Bedford County Conservation District Conducts Project for Homeowners

The conservation district had an educational booth for homeowners on August 8, 2018, at the Bedford County Farmers Market. Photo provided by Bedford County Conservation District.

Bedford County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Prevention Educational Mini-grant to conduct a project for homeowners. The “Homeowners Practices to Minimize NPS Pollution” project provided education at a variety of events in the county, such as the county fair, farmers market, and the home and garden club. Rain barrels were also distributed as part of the project.

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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Farm Show Volunteers Needed

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show runs from January 5-12, 2019, in Harrisburg, PA. This year, the conservation districts will share booth space with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Two volunteers are needed for the following shifts:

  • Saturday, 1/5 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1/6 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Monday, 1/7 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 1/9 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday, 1/10 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, 1/11 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 1/12 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.

Volunteers receive a free parking pass to the event. Please email PACD Administrative Assistant Jann McNamara at jmcnamara@pacd.org to sign up or for more information.

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New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$60,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts

Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), conservation districts are eligible for mini-grants (up to $1,500) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would help farmers understand requirements and lead to the development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion and sedimentation plan. Districts are encouraged to use these mini-grant funds to market to and train private consultants (including certified crop advisors, seed/fertilizer salespeople, etc.) to help their clients write manure management plans.

Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. You should hear within a week if your project is approved for funding. Please note that there is limited funding available for this round and mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This grant will pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis.

The mini-grant application and guidelines are available here.  The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019 (or until all funds are allocated). Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 28, 2019. No extensions will be granted. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants.

Please note that there will not be any more “train the trainer” workshops. Instead, the PA Department of Environmental Protection is working with Penn State Extension staff to create web-based training for district staff to access as needed.

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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McKean County Conservation District Holds Streamside Stewardship Workshop

Streamside Stewardship Workshop participants view an agricultural stream crossing and adjacent streambank stabilization structures on the tour at S & D Farms. These best management practices significantly reduce pollution from sedimentation in the watershed and protect stream banks. Photo provided by McKean County Conservation District.

McKean County Conservation District held a Streamside Stewardship Workshop on October 20, 2018. The workshop was for landowners with a stream on their property. Participants learned about practices and tools to improve stream riparian areas and reduce non-point source pollution in local streams. Topics included  tree planting tips for successful riparian buffers, identifying invasive plants, and a demonstration of practices for healthy streams.

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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Indiana Holds Grazing Field Day

Landowner Dave Pounds explains how he uses his heavy use area to manage forage in his rotational grazing system at the October Southwest Project Grass Field Day and Pasture Walk hosted by the Indiana County Conservation District. Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

As part of the Indiana County Conservation District’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant project, the district hosted over 40 attendees at a field day and pasture walk. Attendees learned about conservation practices to implement on agricultural land.

The field day was hosted at the Dave Pounds Farm where rotational grazing, no-till renovation of pastures, and other best management practices were showcased. Speakers included J.B. Harrold, Southwest regional USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grazing specialist, and Dr. Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics.

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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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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PACD Office Moves!

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh at the front door of PACD’s new office.

The seven staff at the PACD office in Harrisburg moved to a commercial condominium seven miles east of downtown. The new office location opened November 13. Please update your records with our new address:

PACD
5925 Stevenson Ave., Suite A
Harrisburg, PA 17112

The main phone number remains the same. However, all staff have new extensions. They are as follows:

Main phone: 717-238-7223

  • Brenda Shambaugh ext. 103
  • Lisa Suhr ext. 112
  • Shannon Wehinger ext. 105
  • Amy Brown ext. 104 (please note Amy Brown was formerly Amy Salansky and she has a new email address: abrown@pacd.org)
  • Molly Burns ext. 110
  • Jann McNamara ext. 106
  • Matt Miller ext. 107

The PACD website and email address remain unchanged.

“This new office is better suited to our needs. Staff are excited to reap the benefits of this more logical layout,” said PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh. The old office at 25 N. Front Street is currently for sale. We hope to sell the building in the coming months.”

PACD members and partners are welcome to visit our new location. Our new larger conference room will host meetings up to 25 attendees. Thank you to our board and members for supporting this move.

 

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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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