Submitted by Krista Scheirer, Watershed Specialist, Montgomery County Conservation District National Geographic BioBlitz, which is an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. “In about an hour altogether, the students found 34 unique species. Kristin Byers, from the PA Alliance for Geographic Education, led a station at our middle school event, where students used GPS units to take photos of as many species as they could find. In total, they made 242 observations. This exploration was exciting to watch and really engaging for the students. After the event, the photos were uploaded to iNaturalist, an app that helps to identify the species,” said Krista Scheirer, Montgomery County Conservation District Watershed Specialist. Click here for the project page, which includes the results of the BioBlitz. Click here to read the full press release on the event.The Montgomery County Conservation District hosted three Envirothon events this spring in an effort to provide free environmental education for local students. Approximately 300 students participated in the events, which were held for the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. The middle school students also took part in a
In May, the Centre County Conservation District held a tour to showcase conservation projects in the county. The stops featured six conservation district projects, including one erosion and sediment control site, two stream restorations, and three farms.
|Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) 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.|
here to read more.For the third year in a row, the Franklin County Conservation District hosted a field trip at Caledonia State Park for all of the first graders in the Chambersburg Area School District. There were approximately 688 first graders from 31 classes at 12 different elementary schools in the district. Click
here to view the guide. Click here to read more about the tour and for more photos. Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) 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.On April 28, 2016, the Snyder County Conservation District held a farm conservation practice tour for farmers. The tour was held in cooperation with local Snyder County farm operations and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Middleburg Field Office staff. During the Agricultural Best Management Practice (BMP) Tour, visitors were able to see actual BMPs such as dairy liquid and bedded pack manure storages, improved barnyards, stormwater and roofwater controls, milkhouse treatment systems, streambank fencing, and pasture improvements and expansions. As part of the project, an Agricultural BMP Guide was developed. The guide features a variety of best management practices, all heavily illustrated with photos from Snyder County farms. Click
here to read a news article on the contest.As reported in the May 9, 2016 edition of Front Page, Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) held an Earth Day event on April 22. One of the activities was the “Paint the Rain” contest. Nine high schools with eighteen painted rain barrels participated in the BCCD Paint the Rain School Competition. The event was a rain barrel decorating contest for high schools throughout Berks County. The BCCD provided each participating class or school club with one rain barrel, a gift card for $25 (to help with the cost of painting supplies), and an in-classroom presentation/technical support visit from the BCCD. All competitors painted the rain barrel for the 2016 theme, “We all Need Trees,” and completed an associated education program in which they had to educate their school community about rain barrels and natural resource conservation. The public voted for their favorite rain barrel during the BCCD’s Annual Tree Seedling Sale and Backyard Basics event on April 22, 2016. At the same time, a silent auction was taking place where the public could bid on a barrel to take home. All proceeds from the silent auction went to the BCCD’s scholarship fund. Click
On May 18 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the selection of 114 projects to receive $25,143,294 in funding from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), for the protection of Pennsylvania’s water resources. The selected projects enhance watersheds, mitigate acid mine drainage, and support water pollution cleanup programs. The grant awards are made possible by the Growing Greener Grant Program, the largest single investment of state funds to address Pennsylvania’s environmental concerns. Funding for 42 conservation district projects was awarded to 29 different conservation districts. These grants equal $7,685,690 or approximately 31% of the total grants awarded. PACD received one grant for its engineering technical assistance program. Together, 37% of the funding was awarded to conservation districts and PACD. Click here for a full list of conservation district and PACD funded projects. For more information on Growing Greener, click here.
Recently, the Chester County Conservation District (CCCD) began recognizing farmers, organizations, businesses, and landowners who have demonstrated their commitment to protecting or improving the watersheds in which they live or operate. The intended goal is to incentivize good stewardship or farming practices by recognizing, with signage, those who not only meet all state and federal plan requirements, but who have also followed through and implemented those plans. By identifying which of the two major estuaries the recipient’s location drains to, the signs increase awareness and help make the connection to land practices and water quality. So if you are driving through Chester County, and you see one of these signs, you will not only be aware of what watershed you are in, but also the great stewards that work to protect and restore those watersheds.
The Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) held an Earth Day Celebration on April 22, 2016 for the public. The event was held as a fundraiser for their scholarship fund. Events included the annual tree seedling sale, “Backyard Basics” workshop, and “Paint the Rain” rain barrel painting event.
Submitted by Teddi Stark, Juniata County Conservation District Resource Conservation TechnicianOn April 29th, Juniata County Conservation District and the Juniata Watershed Alliance hosted a tree planting event at Lost Creek Community Park in McAlisterville. Forty trees and shrubs were planted throughout the park and on the banks of Little Lost Creek, which runs through the park property. The 40 trees planted this year were replacements for a planting done last year by the conservation district at the park via a sub-award from The Nature Conservancy, when over 400 trees and shrubs were planted at the park to replace dying ash trees and establish a streamside buffer along Little Lost Creek. This Arbor Day, Juniata Watershed Alliance volunteers, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ foresters, local Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff, and Juniata County Conservation District employees and directors were joined by PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, Deputy Secretary Hannah Smith-Brubaker, and Press Secretary Brandi Hunter-Davenport. The replacement trees and shrubs were planted within a couple of hours with everyone’s help. Before the event kicked off, Secretary Redding took a moment to thank everyone for the hard work they are doing to help restore the Lost Creek watershed. Juniata County Conservation District is currently working on several restoration efforts in the Lost Creek Watershed. A buffer workshop for small landowners will be held this fall thanks to a PACD mini-grant, and a large restoration project will take place over the next few years at the Lost Creek Golf Course, which was funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Small Watersheds Grant. This Arbor Day tree planting will help restore a public section of Little Lost Creek and raise community awareness about the benefits of riparian buffers and other best management practices.