Save the Dates for PACD Spring Region Meetings

Mark your calendar and join us for the PACD spring region meetings!

The region meeting dates and locations are as follows:

March 24, 2020
PACD South Central Region Meeting
Cumberland County Conservation District, Carlisle, PA

March 26, 2020
PACD North Central Region Meeting
Clinton County Conservation District, Mill Hall, PA

March 31, 2020
PACD South West Region Meeting
Westmoreland Conservation District, Greensburg, PA

April 3, 2020
PACD North East Region Meeting
DEP Northeast Regional Office, Wilkes-Barre, PA

April 22, 2020
PACD North West Region Meeting
Venango County (location TBA)

April 30, 2020
PACD South East Region Meeting
Henning’s Market, Harleysville, PA

 

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2020 PSATS Conference – Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed at the conservation district booth at the 2020 Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference. The conference runs from Sunday, May 3, to Tuesday, May 5, at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.

Help is needed for:

Sunday, May 3: Noon–5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 4: 7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 5: 7:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

This is an excellent opportunity for district volunteers to talk about district programs and build relationships with township officials from across Pennsylvania. Volunteer now by contacting Jann McNamara at jmcnamara@pacd.org or call 717-238-7223.

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Registration for 2020 102/105 Basic Technical Training Opens Today

The 2020 102/105 Basic Technical Training session is open to conservation district and DEP staff. The event will take place March 16-19 at the Wyndham State College in Boalsburg, PA, with little or no cost to attend. (See registration information for details.) Registration and the prerequisite coursework are completed through the DEP Clean Water Academy. Click here for registration information and here to view the training agenda.

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NRCS Conservation Showcase Features Franklin County Project

Recently, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service wrote a Conservation Showcase titled “Streambank Restoration at Waynesboro Church,” written by Justin Atkins. The piece features a stream restoration project by Franklin County Conservation District.

From the piece:

Streambank erosion is currently one of the most common problems affecting streams in Pennsylvania. When a stream is eroded, sediment contaminates the water; sediment is currently one of the largest contributors to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. When a streambank that ran along the property of Great Commission Deliverance Ministries Church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, began to erode, Jana Mellott connected with Tammy Piper, Watershed Specialist for the Franklin County Conservation District, in May of 2014 to see what could be done to improve the stream.

Click here to read the article. 

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PACD/SCC Winter Meeting Wraps Up

Jessica Espenshade of National Wildlife Federation leads a “Grow More” session during the Director’s Breakfast on January 23, 2020.

The PACD/SCC Winter Meeting was held in Boalsburg, PA, from January 22-23, 2020. In addition to the business meetings of PACD and the State Conservation Commission, sessions were held on educational opportunities through the PA Game Commission and effective conservation messaging from the National Wildlife Federation.

A 50/50 raffle was held during the meeting. A total of $134.50 was raised for the PA Envirothon!

Click here to view photos from the event. 

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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Application Period Opens

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic level and Level II). Conservation district agricultural staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities, which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.

This training is appropriate for agricultural conservation technicians, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field staff, nutrient management technicians, Chesapeake Bay technicians, and others in agricultural positions with less than one year of professional experience, or less than three years’ experience if the employee did not attend a previously held Level I ACT training.

There is limited space, and conservation district watershed specialists will be cut. Brand new hires will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Existing NRCS and conservation district staff with agriculture-focused positions will get priority for the 30 seats available. Others will be considered as space is available.

Basic Level
April 6-10, 2020

Level II
April 27-May 1, 2020

If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted. Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

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Armstrong Conservation District Holds Stormwater Management Workshop

A stormwater workshop was held in October at the Armstrong Conservation District. Photo provided by Armstrong Conservation District.

On October 28, 2019, the Armstrong Conservation District held a stormwater workshop. Thirty-five attendees attended the workshop. As part of the project, the district distributed thirty-two rain barrels, produced a stormwater sign, and created a rain barrel demonstration area at the conservation district office.

This project was funded by a PA Department of Environmental Protection environmental education grant and a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant through PACD.

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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Bradford County Farmers Receive PA Leopold Conservation Award

Rebecca and Dean Jackson of Mt-Glen Farms receive the Leopold Award. Photo used with permission from Liam Migdail, PA Farm Bureau.

On January 10, Dean & Rebecca Jackson Of Mt-Glen Farms in Columbia Cross Roads (Bradford County) were presented with the PA Leopold Conservation Award.  This third-generation dairy farm is a leader in conservation. Click here to read more about the operation. 

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the awards presentation, which was held during the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Click here to read more about the award presentation.

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$60,000 Available for 2020-21 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 March 2, 2020. Click here for the online application and more information. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger

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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Lehigh County Conservation District Awards Grant for Urban Heat Island Tree Planting

Photo provided by Lehigh County Conservation District.

Reprinted with permission from Lehigh County Conservation District’s Winter 2019 newsletter

According to a New York Times article written on August 9, 2019, temperatures in a city can span a range of as much as 20 degrees depending upon one’s location. Students from Building 21 Public High School in Allentown have been working on finding solutions to this “hot topic” known as urban heat islands, for the last two years!

Student Maribel Rabio proposed planting three large groups of flowering trees to add shade and natural beauty to her school’s parking areas. After volunteering to help students with the first phase of Maribel’s tree plantings, several Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD) staff members encouraged the school to apply to the district’s grant program for funding of phase two.

Upon LCCD board approval for a $2,000 grant, Building 21’s Urban Agriculture Class, Allentown Department of Public Works, and City Arborist Rick Howell worked together in October to carry out stage two of the project. On this day, six native redbuds and five native dogwoods joined Building 21’s ever-growing and greening landscape and brought Maribel’s great idea one step closer to completion.

Click here to read the entire article and here to watch a local news clip about the project. 

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