Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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Conservation Districts Awarded Over $65,000 for Nonpoint Source Mini-grant Program

Photo of installed rain barrel provided by Dauphin County Conservation District.

Last week, Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded over $65,000 for thirty-seven pollution reduction projects in twenty-eight counties. These projects educate adults on water pollution prevention. Projects are funded through the Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place over the next fifteen months.

Click here to read the entire press release and here for a summary of funded projects. 

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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Five Conservation Districts Receive Chesapeake Bay Grants

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $33.8 million in grant awards to support the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The 104 grants will leverage more than $30 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of more than $64 million.

Awards for Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts:

  • Accelerating Agricultural Pollution Reduction in the Mahantango Watershed
    Grantee: Snyder County Conservation District Grant, $414,000.
    Reduce agricultural runoff in the West and North Branches of Mahantango Creek through farmer outreach, developing agricultural conservation plans, and implementing conservation practices on beef and poultry operations. The project will result in the development of 30 agricultural conservation plans to guide future farm management for improved water quality.
  • Advancing Conservation Practice Implementation Through Planning
    Grantee: Lebanon County Conservation District Grant, $61,200.
    Provide additional technical assistance support to assist with the significant requests for conservation plans within the Little Swatara and Swatara Creek watersheds in Lebanon County. The project will result in the development of more than 50 agricultural conservation plans that will allow the advancement of future implementation of pollutant reduction best management practices on farms in these watersheds.
  • Enhancing Resilience of the Cowanesque Watershed through Collaboration
    Grantee: Potter County Conservation District Grant, $500,000.
    Implement more than 11,000 acres of soil health practices across the headwaters of the Cowanesque River in Potter and Tioga counties, including cover crops, no-till, prescribed grazing, and nutrient management. The project will enhance eastern brook trout populations in a high-priority patch by restoring connectivity to upstream cold-water habitat by replacing an existing stream culvert.
  • Helping Farmers Accomplish Conservation Goals in the West Branch Susquehanna River Watershed
    Grantee: Union County Conservation District Grant, $500,000.
    Implement agricultural conservation practices on four Turtle Creek watershed farms within the Susquehanna River’s broader West Branch. The project will complete whole farm conservation plans by strategically leveraging federal conservation program funding to fulfill farm-level funding needs.
  • Middle Creek Strategic Watershed Restoration Plan
    Grantee: Schuylkill Conservation District Grant, $50,000.
    Conduct an assessment of the Middle Creek watershed and develop a restoration plan that addresses sources of stormwater, flooding, sediment, and habitat fragmentation to build environmental and community resiliency. The project will rank pollution sources and watershed stressors and identify specific restoration solutions with the highest impact and lowest cost and risk.

Click here to read more. 

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PACD’s Ag Plan Reimbursement Program Now Open!

PACD was awarded a $500,000 Growing Greener Grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection to offer an Ag Plan Reimbursement Program for conservation districts from 2022-2024.

Please join us on August 9, 2022, for an informational webinar about the program. Use the link below to register. The webinar will introduce the program, review guidelines and instructions, and allow for questions and answers.

Webinar: Introducing PACD’s Ag Plan Reimbursement Program
August 9, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

To learn more about the program, please visit Here you will find guidelines, application forms, and reporting templates. Please get in touch with Holly Miller at with any questions.

Financial and other support for the Ag Plan Reimbursement 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.

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Indiana County Conservation District Receives Agriculture Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced more than $2.45 million in federal grants awarded to 23 projects that will grow markets and increase the quality, safety, and sustainability of the state’s vegetable, fruit, nut, and nursery specialty crops.

Indiana County Conservation District received $100,491. The district will demonstrate how to grow specialty crops by creating demonstration test plots at three locations to expand community knowledge of specialty crops and decrease food deserts.

Click here to read the press release. 

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Luzerne and Somerset Conservation Districts Receive PENNVEST Funds

PENNVEST logoGovernor Tom Wolf announced the investment of $199 million for 13 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and non-point source projects across 11 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).

Two conservation districts received funding for Non-Point Source Projects.

