PACD Awards Nearly $70,000 to Conservation Districts for Nonpoint Pollution Prevention Educational Projects

This field test kit was created as part of the Perry County Conservation District’s “SCOPE” mini-grant project. Photo taken by Kristie Smith, PCCD Watershed Specialist.

Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts were recently awarded more than $69,840 for 37 projects in 31 counties. The projects promote water pollution prevention activities through the Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place over the next 13 months.

Click here to see a list of projects funded as part of the 2017-18 NPS Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant round. 

Funding for the grants, up to $2,000 each, is provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.




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District Educators Attend the PAEE Conference

Tabletop stormwater best management practices demonstration given by Katy DeMent, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse; Mandi Lyon, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Mary Ann Steiner, Steiner Learning Design. Photo by Brittney Coleman.

PACD awarded seven scholarships for conservation district environmental educators to attend the PA Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) Conference March 13-14, 2017, at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center in Sandy Lake, PA.

“It was terrific to participate in a program that included so much diversity in terms of ages of participants/ideas/activities. The conference was well rounded, creative and comprehensive” said Jolie Chylack, the Lehigh County Conservation District’s Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator.

The annual two-day conference featured respected speakers, seminars, workshops, and learning experiences covering a wide range of environmental topics. The scholarships gave district educators the opportunity to learn new techniques, discover the latest tools and materials available to them, and to network with other environmental educators from across the state.

The scholarships were made possible through an Environmental Education Grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

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Agricultural Conservation Technical Training Concludes

There were 28 attendees of the Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Basic Level held March 20-24, 2017 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and affiliates, Farmland Preservation, Department of Environmental Protection, and PACD’s engineering assistance program.

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Staff from 23 Conservation Districts Receive Technical Training

Alaina Vecere, Water Pollution Biologist for the Department of Environmental Protection, discusses the Chapter 105 program on March 22, 2017.

The Spring 102/105 Technical Training – Basic/Refresher session provided concentrated classroom instruction to 42 employees from 23 conservation districts and the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The training session took place March 20-23, 2017, in State College, Centre County.

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Nominations for PACD Conservation Awards Now Being Accepted

The April 30th deadline to recognize a fellow conservationist by nominating him or her for a PACD Award is fast approaching. Contact Sandy Austin at or 717-238-7223 with any questions.

  • Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director or Associate Director Excellence Award
  • Conservation District Employee Excellence Award
  • Legislator Recognition Award
  • Maurice K. Goddard Award for Excellence in Environmental Recreation

Click here for more information and a nomination form. 

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Susquehanna County Conservation District Holds Municipal Workshop

Photo submitted by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

Approximately 40 municipal officials attended the Dirt, Gravel & Low Volume Road Municipality Workshop on February 28, 2017 held by the Susquehanna County Conservation District. The workshop focused on the proper way to fill out Dirt and Gravel project applications. Attendees also learned about stream crossing permitsand the district was able to provide large wallmaps to each municipality. The maps showed potential and completed worksites. At the end of the agenda, participants had time to review specific project application questions from their municipality.

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Chesapeake Bay Staff Meeting Wrap-Up

Rich Batiuk, Associate Director for Science, Analysis and Implementation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, discusses best management practice verification on March 13, 2017.

The 2017 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting was held on Monday, March 13, 2017 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. Over one-hundred, seventy-five people attended the meeting to hear about current topics related to the Bay and to network with colleagues.

Presenters from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and various conservation districts, discussed topics such as best management practice (BMP) verification, the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, and PracticeKeeper software. A lot of discussion focused on the current farm inspections with an open forum session that encouraged questions on the topic. Three conservation districts also shared their experiences and lessons learned about the farm inspection. Maybe the most popular session, however, was one that provided a completely different perspective on some of the topics. During this session, three farmers from Bradford County talked about how they view the inspections and what district and DEP support would be helpful to them.

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Potter County Holds Legislative Luncheon

(Left to right): Front row: Brenda Shambaugh (PACD), Alexander Veto (Dirt & Gravel Roads Project Specialist), Berty Kurtz (Administrative Assistant), Representative Martin Causer, Susan Kefover (Commissioner), Rob Thompson (Agricultural Technician). Back row: Earl Brown (District Chairman), Representative Matthew Baker, Chuck Dillon (Field Representative for Senator Joe Scarnati’s Office), Jason Childs (District Manager), Jared Dickerson (Watershed Specialist), and Glenn Dunn II (Resource Conservationist).

On March 3, 2017, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Potter County for the Potter County Conservation District’s Legislative Luncheon. In addition to featuring several local dirt and gravel road, educational, farmland preservation, and erosion projects, other topics of discussion included the 2017-2018 state budget projections, the importance of partnerships, and the district’s role in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.



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Indiana County Holds Legislative Breakfast

(Left to right) District Manager Adam Cotchen, Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, County Commissioner Sherene Hess, County Commissioner Chair Michael Baker, Rep. Cris Dush, Jordan Ball (Aide for Sen. Bob Casey), and Joe Pittman (Chief of Staff for Sen. Don White). Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

On February 23, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Indiana County Conservation District for a legislative breakfast. During the event, each district staff person highlighted a project they were working on. They emphasized what the district has done with funding they received.


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