Mercer County Conservation District Continues “Name that Nature” Facebook Feature

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/mercercountycd/ post on December 7, 2020.

The Mercer County Conservation District has an ongoing feature on their Facebook page called “Name that Nature.” The district posts beautiful photos and videos of local nature and asks its followers to guess what it is.

Pictured here, on Day 156 of Name that Nature is “American Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana); it is one of the only species that bloom in the winter, hence the little greenish/yellow flower bracts that have been left behind from the petals falling off.”

Kudos to Mercer County Conservation District for finding an interactive, online way to showcase nature in their county!

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New PACD Mini-grant Rounds Opening in January

Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

The 2021-22 round of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts opens on January 4, 2021! The funding provided through this program supports conservation districts to implement water quality and pollution prevention education programs for adult audiences. The program will award up to $2,000.

Click here for guidance and the application in Word. 

PACD will host a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, December 16, from 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. to answer questions and discuss ideas districts may have for projects. PACD will also review an example of a good application and encourage discussion among participants about what has worked and what hasn’t in regard to past projects. Click here to register for the Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tdu6srzIqG9GFr9yc5H3N3CBBs2p5aoFc

Contact PACD Director of Communications & Education Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org with questions.

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.

CREP Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

This mini-grant program funds up to $1,000 for conservation districts to implement educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment, and/or CREP maintenance.

The grant round is scheduled to open on January 1 and end on June 1, 2021. Please contact PACD Program Manager Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org to talk through your ideas. Projects will likely need to be virtual. Educational videos and webinars are encouraged.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Susquehanna County Conservation District Holds Virtual Rain Barrel Workshop

Pictured with the newly donated rain barrel at Ira Reynolds Riverside Park: Susquehanna Borough Community Development Coordinator, Valerie Senese, Conservation Specialist, Don Hibbard and Watershed Specialist, Nate Harpster. Missing from the photo: Borough Council President Roy Williams.

This past summer, the Susquehanna County Conservation District held an online rain barrel workshop to educate participants on managing stormwater in their community. Ten participants virtually explored the Chesapeake Bay watershed, acquired knowledge on water quality problems associated with the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and learned how individuals could reduce their stormwater footprint. Following the workshop, each participant was able to pick up a rain barrel to install on their property.

The grant also provided funding for two additional rain barrels to be purchased for environmental education purposes. One rain barrel has been donated to the borough of Susquehanna, where it will be installed at the newly opened Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park. The second rain barrel will be on display at the Susquehanna County Conservation District. Once installed, the public is encouraged to visit both locations to learn more about stormwater and see how a rain barrel functions.

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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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Video Awards to Showcase District-Produced Content in 2020

2020 was a very productive year for conservation district video production, and this year’s events demonstrated the growing importance of video communications for district outreach. Producing quality video content involves all three ingredients that form the theme for our upcoming Virtual Staff Conference: Team, Tools, and Talent.

The conference closing session on Friday, February 12, 2021, will highlight this year’s best video content with the first annual Conservation District Video Awards. Districts are encouraged to submit their best work to compete for the coveted CONDIVA trophy.

Click here for rules and submission form – email to mmiller@pacd.org. The deadline to submit your videos is December 31, 2020.

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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DEP Recognizes Conservation District Staff

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently recognized conservation district staff for their level of achievement and commitment to professional development in the PA Clean Water Academy.

PA Clean Water Academy (CWA) is a comprehensive digital training library containing over 160 courses comprised of webinars, eLearning, video, supporting documents, assessments, quizzes, and training programs. CWA is administered by the DEP Bureau of Clean Water and the PA Association of Conservation Districts. During the COVID-19 restrictions, DEP and conservation district staff have relied heavily on the Academy for training in delegated and contracted programs.

