Leadership Development Program Hosts Director Trainings

Mary Kay Williams speaks to directors in Wilkes-Barre, PA on March 5, 2019. Photo taken by Amy Brown.

The 2019 Building for Tomorrow Regional Director Trainings on Sexual Harassment and Respect in the Workplace kicked-off in Wilkes-Barre on March 5, 2019 and State College on March 6, 2019.

This interactive workshop program on sexual harassment was presented by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting.

There are three workshops remaining:

  • Wednesday, March 13 – Cross Creek Resort, Titusville
  • Thursday, March 14 – West Meeting Center, West Elizabeth
  • Thursday, March 21 – Woodcrest Retreat Center, Ephrata

Click here for more information or contact Matt Miller at 717-238-7223 x107.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Final Reminder to Register for the Staff Conference

Reminder to all Conservation District Staff – you still have time to register for the 2019 Building for Tomorrow Staff Conference on February 27 & 28 at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.

Our theme for this year’s conference is Culture & Communication, and the event program will provide you with personal inspiration as well as valuable information that you can take back to your districts.

Our Day 1 Keynote Session will explore the connection between values, mission, and culture and give you tips to bolster your focus and effectiveness and super-charge your performance and potential. Day 2 begins with an interactive workshop focusing on cultivating a culture of respect in the workplace and beyond. Breakout sessions for both days include timely and important information on a range of public-facing and internal communications topics for all staff positions.

Click here to register and for more information.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission.  Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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2019 102/105 Technical Training Registration Opens

Conservation district and DEP staff can now register for the 2019 102/105 Technical Training sessions. Both the basic and topic-based courses will take place at the Wyndham Garden State College in Boalsburg, PA, with little or no cost to attend. Please click the links below for more information.

102/105 Basic Technical Training – March 19-21, 2019:
Registration Information | Agenda

102/105 Topic-based Technical Training – April 2-4, 2019:
Registration Information | Agenda

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Register Today for the Building for Tomorrow Director Training Workshops

Are you prepared for a fire? We hope that the answer is yes, and we assume that a big part of that preparation involved drawing up a plan and then practicing it.

But are you prepared for a harassment or discrimination complaint? Is your district positioned to be in control of the process to ensure a positive outcome in the face a problematic personnel issue?

Fire drills are only effective when you practice them before a fire happens, so don’t wait to be prepared for a personnel problem that could expose your district’s board members to potential liability in the event of a complaint.

All conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to attend our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training workshops on Sexual Harassment and Respect in the Workplace, presented by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting. District managers are welcome too!

In addition to examining the definitions of harassment and discrimination, the interactive workshop program will include discussions of “what if” scenarios and focus on effective policies and steps you can take to lessen liability. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.

Please click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.):

Tuesday, March 5 – Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre
Wednesday, March 6 – Ramada Conference Center, State College
Wednesday, March 13 – Cross Creek Resort, Titusville
Thursday, March 14 – West Meeting Center, West Elizabeth
Thursday, March 21 – Woodcrest Retreat Center, Ephrata

Help us spread the word and please encourage your fellow directors to participate.

Contact Matt Miller with questions.

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2019 Staff Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the Building for Tomorrow 2019 Staff Conference. 

When: February 27 & 28, 2019 
Where: Genetti Hotel & Suites in Williamsport. 
Who: Conservation District staff, including all technicians, administrative staff, and community educators are encouraged to attend.

The 2019 Staff Conference will focus on themes such as engagement, communication, outreach, and respect.  Sessions will be fun and inspirational as well as informative, and attendees will return to their districts with renewed energy, appreciation, and commitment to the important work they do in their communities.

For more information and to register, click here.


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PACD Hosting Free Online Training for Conservation Districts

PACD has scheduled five free communication webinar series for conservation districts. Presented by Water Words That Work, LLC, these environmental communication trainings will begin in January 2019 and end in March 2019. Each topic has three parts, so plan to attend all three dates for the topics you choose.

How do we get more participation at our programs? How can we effectively reach our target audiences and the general public? What are the most cost-effective means to get the word out about our programs? How can I work effectively with landowners to get more practices installed? Find out answers to these questions and more during these webinars.

