New, Short Round of CREP Mini-grants Now Accepting Applications

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $500 to implement virtual educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment, and/or CREP maintenance.

The guidelines and application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts are posted here. Questions should be directed to PACD Program Manager Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Farmer Focus Groups: Ohio Watershed

PACD seeks input from farmers and agricultural landowners from the Pennsylvania portion of the Ohio River Watershed about the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on February 9 and 11, 2021. Farmers can participate in these discussions whether or not they have enrolled land in the program.

Please share this information with your farmer contacts in the Ohio Watershed.

All farmers who participate in the virtual focus group will receive $125 in return for their time. Registration is limited to 15 qualified farmers on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are farming 50 acres of more, please register for the focus group on February 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: https://bit.ly/pacd-oh-1

If you are farming less than 50 acres, please register for the focus group on February 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: https://bit.ly/pacd-oh-2

Note: Conservation district staff, directors, and associate directors are not eligible to participate.

Questions? Contact PACD Director of Communications & Education Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

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PA CREP Website Now Features Spanish Translation

As part of the work PACD performs for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office, staff recently added a Spanish translation option to the www.creppa.org website. Users can view the website in Spanish by clicking on the Mexican flag in the upper right corner of the website. The PDF files linked on the site are currently only available in English, but the USDA Farm Service Agency is working on providing Spanish translated versions.

With this update, more farmers will be able to access information on the CREP program.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Berks County Conservation District Holds Community Tree Planting Event

Community tree planting coordinated by the Berks County Conservation District. Photo provided by BCCD.

The Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) was awarded a $2,500 grant through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts).

The grant funds were used to hold a community tree planting event on November 9, 2019. At the event, 20 volunteers helped to plant 130 trees on 0.6 acres. As part of the event, BCCD staff provided education on how to plant a forested riparian buffer, the environmental benefits, financial programs available, and required maintenance for the buffers to succeed.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

Click here to read the entire article.

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CREP & Stream Buffer Field Event Held in Snyder County

Lauren Cheran, Snyder CCD Watershed Specialist, (right foreground) speaks to the group at a Snyder County Conservation District stream buffer and fencing site where it is a work in progress. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

Submitted by Barry Spangler, Agricultural Conservation Technician, Snyder County Conservation District

The Snyder County Conservation District held a CREP and Stream Buffer Field Day event on October 16, 2019. Twenty-five farmers, landowners, a newly elected state representative, a county commissioner, and interested persons attended. Conservation agency and non-government staff members participated in leading the event.

At each site, partners offered their expertise regarding the establishment and maintenance of successful riparian (forested and non-forested) buffers as well as warm and cool season grasses for wildlife habitat. 

Click here to read the entire article and to see more photos of the event. 

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Conservation Districts Educate Landowners through CREP Mini-grant Program

Columbia County CREP field day.

The 2018-19 round of Pennsylvania Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grants for conservation districts concluded in June.

Some of the outcomes include:

•      14 projects conducted
•      1,472 farmers and landowners reached
•      19 field days/walkabouts held
•      11 workshops held
•      167 one-on-one visits held
•      27 participants indicated they plan to enroll in CREP in the future

Earlier this year, PACD opened the 2019-20 round and awarded 16 mini-grants. Questions about the mini-grant program should be directed to abrown@pacd.org.

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Jefferson County Conservation District Holds CREP Workshop

John Brundege, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, explains why riparian forest buffers are important. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

The Jefferson County Conservation District hosted a Wildlife Conservation Workshop on March 28, 2019, at the district office in Brookville. Thirteen individuals learned about the benefits of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), noxious/invasive weed identification and management, riparian buffers, and wildlife in grassland areas. Presenters Mike Kerr, Kimberly Bohn, John Brundege, Tim Hoppe, and Megan Whitlatch provided important information and answered many questions from attendees.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Over $35,000 awarded to Conservation Districts to promote CREP in PA

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded more than $35,000 for projects in fifteen counties for the 2019-20 Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Mini-Grant Program. Conservation districts will use these grants to work with landowners to prevent pollution in our streams, lakes, and rivers. Projects will take place over the next twelve months.

The following districts were awarded up to $2,500 as part of the 2019-20 CREP mini grant round:

Allegheny & Westmoreland, $2,500
Berks, $2,500
Blair, $2,500
Bradford, $2,500
Butler, $2,310
Clearfield, $2,500
Columbia, $2,500
Chester, $1,650
Indiana, $2,500
Jefferson, $2,500
Juniata, $1,230
Lycoming, $2,500
Snyder, $2,500
Sullivan, $2,500
Tioga, $2,500

Click here for more information on the CREP program.

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Berks County Holds Riparian Forested Buffer Showcase

By Christine Griesemer, Agricultural Resource Conservationist, Berks County Conservation District

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District recently held a Forested Riparian Buffer Showcase on April 26, 2019, at the Berks County 4H Center in Leesport, PA. This project was made possible by a $3,000 mini-grant provided through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts).

Thanks to funding from this grant, a 0.5 acre demonstration Forested Riparian Buffer was established near the Berks County 4-H Center.

Click here to read the entire article.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Columbia County Conservation District Hosts CREP Workshop

Participants learn about the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill that is available for use by landowners. Photo provided by Columbia County Conservation District.

The Columbia County Conservation District used a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grant, administered by PACD, to host a CREP Workshop at the Montour Preserve in Danville, PA on March 28, 2019. Forty-five people attended the workshop and heard presentations from the Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PA Game Commission about the new mid-contract management rules and how landowners can use CREP to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. A demonstration on how to use the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill was also part of the workshop.

Financial support for the CREP Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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