PACD Creates Responsible Use of De-Icers PSA – Please Share!

PACD created a public service announcement (PSA) to encourage citizens to reduce the use of salt and de-icers to prevent pollution. Please share!

Materials include:

Click here to view the webpage of materials. Please share the PSA scripts with your local radio stations. In addition, conservation districts and partners are encouraged to share the video on their social media channels.

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Conservation District Booth at the PA Farm Show

Staff from Indiana County Conservation District staff the conservation district booth at the 2022 PA Farm Show on January 13, 2022. Photo was taken by Diane Young.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made the conservation district booth possible at the 2022 PA Farm Show!

Thank you to the following conservation districts for volunteering:

Bedford
Berks
Centre
Clinton
Cumberland
Indiana
Lancaster
Lebanon
Schuylkill

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Staff Conference Day 1 Sessions Focus on Managing Conflict and Stress

The 2022 Hybrid Staff Conference will take place February 16-17, 2022.

Dealing with difficult people and situations involves developing and applying skills not usually taught in traditional conservation training. The Staff Conference Day 1 workshop, presented by Rita Coleman Graham, will focus on self-awareness and situational awareness, active listening and assertive messaging skills, and techniques for de-escalating stressful interactions, with interactive exercises designed to empower conservation district staff to help improve their encounters with difficult people.

Pivoting from external encounters to internal reactions in stressful situations, the Day 1 Keynote Session will focus on resilience, stress, and humor to help staff find what presenter Jonathan Cleck describes as “calm amidst the storm.” This presentation will share lessons learned from a career spent in intensely stressful situations. In addition, it will help staff understand the complexities of their emotional and mental responses to adversity, stress, and chaos.

Day 1 wraps up with the 2nd Annual Conservation District Video Awards presentation, where finalist entries from 2021 will be screened. The coveted CONDIVA trophy will be awarded to the top-scoring submissions. All district personnel are invited to tune in via Zoom at 3:00 p.m. on February 16, 2022, when we present the awards and recognize staff with exceptional training completion in Clean Water Academy.

Two days of learning and networking, two ways to participate – Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register. The deadline for 2022 Hybrid Staff Conference registration is February 7.

Rita Coleman Graham, Owner of Coleman-Graham, brings decades of experience in the environmental field to provide facilitation and training for individuals, teams, and organizations on communication, conflict resolution, and leadership development to empower them to succeed.

Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Cleck is a career Navy SEAL officer, former Federal Air Marshal, FBI Task Force Officer, and recognized speaker on leadership, focusing on mental fortitude, team mindset, and building trust. Combining his diverse experiences in law enforcement and military special operations with his doctoral research in human performance, Jonathan’s message uses humor and hard-learned lessons to help those who work through chaotic and unpredictable circumstances to maximize their ability to perform in today’s challenging and unforgiving work environments.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Beaver County Conservation District Installs Multifunctional Riparian Forest Buffer at Zelienople Airport

Photo provided by Beaver County Conservation District.

In a cooperative effort, the Beaver County Conservation District and the Zelienople Airport Authority combined forces to improve streams affected by the airport runway project. Although they were rerouted for the runway project, the future is bright for these streams!

Hundreds of native trees and shrubs were planted along streams affected by the runway project in the fall of 2021. This was made possible by a $26,000 grant received by the conservation district through the PACD Multifunctional Riparian Buffer Sub-grant Program.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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 Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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Register Now for 2022 Director Workshop Series on Addressing Staff Retention Challenges

District directors, associate directors, and managers are invited to participate in this year’s Director Workshop series: Staff Retention, the Employee Life Cycle, and Post-Covid Policies, presented by Mary Kay Williams of State College-based MindShift Consulting and Matt Miller with PACD. The workshops will present an overview of the current district staffing situation, background, and concepts that underlie successful retention strategies for conservation districts. These sessions are intended to allow district leadership from across the state to share and discuss their own problems and solutions. Workshops are scheduled for February 24 at Westmoreland Conservation District, March 3 at Clinton County Conservation District, and March 9 in Harrisburg (and streaming online via Zoom). They are free of charge and include lunch for in-person attendees. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Now Accepting Applications for a New Round of CREP Mini-grants for Conservation Districts

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $3,000 to implement 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 are posted here. Questions should be directed to 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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Updates From Leadership Development

Reminder: Staff Conference Room Block Deadline is January 14

District staff planning to attend the 2022 Staff Conference in person have until this Friday, January 14, to make a reservation from the event room block. Instructions for making reservations are posted at the in-person registration portal. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.

2022 Director Workshops to Focus on Staff Retention and Post-Covid Employee Policies

Registration is open for the 2022 Director Workshop Series, with in-person and online participation options. This year’s workshop program includes an overview of current district staffing challenges, a presentation on performance management and successful retention strategies, and a discussion of retention recommendations from managers. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.

Financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission. Guidance for the Program is provided through the Pennsylvania Conservation Partnership’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Register for the 2022 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting

The 2022 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting will be held via Zoom from February 23-24, 2022. CConservation district agricultural technicians, watershed specialists, and management, CAP coordinators, and staff from PA state agencies and USDA-NRCS, are invited to attend. Registration is free and required.

Formerly known as the All Bay Meeting, this annual meeting has been expanded to include sessions relevant to conservation districts across the state and more focused sessions for conservation districts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The draft agenda includes topics such as agency updates, successful private/public partnerships, soil health education support for CAP implementation, getting credit for projects and practices through data management and reporting, a walkthrough of the Clean Water Academy, county CAP updates, funding, leveraging partners to get projects on the ground, targeted restoration using EPA’s Recovery Potential Screening Tool, and other timely and relevant sessions.

Click here for more information and to register.  

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Cumberland County Conservation District Holds 10th Annual Corn Planter Clinic

Bill Chain from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation explains rain’s effects on no-till, plowed, fodder-covered, and grassed waterway soils. Photo provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

On December 15, 2021, the 10th Annual Corn Planter Clinic was held at the Shippensburg Auction Center. The clinic is the largest agricultural education event in Cumberland County. Staff from the Cumberland County Conservation District worked with Cumberland Planter in organizing this event. The event is beneficial for the farming community to come together to share ideas and gather valuable information from knowledgeable speakers. A total of 160 people attended.

Click here to read the entire article and to view more photos. 

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$60,000 Available for 2022-23 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continuing to support conservation district educational projects, PACD is ready to open a new round of Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grants!

Grants up to $2,000 are awarded to conservation districts for adult educational projects that offer strategies for reducing and preventing NPS Pollution. Projects should stimulate a local awareness of water quality issues, promote the theme “We All Live Downstream,” and encourage citizen participation in activities to improve water quality in local watersheds.

The deadline for NPS mini-grant applications is January 28, 2022. Click here for the online application and more information. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org

Financial and other support for the NPS Mini-grant Program 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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