Each webinar series consists of three 90-minute sessions. Please mark your calendar for all three dates so you don’t miss part 1, part 2, or part 3. Each session builds on the previous one, so don’t miss out!

The Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners webinar will be repeated twice. Please only sign up for one series.

The dates are:

The webinars are free, but registration is required. Space is limited to 15 participants for each topic. Please plan to attend all three parts of the topic you choose. Please register each person participating from your office separately.

Click here for a brochure on the webinars, which includes the course descriptions. Click on the links for each session above to register.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

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Attention Agricultural Staff: Free Workshop in Lancaster for Conservation Districts

Learn the tricks of the trade from the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s most successful conservation field people. If you want rural landowners to say “yes” to voluntary conservation practices and easements, this course is for you.

PACD is co-hosting a free workshop on Thursday, December 13, 2018, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event will take place at the Farm and Home Center (Multipurpose Room), 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

This workshop is designed for early-to-mid-career field outreach staff at soil conservation districts, land trusts—anyone working directly with landowners to help implement voluntary conservation practices on farm and forest lands. The training explores the demographics and decision-making of rural landowners and the perceived benefits of, and barriers to, conservation practices and easements. Field staff will learn how to cultivate and maintain stronger relationships with landowners to help them reach a decision to pursue conservation on their property. The workshop includes three 90-minute blocks of information and interactive learning, plus a working lunch. Workshop content is based in part on surveys and focus groups of conservation field staff identified by their peers as being especially effective at working with farm and forest landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices.

This training is co-hosted by the Land Trust Alliance, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA), and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. We are grateful for the project support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund’s Technical Capacity Grants program, funded in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as funding from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

Click here for the event flyer or contact Jennifer Miller Herzog, Land Trust Alliance, jmillerherzog@lta.org, 406-580-6410. Registration is free, but required.

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PACD Unveils New Marketing Materials Available to Conservation Districts!

Project Promotion Toolkit Webinar to Kick-off this New Resource

PACD is holding a free webinar on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, from 10–11 a.m. to introduce conservation districts to a series of templates developed in conjunction with Water Words That Work to help districts promote their projects. The webinar will go over the toolkit contents and how to use them. In addition, there will be a brief discussion on how to handle difficult situations with legislators.

This webinar is for all conservation district staff! The toolkit was developed with the intention that all district staff could use it to promote the good work of conservation districts even if there isn’t a communications person on staff.

The toolkit covers an on-the-ground stream restoration project, a post-project tour, and a new staff person being hired.

Specifically, the toolkit includes each of the following items for each of the three topics mentioned above:

  • Press release template
  • Media advisory template
  • Newsletter article template
  • Social media template

These templates will be available for conservation districts to adapt and use to promote their projects throughout the year!

Information on how to access the webinar will be sent the week prior. Information on how to access the toolkit will be included in the webinar.

Click here to register by January 9, 2019. Questions? Contact PACD Director of Communication & Education Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

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Twenty-Nine Students Complete Intro to Conservation Planning Course

Instructor Larry Beeler kicks off the Intro to Conservation Planning Course on November 13, 2018, in Grantville, PA.

Twenty-nine students completed the Intro to Conservation Planning Course in Grantville, PA from November 13-15, 2018. The training included classroom and field experience. The course targeted entry-level conservationists, introducing them to the conservation planning process in Pennsylvania.

Participants attended the three-day training free of charge thanks to the generous sponsorship of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Conservation Commission. PACD provided administrative support for the course. 

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Chapter 102 Fall Regional Sessions Conclude

Nathan Crawford, DEP, kicks off the Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session on November 6 in Harrisburg.

On November 6, 2018, the sixth and final Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session was held in Harrisburg, PA. The regional training was presented by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with administrative support from PACD.

Holding six regional sessions rather than one large session for the entire state has allowed DEP to deliver training more effectively and better address regional issues. The training this fall included program updates, common plan of development or sale, sediment and basin review, and the Clean Water Academy.

The next Chapter 102 training will take place in the spring.


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