Columbia County Conservation District Holds Water Education Day

Students at the Fish Ecology station learn what macroinvertebrates can tell us about water quality from Becky Dunlap, PA Department of Environmental Protection, one of the 64 presenters and volunteers for the event. Photo used with permission from Nicole Karr Photography.

On Wednesday, September 13th, 2017, the Columbia County Conservation District held its 3rd annual Water Education Day “Good Water = Good Life”, for 491 eighth grade students from Columbia County schools and homeschooling groups.

Students rotated through stations on groundwater, streams, water quality, fish ecology, and art to better understand our water resources, how to keep them clean and the connection between land and water. There was also an original music and drama performance by a group of local high school students that reinforces all the station topics.

The Columbia County Conservation District received the 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for this annual event. Presenters and volunteers came from the PA DEP, Bloomsburg University, PA American Water, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Children’s Museum, PA Rural Water and local watershed groups.

Click here to read more and here to view photos from the event. 

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Free Trees Available through PPL Electric Utilities’ Community Roots Program

On September 13, PPL partnered with the Lackawanna County Conservation District to launch the new Community Roots Program by conducting a tree planting in the City of Scranton. Pictured left to right are: Lackawanna County Conservation District’s Eric Johnson, Jerry Stiles, Cheryl Nolan, Lois Sherman, Kim Nagle, and PPL Electric Utilities Regional Affairs Director Alana Roberts. Photo provided by PPL.

Submitted by Alana Roberts, Regional Affairs Director, PPL Electric Utilities

PPL Electric Utilities’ investments in the communities it serves have always gone beyond poles and wires. Now, we’re putting down roots. The company recently unveiled Community Roots, a new program that will provide free trees to deliver environmental benefits, including cleaner air and habitat and food for birds and animals.

The goal of the program is to give trees to county and municipal parks, environmentally focused groups and schools.

Trees will be available in three types: bare-root seedlings, container seedlings and gallon container seedlings. They will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested groups or schools can order trees online at www.pplcommunityroots.com. The ordering site also can be reached through PPL Electric Utilities’ environment web page, www.pplelectric.com/environment.

Trees can be ordered now for planting in spring and fall next year. Trees for spring 2018 need to be ordered by October 25, 2017.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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PracticeKeeper Licenses Available to All Conservation Districts

WorldView is proud to announce the release of the newest version of PracticeKeeper, a cloud-hosted land and water resource planning software platform, to all conservation districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The platform includes modules for tracking and reporting for data related to best management practices, conservation plans, nutrient management plans, watershed management, and complaints.

Features of PracticeKeeper include web-based mapping tools, reporting, and document management capabilities. PracticeKeeper is designed to provide standardization of data recording at the state level but also allows for flexibility at the district level to meet specific needs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has also contracted with WorldView to build a new module that will be used to report Agricultural Initial Inspections. Work is currently underway on this new module, which will be released during the Fall of 2017. PA DEP and WorldView are also committed to making continual improvements and enhancements to PracticeKeeper as all district staff begin using the application and providing feedback.

PA DEP has contracted with WorldView to provide licenses to all conservation districts, so please contact Steve Taglang for more information about the necessary steps to access the application.

For more information about PracticeKeeper, visit www.worldviewsolutions.com or www.practicekeeper.com.

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Potter County Conservation District Completes Municipality Meetings around the County

Potter County Conservation District’s Resource Conservationist Glenn Dunn II (left) and Manager Jason Childs are pictured in front of the Hebron Township building.

Submitted by Jason Childs, Manager, Potter County Conservation District

Beginning in mid-July of this year the Potter County Conservation District teamed up with the Potter County Planning/GIS department to host a series of one-on-one meetings with each of the municipalities within Potter County.

The meetings were successful in opening lines of communication between municipalities and the Potter County Conservation District. The district met with a total of 20 Townships/Boroughs over the course of the five meeting dates.

Click here to read the entire article.