  • Luzerne Conservation District – received a $630,000 grant to construct a concrete manure storage tank and associated transfer system and storm drainage components on the Kevin Drasher farm, a beef and dairy operation. The project will implement agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and reduce 4,163 pounds of sediment and 4,937 pounds of nitrogen from the Chesapeake Bay watershed annually.
  • Somerset Conservation District – received a $682,638 grant to construct a circular manure storage structure and a roofed, heavy-use manure stacking area at the Joe Walker farm, a dairy operation in Summit Township. The project will eliminate 5,794 pounds of nitrogen annually and associated runoff into a tributary of the Blue Lick Creek and, ultimately, the Ohio River.

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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More Growing Greener Grants for Conservation Districts Announced

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced projects in Southcentral Pennsylvania.

Approved conservation district projects include: 

  • Berks County Conservation District: Little Cacoosing Creek Restoration, $374,128
  • Franklin County Conservation District: West Branch Conococheague Tributary Floodplain Restoration—Design and Permitting, $117,500 
  • York County Conservation District: West Branch Codorus Creek Stream Restoration Phase 2, $563,365

Three other agencies also received funds to distribute for appropriate projects: the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to administer farmland preservation projects, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for state park renovations and improvements, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for water and sewer system upgrades.

For more information on Growing Greener go to DEP’s website.


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Nineteen Growing Greener Grants Awarded to Conservation Districts

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced projects to clean up waters in the state’s northwest and southeast regions through DEP’s Growing Greener Plus program.

Statewide, more than $18 million was awarded to fund over 60 projects to clean up waters. Grantees have up to three years from the award date to implement their projects.

Nineteen of the 65 projects funded in the 2021 Growing Greener Grant round were awarded to conservation districts. This is 29.2% of the total number of projects funded. Of the $18,222,967 in Growing Greener funds awarded, $4,586,041 went to conservation districts. This is 25.2% of the total amount awarded.

Projects announced so far include:

  • Armstrong Conservation District, Mahoning-Redbank Creek Ag BMP Grant, $294,061
  • Columbia County Conservation District, Town of Bloomsburg Kinney Run Watershed Project, $245,000
  • Erie County Conservation District, PA VinES Program (Vested in Environmental Sustainability) in the Lake Erie Watershed, $249,500
  • Jefferson County Conservation District, Rattlesnake Creek Stream Improvement Project, $276,150
  • McKean County Conservation District, Upper Allegheny Ag. BMP Project, $382,492
  • Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD)
    • PACD Agriculture Plan Reimbursement Program, to help farmers statewide develop agricultural plans for their operations, $500,000
    • PACD Engineering Technical Assistance Program, to provide statewide engineering and soils technical assistance to entities developing or implementing a watershed assessment, watershed restoration plan, or watershed protection plan. Program staff are based out of four regional offices and cover all river basins throughout the state, $2,047,769

Conservation district projects funded through Growing Greener will continue to be highlighted as they are announced.

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Reminder: Building More Competitive Projects and Proposals: A NFWF Grants Writing Workshop for PA Conservation Districts

On February 1, 2022, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PACD will host a virtual National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Grants Writing Workshop. While there will be some focus on the Bay, the webinar will apply to all counties in PA.

This training aims to improve the ability of conservation districts to take advantage of NFWF funding opportunities. Staff, directors, and associate directors from Pennsylvania’s conservation districts are encouraged to attend.

Registration is free, but advanced registration is required. Click here for the flyer and here to register. 

Please get in touch with Holly Miller at with questions.

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Franklin County Conservation District Receives NFWF Grant

Update to “Bradford and Schuylkill Conservation Districts Receive NFWF Grants” article in the October 18, 2021 newsletter.

Franklin County Conservation District also received a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Grant in addition to Bradford and Schuylkill Conservation Districts as reported in the last issue of Front Page. They are mistakenly listed under the Virginia projects.

The Franklin County Conservation District will use the $50,000 grant to develop a Watershed Action Plan for the county to determine sources of nutrients and sediment in seven sub-watersheds. The project will identify best management practices for implementation to assist with the pollution reduction targets and water quality improvement goals identified in Franklin’s Countywide Action Plan.

Click here to read about all the projects. 

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Juniata County Conservation District Installs Buffer Signage

October is Riparian Buffer month! To celebrate, Juniata County Conservation District installed a riparian buffer educational sign at the Christian Retreat Center in East Waterford to explain the benefits of planting trees for water quality protection.

The signage was created from templates produced by PACD through a PA Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education Grant. The templates are available here

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