Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

We support Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts who work for clean water and healthy soil every day.

Conservation District and PACD Staff Members Receive Performance Awards from NRCS

Mike Schlauch (left) and Andy Wodehouse (right). Photos provided by awardees.

Two conservation district and PACD staff members were nominated for performance awards from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are:

Mike Schlauch – Conservation Specialist, Luzerne Conservation District – PACD’s Conservation District Umbrella Program

During Fiscal Year 2023, Mike wrote 232 acres of EQIP/CTA/CREP conservation plans for seven producers. Mike has been prompt in completing all Highly Erodible Land determinations assigned to him, 40 in total. Throughout the year, Mike has either assisted the engineering staff with, or completed on his own, eight Inventory and Evaluations and five surveys/designs.. Due to staff turnover, Mike has been critical in achieving the agency’s mission within Luzerne County.

Andy Wodehouse – PACD TAG Program

Andy Wodehouse was asked to prepare for a training event and deliver that training to all new Civil Engineering Technicians and Soil Conservation Technicians in the entire North East area. The Training Topic was “Basic Surveying.” He put together an excellent training event. This training was to teach new employees entry-level surveying techniques and how to use survey equipment. The training was hands-on and delivered very effectively. He did a fantastic job putting this training event together. This training will decrease assistance needed by the technical office, increase productivity, get more practices built, assist with construction inspection, and start earning Job Approval for each employee. This task is not normally assigned and is in addition to yearly assigned performance goals.

Congratulations to Mike and Andy for their exceptional work!

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Pennsylvania Represented at NACD Annual Meeting

Doug Beri, Indiana County District Manager; Ron Rohall, Westmoreland Conservation District (WCD) Board Chair and Pennsylvania representative to NACD; Cliff Lane, McKean County Conservation District Board Member; Emil Bove, WCD Board Member and 2nd Vice President for the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts; Rob Cronauer, WCD District Manager/CEO. Photo provided by WCD.

Submitted by Rob Cronauer, Westmoreland Conservation District Manager/CEO

District board members and staff recently attended the National Association of Conservation District (NACD) Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. The five-day event featured informative sessions on conservation topics like soil health, community outreach, climate change, and water quality. USDA Deputy Secretary for Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small announced a new initiative called the Working Lands Climate Corps at the event. This program will provide skills-based training for careers in conservation that will assist farmers with climate-smart agricultural solutions.

Participants also had a chance to meet and share ideas with conservation district staff nationwide. Westmoreland Conservation District Board Chair Ron Rohall is the Pennsylvania representative to NACD and has been active in advancing educational and funding opportunities to conservation districts at the national level.

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2024 PSATS Conference – Volunteers Needed

Close to 4,000 township officials and guests from all over Pennsylvania will attend the annual Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference and Trade Show on April 14-16, 2024. Once again, there will be a conservation district booth at the show from Sunday, April 14, to Tuesday, April 16.

PACD is seeking volunteers for the following shifts:

  • Sunday, April 14, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (1st shift) (2 volunteers needed)
  • Sunday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. (2nd shift) (1 volunteer needed)
  • Monday, April 15, 7:30 a.m.–Noon (1st shift) (1 volunteer needed)
  • Tuesday, April 16, 7:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (2 volunteers needed)

Please consider volunteering for a morning or afternoon shift at the conservation district booth. This is a valuable opportunity to promote the districts and explain the type of work they do, as well as reinforce existing relationships with local township officials.

To volunteer, please contact Roxanne Dohner at rdohner@pacd.org.

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Save the Date for an Expanded Joint Annual Conference

PACD is revitalizing the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference for 2024 and beyond! Join us at the Penn Stater Conference Center July 17-18 to see the changes we’ve made and hear what’s in store for the future. Sessions and tours will center around an Innovation and Technology theme, and participants are encouraged to take advantage of area attractions like the Penn State Creamery. Ice cream, anyone? Stay tuned for more updates! Registration will open in May.