 

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Shambaugh Attends Executive Directors’ Conference

The group of state executive directors pose for a group photo during their conference in Utah. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh is the 6th person from the left.

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Executive Directors’ Conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from August 29 to September 1, 2017. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Utah for the conference.

Topics included fundraising, marketing, and peer-to-peer training.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to network with other state association executive directors. While we do face some different issues, there are many that are the same all over the country. I am excited to bring back ideas that we can use in Pennsylvania,” said Shambaugh.

Click here to see NACD’s photos and here to read NACD’s article on the event (scroll to second item)

 

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2018 PA Farm Show: Conservation District Booth Opportunities

PACD is offering complimentary space at our 2018 Farm Show booth to conservation districts who would like to set-up a display for a day and educate folks from all over the state. It’s an opportunity to highlight your district, your county, and what’s going on in your neck of Penn’s Woods. If your district has an exhibit that travels easily and you would like to spend a few hours enjoying the Farm Show, then this opportunity is for you.

Contact Sandy Austin at saustin@pacd.org or 717-238-7223 by October 2nd with the type of display you have to offer. Since this is something new, at this time we’re just trying to gauge interest and are happy to discuss your ideas.

Click here to read more about the PA Farm Show.

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CREP Partner Workshop Held in the Delaware River Basin

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) recently opened in the Delaware River Basin (DRB). To ensure staff at CREP partner agencies and organizations in the DRB are knowledgeable about the program, the CREP Outreach Program Office of the PA Association of Conservation Districts sponsored a workshop on August 22, 2017. Thirty-six people attended the workshop at Penn State Lehigh Valley Campus and are now able to assist interested landowners and to encourage the installation CREP conservation practices.

Those attending heard from the Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, PA Department of Environmental Protection, the PA Game Commission, and the CREP Outreach Program Office. They are now able to explain the benefits and responsibilities of the program and identify landowners who may be a good candidate for CREP. They are also prepared to answer inquiries about the program and to direct potential enrollees to the appropriate agency or individual. 

For more information about CREP, email info@CREPPA.org or go to www.CREPPA.org.

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

 

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Reminder: Time to Register for the CPESC Review Course – Harrisburg, PA

Please register now if you are planning to become a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) and wish to attend the Exam Review Course sponsored by PACD. The course will held on September 26, 2017 at the Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey, Harrisburg, PA. Register at the EnviroCert website – click here to view the flyer for details. 

The review course is open to anyone – district, agency, or private – who is actively pursuing a CPESC certification through EnviroCert International, Inc. Please pass this information along to anyone who may be interested.

CPESC is a professional designation for E&S technicians, engineers, and other specialists involved in design, construction, inspection, or other aspects of erosion and sedimentation control. The review course is designed to ensure that CPESC applicants understand which concepts will be covered by the exam and acts as a review for most of those concepts.

There is special pricing for PA conservation district staff. Contact Terry Fisher at tfisher@pacd.org for the district staff discount code or with other questions.

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Intro to Conservation Planning Course Slated for November

PACD is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the State Conservation Commission (SCC) to deliver a three day Introduction to Conservation Planning course. This free training will take place November 7-9, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg (Hershey area) in Grantville, PA.

Please note that this training is taking place this fall instead of next spring due to funding issues. There will not be an Intro to Conservation Planning Training offered in 2018.

The event is for entry-level employees of all organizations in Pennsylvania delivering conservation planning technical assistance, including but not limited to, NRCS, conservation districts, SCC, farmland preservation entities, non-profits, and private consultants. Lunch will be provided.

The application link will be emailed to those who are interested in taking the course after they have submitted their pre-requisite certificate of completion to swehinger@pacd.org. Click here for information on the pre-requisite. The deadline to apply is October 20, 2017.

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2018 Poster Contest Theme: Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home

Just in time for Back-to-School! The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has announced the 2018 Poster Contest theme: “Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home.” PACD will be accepting photos of your county’s winning posters until June 30, 2018. We can’t wait to see all of the artistic entries for this year’s theme!

Click here for a flyer on the poster contest and here for more information.

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