Boot Camp for New Managers Held in Huntingdon County

Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding addresses attendees at the District Managers Boot Camp on July 19. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

The Conservation District Managers “Boot Camp” was held June 19-21 at Lake Raystown Resort and Conference Center in Entriken, PA.

This three-day training was specifically developed for district managers with less than five years of experience. The event focused on providing participants with a knowledge base that includes the history and structure of a conservation district, an overview of conservation district programs and activities, the responsibilities managing a district office, district finances and personnel, and working with a conservation district board.

The training was provided by Pennsylvania’s “Building for Tomorrow” Leadership Development Program.


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Franklin County Conservation District Honors Sam Worley

County Commissioners present Sam Worley with a citation for his 25 years of service to the board. From left to right: Commissioner Bob Thomas, Sam Worley, Commissioner David Keller, and Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski.

On June 12, 2017, the Franklin County Conservation District recognized Sam Worley for 25 years of service on the district board. A citation was presented to Sam during the district’s monthly board meeting. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh was on hand for the event to thank Sam for his service.



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Snyder County Conservation District Hosts Agroforestry Workshop

Penn State’s Eric Burkhart from the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, tells the group about medicinal plant production, specifically Ginseng. Photo provided by SCCD.

Seventy-five participants at a local workshop learned that there are untapped treasures in the forest that can bring forest landowners some additional income. On June 16 the PA Bureau of Forestry, Community Partnerships RC&D, and the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) hosted an Agroforestry Workshop at the Shade Mountain Winery near Middleburg.

Attendees heard presentations on marketing non-timber products such as medicinal plants, edible plants and mushrooms, charcoal making, tapping maple syrup, growing ginseng, planting multi-function buffers, among other topics. Speakers included the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Tracey Coulter and Gary Gilmore, Penn State’s Jim Finley and Dr. Eric Burkhart, Rusty Orner of Quiet Creek Herb Farm, Lauren Barlow from Community Partnerships RC&D, and PASA Director Hannah Smith-Brubaker.

Planning Committee:
Craig Bingman, SCCD District Manager
Gerald Hoy, DCNR Service Forester
Lauren Barlow, Community Partnerships, RC&D


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Thirty Projects Completed through Nonpoint Source Pollution Mini-grant Program

Juniata County Conservation District (JCCD) installed riparian buffer signs as part of their Fayette Area Lion’s Den Streamside Buffer and Rain Garden NPS Pollution Prevention Educational mini-grant project. Photo provided by JCCD.

In the 2016-17 Nonpoint Source Pollution mini-grant round, 30 projects were completed by 25 conservation districts, reaching over 3,305 adults.

The projects included stormwater management, agricultural workshops, a safe disposal of medications campaign, municipal workshops, golf course outreach, and more! Ninety-three workshops and 23 field days were conducted during this mini-grant round.

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.

Click here for project outcomes and a map of completed projects

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Ag Progress Days 2017: Volunteers Needed

Please consider volunteering for the conservation district exhibit at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, August 15-17, 2017.

The annual event is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA, and features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.

About 60% of the 45,000 expected to attend are actively engaged in agriculture or related activities. With so many farming families from across Pennsylvania at this event, it’s a great opportunity to call attention to the work and programs done at the districts.

Volunteers are needed for the shifts listed below. Send your name and contact information to or call 717-238-7223 with questions or to schedule your shift.

Tuesday Aug. 15: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (1 volunteer needed)
Tuesday Aug. 15: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Thursday Aug. 17: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)

A final volunteer schedule, parking passes, and other show information will be sent to volunteers before the event. For more information on Ag Progress Days go to their website at

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Legislative Roundtable

Lebanon County Commissioner JoEllen Litz, District Manager Lynette Gelsinger, Representative Frank Ryan, Representative Russ Diamond, Teresa Leitner (from Representative Sue Helm’s Office), Randall Leisure LCCD Board Chairman, Kori Walter (from Congressman Costello’s office), Brian Craig (from Congressman Dent’s office), Lebanon County Commissioner Bill Ames, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh.

On June 9, 2017, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Lebanon County for a legislative event. The Lebanon County Conservation District (LCCD) held an informative Legislative Roundtable with Representatives Diamond and Ryan, Commissioners Ames and Litz, and staff from the offices of Congressman Dent, Congressman Costello, and Representative Helm in attendance.

Topics discussed included the state budget, agricultural land preservation, and the Chesapeake Bay Reboot. Representatives Diamond and Ryan talked about the status of the State Budget and Brenda Shambaughemphasized the importance of not cutting spending for agricultural and DEP line items that impact conservation districts such as Lebanon.


Click here to read more.

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Berks County Conservation District Holds Paint the Rain Contest

Pictured is the winning rain barrel created by the Berks Catholic High School ‘s Environmental Class.

The Berks County Conservation District held its second Paint the Rain School Competition. The Berks Catholic High School‘s Environmental Class took first place. The formal recognition event will be held October 23, 2017, at the Berks County Conservation District/Farm Service Agency Annual Awards and Scholarship Banquet.

The first place team won a $100 gift card and a certificate of recognition from the Berks County Commissioners.

Following the contest, the rain barrels were auctioned off and the proceeds went to the Berks County Conservation District Scholarship Fund, which supports students interested in majoring in environmental education in college.

Click here to read more.

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Lycoming County Conservation District’s Urban Agriculture Project Highlighted

Photo used with permission from NACD.

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) awarded Lycoming County Conservation District with an Urban Agriculture Conservation grant. NACD recently highlighted the project in their e-newsletter.

From the article:
“The Lycoming County Conservation District is partnering with existing gardening initiatives in the area to identify overlooked best management practices, address nutrition and food safety issues, and provide conservation demonstrations as part of their “Urban Agriculture for Healthier Families and Homes Program” – or “FreshFoodLyco” for short.”

Click here to read more (scroll to the bottom). 

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