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Cliff Lane Wins National Award

Cliff Lane accepts the award in San Diego. Photo provided by Jennifer Ramey.

Cliff Lane, McKean County Conservation District Secretary/Treasurer, PACD North West Region Director & National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) North East Region Representative, was presented with the National Association of Conservation District Employees Outstanding Conservation District Board Member Award. The award was presented during the NACD annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month. Congratulations Cliff!

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Save the Date for Chapter 102 Basic Technical Training

Chapter 102 Basic Technical Training will take place May 20-24, 2024, at the Red Lion Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. Attendance is open solely to conservation district technicians and DEP staff who work with Chapter 102. This five-day training is recommended for those who are new or relatively new to their position, have never taken a similar training, would like a refresher, or would like guidance and skill enhancement for field inspections. Participants will gain both classroom and field experience. Registration will open in March.

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February Staff and Director Workshops Held in Centre & Clinton Counties

Sarah Colantonio of Lancaster-based Work Wisdom LLC facilitates the kick-off Emotional Intelligence workshop on February 20 at Ramada Conference Center State College.

The 2024 regional workshop series for staff and directors kicked off last week. Twenty-six staff attended the first Emotional Intelligence: Apps for Wellbeing workshop at the Ramada Conference Center in State College on Tuesday, February 20. Ten directors, managers, and partner staff attended the Strategic Board Development workshop hosted by Clinton County Conservation District on Wednesday, February 21.

There’s still time to register for March workshops; don’t miss out on these training opportunities!

Click here to register for Emotional Intelligence: Apps for Wellbeing.

Click here to register for Strategic Board Development.

In case you missed it:

  • The 4th Annual Conservation District Video Awards presentation and links to all the 2023 contest entries are posted to the blog page at Building for Tomorrow
  • All webinar sessions and supplemental resources for the three-part Understanding Time Management Webinar Series are posted to the webinars page at Building for Tomorrow

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 Now for PACD Spring Region Meetings

Join us for the PACD spring region meetings! All meetings will be in-person with a virtual option. Click on your region meeting below for more information, and be sure to RSVP to the meeting host.

PACD South Central Region Meeting
March 7, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Cumberland County Conservation District, Carlisle, PA

PACD North Central Region Meeting
March 19, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Clinton County Conservation District, Mill Hall, PA

PACD South East Region Meeting
March 28, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. to Noon
Henning’s Market, Harleysville, PA

PACD North East Region Meeting
April 4, 2024| 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Monroe County Conservation District, Stroudsburg, PA

PACD South West Region Meeting
April 18, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Westmoreland Conservation District, Greensburg, PA

PACD North West Region Meeting
April 23, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Armstrong Conservation District, Kittanning, PA

Click here to find your region. 

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Pennsylvania Posters Place in National Contest

Evelyn Warner’s poster (top) and Cora Petrunak’s poster (bottom) placed in the 2023 national poster contest.

Two Pennsylvania posters placed in the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) contest!

  • Evelyn Warner from Cambria County won 2nd place in the 10-12th grade category.
  • Cora Petrunak, from Lehigh County, won 3rd place in the 2-3 grade category.

The winners are posted on the NACD Flickr account

Congratulations to the students and the Cambria and Lehigh County Conservation Districts for the national win!

 

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Congratulations to 2023 Conservation District Video Award Winners

The 4th Annual Conservation District Video Awards were presented on Thursday, February 15. The 1st place CONDIVA trophy for the highest-scoring video of 2023 was awarded to Monroe County Conservation District for Maple Sugaring. Two runner-up entries tied for 2nd place: Living in Our Waters: The Wonders of Macroinvertebrates, submitted by Beaver County Conservation District, and iMap Invasives Scavenger Hunt, submitted by Pike County Conservation District. Visit Building for Tomorrow for links to the video of the presentation and all the 2023 entries.

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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