustainable farming models, including providing match funding for sustainable farming projects and the development of conservation best management practices.

Two awards of up to $1,500 will be provided to agricultural producers or landowners engaging in agricultural activities. To be eligible, the applicant’s operation must be in either Indiana or Cambria Counties.

Funding for this grant program has been raised through the Annual Thank a Farmer Dash held every November on the Ghost Town Trail in Ebensburg. The 2024 Thank a Farmer Dash is scheduled for November 16.

For more information about the Agriculture Small Grant Program, visit https://www.iccdpa.org/agriculture-small-grant-program.

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Bucks County Conservation District Participates in Adopt-a-Highway Clean-Up

Photo of the trash pick-up crew provided by Bucks County Conservation District.

On April 26, 2024, Bucks County Conservation District rolled up its sleeves for its biannual Adopt-a-Highway clean-up on Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA. The district gathered 18 bags of trash, plus a few car parts!

Congratulations to Bucks County Conservation District for making a positive impact, one bag of trash at a time.

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Happy Conservation District Week!

April 28-May 4, 2024, is “Conservation District Week” in Pennsylvania. During this week, district offices will hold conference calls and meetings with legislators. Resources such as letters, a press release, and social media images are available from PACD to promote Conservation District Week.

Conservation District Week materials are available here

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Jefferson County Conservation District Holds Farmer Workshop

Nicole Thompson and John Miller from Penn State Extension lead a session.

Jefferson County Conservation District held a Farmer Workshop on April 18, 2024, in Brookville, PA. Topics included soil and manure management, the importance of setbacks, and weed identification and control.

The PACD Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program funded 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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Susquehanna County Conservation District Celebrates Earth Day with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Photo provided by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

The Susquehanna County Conservation District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new ¼ mile interpretive trail around the district office to celebrate Earth Day. The trail includes an area for pollinators and a live-stake garden.

Click here to view a local news report about the project.

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Cumberland County Conservation District Completes Stuart Park Project

Lori Glace, former Cumberland County Conservation District Watershed Specialist shows the sign to participants during the tour. Photo provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

On April 10, 2024, Cumberland County Conservation District held a tour of Stuart Park in Dickinson Township, showing stream and restoration work. The project was funded through the PACD Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program.

The project also included installing an educational sign that broadcasts the benefits of the stream bank and riparian restoration that took place at Stuart Park. The 2022 restoration project repaired 810 feet of Yellow Breeches Creek. The sign will continue to educate thousands of park visitors for years to come.

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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