Conservation District Staff with Most Course Completions:

 

Staff

Conservation District

Courses Completed

1

Stephen Beach

Blair 

127

2

Matthew Golden

Washington 

123

3

Tom Ulrich

Washington 

93

4

Tyne Blazier

Blair 

83

5

Emily Wise

Washington 

71

6

Dave Taylor

Wyoming 

63

7

Heather Humbert

Beaver 

61

8

Robert Sabo

Indiana 

61

9

Wade Jodun

Clinton 

60

10

Jennifer Linebaugh

Beaver 

59

11

Rachael Moore

Northumberland 

58

12

Jessica Schaub

Armstrong 

58

Conservation Districts with High Achievement

 

Conservation District

Courses Completed

1

Washington

490

2

Blair

370

3

Lancaster

338

4

Allegheny

243

5

Beaver

215

6

Armstrong

195

7

Berks

179

8

Dauphin

178

9

Tioga

178

10

Wyoming

176

11

Indiana

171

12

Montgomery

167

Conservation district staff with the most courses completed will receive a signed certificate from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

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Registration Opens for PACD Virtual Committee and Executive Council Meetings

PACD will hold virtual meetings for all six PACD committees and PACD Executive Council via Zoom this January. Committees will meet between January 8 and 21, followed by PACD Executive Council on January 28.

Registration is open to all conservation district directors, associate directors, and staff, as well as partner agency staff and invited guests. Registration for each meeting is free and required. Registrants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting and instructions to participate. A phone number will also be provided for anyone who wishes to participate via conference call.

Please email the listed contact to request a registration link:

PACD Conservation Committee Video Conference
January 8, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact mburns@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD Legislative Committee Video Conference
January 11, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact mburns@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD District Employees Committee Video Conference
January 12, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact abrown@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD Education and Outreach Committee Video Conference
January 14, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact swehinger@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD Ways and Means Committee Video Conference
January 19, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact lsuhr@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD Operations Committee Video Conference
January 21, 2021 | 10-11 a.m.
Contact mburns@pacd.org to request a registration link

PACD Executive Council Video Conference
January 28, 2021
Contact mburns@pacd.org to request a registration link

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Meet the New PACD Staff Members!

Photo provided by Lauren Brodbar.

Meet Lauren Brodbar, the new conservation technician in the Lebanon office.

Lauren is the PACD conservation technician based out of the Lebanon office. She recently graduated from Delaware Valley University with a degree in crop science. Previously Lauren worked at an agriculture research farm as well as at the farms at the University. She has completed an independent research project on the forage Sunn Hemp, and has a passion for plants and soil. 

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her horse, Rudy, teaching and taking dance classes, reading, and cooking. 

Meet Diane Young, the new administrative and program assistant in the Harrisburg office.

Photo provided by Diane Young.

By Diane Young

I recently moved back to the beautiful state of Pennsylvania after living out of state for several years, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here and to be part of the great team at PACD! While I’ve provided support in many different industries, I’m thrilled to embark on this adventure in a new area: Conservation!

I have two wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren (who I don’t get to see often enough!). When I’m not working or making improvements on my 96-year-old home, I love to read and spend time outdoors in God’s beautiful Creation.

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Register Now for 2021 Virtual Staff Conference

The foundation for a successful district is built on three components: Team, Tools, and Talent.

Building for Tomorrow’s 2021 Staff Conference February 8 -12 features a look at each of these ingredients with a whole week of online programming dedicated to helping conservation district staff reconnect, learn, and share.

The theme for opening day on Monday, February 8, is Team, featuring workshops on stress management during challenging times and the connections between personal beliefs and team cohesion.

Starting Tuesday, February 9, the focus shifts to Tools, with three days of interactive forum sessions for district staff to share information on topics including local media outreach, productivity and time management apps, drones, and video and meeting technology.

Our two-part Keynote presentation on Wednesday and Thursday is on Conflict Management for Conservation Workers, presented by Rita Coleman Graham, who draws on decades of environmental experience in her work as a consultant on conflict resolution.

The conference wraps up on Friday, February 12, by highlighting the Talent that went into sharing district work and projects in 2020 with the premiere of the CDVAs, our first annual Conservation District Video Awards show.

Click here for agenda and registration for the 2021 Virtual Staff Conference February 8-12, 2021.

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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Pike County Conservation District Produces Brochure & Website

Pike County Conservation District produced a bi-fold brochure titled “A Homeowner’s Checklist for a Watershed Friendly Home.” The brochure presents information about reducing nonpoint source pollution from private property in the form of a checklist homeowners can use to evaluate their own homes. These brochures have been distributed to the Pike County municipalities and will be handed out at future district events and other locations upon post-pandemic reopening.

To distribute the information more effectively in the current climate, the checklist was also made into an interactive, illustrated webpage (which can be viewed here: https://pikeconservation.org/checklist/, allowing people to access the checklist while remaining socially distanced.

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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