PA Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a Pennsylvania farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented annually with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Submit a nomination on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application is available at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA. Email applications to award@sandcountyfoundation.org by August 1, 2020.

The Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of platinum sponsor, Heinz Endowments, and the assistance and support of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Sand County Foundation, USDA NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts.

The Leopold Conservation Award is presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January.

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PACD Listserves Connect Districts – Are You Subscribed?

Did you know there is a PACD listserve for every PACD member? They are free to join and use. Conservation district directors, associate directors, and staff can all take advantage of this service for members. Listserve members can communicate with counterparts across the state in a single email, and receive announcements and information relevant to their job duties.

PACD currently offers listserves for the following individuals:

  • agricultural technicians
  • erosion and sedimentation technicians
  • administrative support staff
  • managers
  • directors and associate directors
  • watershed specialists
  • dirt, gravel, and low volume road specialists
  • environmental educators
  • mosquito-borne disease control technicians

Please note that you may subscribe to more than one listserve based on your interests and job duties. Interested? Contact Molly Burns at mburns@pacd.org to subscribe.

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102/105 Topic-based Technical Training Registration Opens

The 2020 102/105 Topic-based Technical Training will take place March 31-April 2 at the Wyndham Garden State College in Boalsburg, PA. The event is open to conservation district and DEP staff with little or no cost to attend. Registration is through the DEP Clean Water Academy. Click here for registration information and a course outline. A full draft agenda will be posted as soon as it is available.

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Two Pennsylvania Projects Selected for Urban Agriculture Grant

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced $1 million in urban agriculture conservation funding for 21 conservation districts across 13 states.

NACD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service first partnered through the Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative in 2016 to support technical assistance activities in developed or developing areas.

Two recipients are from Pennsylvania:

  1. Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD)
    Soil Health 2.0: Enhancing Productivity in Allegheny County
    The ACCD will support a series of soil health science and management workshops, development of an urban soil management guide, provide staff support for a pilot master composter program, and map out soil properties for potential urban ag lands across vacant lots in two low-income communities.
  2. Indiana County Conservation District (ICCD)
    Growing Community Education of Urban Agriculture with Community Partners
    The ICCD will establish local partnerships to improve operations and locate spaces for edible plants to provide onsite examples for workshops on urban agriculture and soil health best management practices. District staff will be trained to prepare and run workshops to expand knowledge of local agriculture as well as soil and water management.

Click here to read about the other recipients. 

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Northumberland County Conservation District Holds Breakfast for Landowners in Warrior Run Watershed

The stream table showed attendees how their actions affect an entire watershed. Photo provided by Northumberland County Conservation District.

Submitted by Judy Becker, Manager, Northumberland County Conservation District

The smell of breakfast was in the air as 75 farmers and landowners gathered the Saturday morning of January 25.  In the initial planning phases to create water quality goals in the Warrior Run watershed, the Warrior Run Watershed Team decided a pancake breakfast was a great way to connect with those living in the watershed.  The Team could not think of a better way to engage the community than to offer free breakfast and time of fellowship where they can learn about the watershed in which they live.

Click here to read the entire article and see more photos of the event. 

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Conservation District Staff from Across the State Convene in State College

Janet McNally, Team Development Services, kicked off the Building for Tomorrow Staff Conference with the morning keynote on productive conflict and emotional intelligence.

The 2020 Building for Tomorrow Staff Conference was held on February 12-13 at the Wyndham Garden State College. There were 130 attendees from 45 counties. Keynote sessions were held on productive conflict and emotional intelligence and getting things done through time management.

Presentations from the conference will be posted at https://www.paleadership.org/events-programming/staff-conference/.

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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Director Training Update

The Building for Tomorrow 2020 Back to Basics Regional Director Training workshop scheduled for March 10 at Berks County Conservation District has been canceled. But there’s still time to register for the March 11 workshop at Cumberland County – please click here for more information. 

For those unable to attend a regional workshop, remember to visit the Director Training page at the Building for Tomorrow website for learning resources and updates on upcoming programming.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for the July 23 Director’s Breakfast at the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference, where Janet McNally of Team Development Services will present on The Five Practices of Effective Boards.  Janet recently gave this presentation at a meeting of the PACD Executive Board, and everyone who participated agreed that it would be a valuable session for all Directors.  Stay tuned for more information coming in spring.

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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Student from Delaware County Wins Second Place in National Poster Contest

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), in partnership with the NACD Auxiliary, announced the winners of the 2019 Photo Contest during the 74th NACD Annual Meeting. The 2019 Poster Contest theme was “Life in the Soil:  DIG DEEPER.”

Congratulations to Tvisha Jani and the Delaware County Conservation District for winning second place in the grades 2-3 division!

Click here for information on the 2020 poster contest. “Where would we BEE without Pollinators.” PACD will be accepting photos of your county’s winners until June 30, 2020.

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PACD Well Represented at Meeting of National Association

Pennsylvania representatives (left to right): Cliff Lane, McKean County Conservation District Commissioner Director, PACD North West Region Director, NACD Director; Sandy Thompson McKean County Conservation District Manager; Kelly Stagen Pike County Conservation District Director, PACD 1st Vice president, Alternate NACD Director); Ron Rohall, Westmoreland Conservation District Director; Alyssa Harden, Westmoreland Conservation District Watershed Technician; Dr. Irvil Kear (Schuylkill County), Jon Burgess, Allegheny County Conservation District Programs and Policy Director; and Roy Richardson, State Conservation Commission Dirt, Gravel & Low Volume Road Coordinator.

The 74th National Association of Conservation District’s Annual Meeting took place at Bally’s Las Vegas, February 8-12, 2020. NACD Director Cliff Lane and Alternate NACD Director Kelly Stagen joined by several other conservation district and partnering agency representatives.

Hosted in partnership with the Nevada Association of Conservation Districts, NACD’s 2020 Annual Meeting brought together nearly 1,000 conservation leaders from across the nation for educational sessions, workshops, and networking. This year’s meeting theme, “Conservation Innovation: Working from the Roots Up,” explored innovative techniques for delivering conservation on the ground.

During the meeting, the Board of Directors elected Michael Crowder of West Richland, Washington, to serve as the association’s president-elect.

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Lawrence County Conservation District Creates Edible Rain Garden

The rain garden is planted and mulched. Photo provided by Lawrence County Conservation District.

The Lawrence County Conservation District (LCCD) created an edible rain garden for their 2019-20 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant Project.

LCCD Watershed Specialist Mary Burris installed an edible rain garden at the Lower East Side Community Garden in conjunction with the Lower East Side Neighborhood Watch, Tri-County CleanWays, and DON Enterprises. Columbia Gas also provided volunteer labor and heavy machinery.

The community garden feeds more than 50 families, and the edible rain garden will supply blueberries, elderberries, Aronia berries, strawberries, and rhubarb. The rain garden also serves as a stormwater best management practice to catch and slow runoff and will provide a location for education programs.

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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