Four Conservation Districts Join Forces for Virtual Forestry Workshop

Elk County Conservation District Manager Kate Wehler facilitates presenter introductions. Photo provided by McKean County Conservation District.

Every year a partnership of northcentral PA conservation districts holds a cooperative workshop for forest industry professionals. The popular full-day workshop includes best management practices for timber operations; regulatory information and updates, permitting needs; other current environmental considerations; and a field portion to look at real-life BMP scenarios and challenges.

This year’s four-hour “Erosion Control in Our Forests” webinar on October 1, 2020, had 119 participants, well exceeding normal attendance for the in-person event. Cameron, Elk, McKean, and Potter County Conservation Districts coordinated the event.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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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Blair County Conservation District Opens NatureWorks Park

Photo caption (left to right): Bonnie Young, Chelsey Ergler, Tyne Blazier, Beth Futrick, Donna Fisher, Rich Huether, Stephen Dumm, and Steve Beach. Suzanne Black was absent from the photo. Photo provided by Blair County Conservation District.

The Blair County Conservation District hosted a ribbon-cutting for NatureWorks Park on October 8, 2020. About 40 invited guests participated in the event to “open” Blair County’s first environmental-specific outdoor recreation area. The property is owned by the Blair County Conservation District and managed by the district staff with many volunteers’ assistance! A PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grant was received to cover a portion of the cost of construction. Keller Engineers, Inc. of Hollidaysburg provided the design and permitting of the site. For more information on the park, visit our website at https://natureworkspark.org or check out the park on Facebook

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Warren County Conservation District Creates Invasive Species Trail

Photo of hemlock woolly adelgid invasive species signage provided by Warren County Conservation District.

Warren County Conservation District created an educational invasive species walk at the Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area for the month of October. Visitors will learn about common invasive species that may be found in the area through informational signs posted along the Simmons Run Trail. Not all of the species can necessarily be found on the Hatch Run property, but visitors are encouraged to come any time during daylight hours and learn about invasive species that threaten native habitat.

 

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Berks County Conservation District Raises $2,800 for County Envirothon

Clay shoot photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

In late September, twelve teams of sporting clay enthusiasts joined the Berks County Conservation District at M&E Sporting Clays to raise funds for the Berks County Envirothon. In the event’s second year, participants spent the afternoon testing their aim on clay targets at fifteen different stations. They then enjoyed an evening with awards, prizes, and a BBQ dinner.

Click here to read more, including how the district handled the event during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Montgomery Holds Rain Garden Workshop

Rain garden photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

On September 24, 2020, Cody Schmoyer of the Montgomery County Conservation District presented on rain gardens as part of the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Training Lecture Series for homeowners. Fourteen participants were in attendance to learn about rain garden designs and their benefits. The presentation covered infiltration tests, such as double-ring infiltration tests, percolation tests, and sizing and design. Soil mixtures and planting plans were also discussed since these play an essential role in the uptake of water and the functionality of the rain garden.

The presentation also addressed some design considerations, including underdrains/outlet pipes and rain gardens built with a berm to create ponding water. Stabilization was emphasized and straw, wood chips, river stone, and erosion control blankets were discussed. The information provided was beneficial for homeowners who are interested in installing rain gardens on their own property.

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Juniata County Conservation District Holds Stormwater Workshop

Juniata County Conservation District provided the photo of the workshop.

Juniata County Conservation District held a workshop in McAlisterville for property owners and municipal staff on September 30, 2020. The “What’s the Point” workshop defined stormwater runoff and its sources, encouraged management and reduction of stormwater, and developed an understanding of stormwater’s effects on watersheds near and far.

The workshop was held in person and had thirteen participants. Municipal officials attended and engaged in brainstorming ways to be more effective in educating residents about stormwater management. The workshop also had a hands-on planting component.

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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McKean County Conservation District’s My Growing Tree Program Goes Remote

Kits were provided to teachers for the My Growing Tree Program. Photo provided by McKean County Conservation District.

The popular ‘My Growing Tree’ program, traditionally delivered to all McKean County elementary school first graders in April for Arbor Day, took a hiatus during the pandemic. This fall, the McKean County Conservation District, with the Potter County Conservation District and PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry, re-worked the program into a remote kit that could be delivered to schools without visiting classes.

The remote kits loaned to teachers include a lesson plan, videos, activities, and additional resources.

Click here to read the entire article. 

This program was made possible by a DEP Environmental Education Grant.

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Columbia County Conservation District Produced Videos to Replace Summer Camp

Screenshot from the “Track Molds” https://youtu.be/5mbboK3XrOQ video by the Columbia County Conservation District.

When Columbia County Conservation District had to cancel their Nature Mini Camp this summer due to COVID-19, Watershed Specialist Brittney Hartzell created a virtual alternative. The district made activity bags for the kids to pick-up then posted videos to go with the activities. Videos include animal tracking, macroinvertebrates, leaf rubbings, and dissecting owl pellets. Click here to view the videos.

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Elk County Conservation District Holds First Annual Conservation Cup

Photo of educational signage provided by ECCD.

September 12, 2020, dawned crisp and sunny, the perfect day for golf, as the Elk County Conservation District (ECCD) hosted their first-ever Conservation Cup golf tournament at the Bavarian Hills Golf Course. The tournament was designed with conservation in mind. All the proceeds from the event will be put toward environmental education and the Elk County Conservation District Scholarship.

“In my opinion the Conservation Cup was a success, even with having to adjust the date multiple times due to COVID-19 concerns. While starting up this new event during a pandemic was challenging, we were still able to raise enough money for an environmental scholarship, as well as funding for our environmental education program. We do plan on hosting the event again next year. With one tournament under our belt we hope next year will be even bigger and better,” said Ryan Grimm, ECCD’s Resource Conservation Technician.

Eight teams participated in the first-ever Conservation Cup.

More photos are available on the ECCD Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ElkCountyConservationDistrict/.

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Montgomery County Conservation District Holds Homeowner Workshop

Screenshot of the Montgomery County Conservation District webinar.

In September 2020, Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD), Penn State Extension (Master Watershed Steward and Master Gardener programs), and Ambler Borough Environmental Advisory Council partnered to offer a free, online “Conservation and Water Pollution Prevention Workshop for Homeowners.”

The first session had 121 participants, and the second had 106 participants! Designed for a “novice” audience, the workshop covered topics including stormwater management, using rain gardens and rain barrels, stream corridor management practices, erosion and sediment control, bio-retention, lawn-to-meadow, native landscaping, proper tree planting techniques, and water conservation.

Click here to read the entire article. 

Financial and other support for the workshop was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program. 

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