Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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

Don’t Miss PACD’s New Game Show: The Newly “Misled” Game

A new game show will debut during the hospitality suite at the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference on July 12, 2017. PACD will present the “Newly Misled Game” where friends and colleagues will see how well they know each other!

Volunteers are still needed to participate in the game. Contact Sandy Austin at if you are interested in joining the fun.

In addition to the game show, the hospitality suite will feature snacks and drinks from around the state. See you there!

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Conservation Districts Educate Landowners through CREP Mini-grant Program

Mike Kerr from the USDA Farm Service Agency explains the CREP program during a CREP workshop in Jefferson County. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

The 2016-17 round of Pennsylvania Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grants for conservation districts concluded in June.

Some of the outcomes include:

  • 8 projects were conducted
  • 2,000 farmers and landowners were reached
  • 3 field days/walkabouts were held
  • 6 workshops were held
  • 31 one-on-one visits were held
  • 29 participants indicated they plan to enroll in CREP In the future
  • 31 participants indicated they plan to re-enroll in CREP when their contract expires

PACD has applied for grant funding to continue this program. If funding is granted, a new grant round will be opened. Questions about the mini-grant program should be directed to


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Legislators Urged to Restore Funding for Conservation Districts


Those who control water pollution in our local streams, rivers, and lakes are facing funding cuts under the House of Representative’s budget. The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) is urging the general assembly to restore $1.1 million in funding to the county conservation districts.

The staff at your local county conservation district office work directly with community members to prevent pollution and ensure enough clean water for future generations. They know the local area and what causes the biggest pollution problems. Their goal is to address these problems by working together with community members to make sure drinking water is safe, streams are clean, and nature is protected. 

However, the House proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-18 significantly cuts conservation district funding from current levels. The cuts are as follows:

House Department of Agriculture Budget

  • Transfer to the Conservation District Fund: $739,000 ($130,000 less than current fiscal year)
  • Transfer to the Nutrient Management Fund: $2,307,000 ($407,000 less than current fiscal year)

House Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Budget

  • Transfer to the Conservation District Fund: $2,130,000 ($376,000 less than current fiscal year)
  • Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Source Abatement: $2,423,000 ($222,000 less than current fiscal year) This fund is used to match federal dollars, mostly for DEP staffing.

PACD asks the General Assembly to restore this “pass through funding” to the conservation district line items through the PA Department of Agriculture and the PA Department of Environmental Protection to the levels in the current 2016-17 budget.

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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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