Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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

Save the Date: 2023 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting: Pennsylvania Partners Making an Impact!

Mark your calendars for the 2023 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting!

April 3, 2023, 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Statewide Information

April 6, 2023, 9:00am to Noon – Chesapeake Bay Information

*We’d like your suggestions! Please submit ideas for topics you’d like to hear about to hmiller@pacd.org by COB Wednesday, January 18th

County conservation districts and your partners have a huge impact at the local, state, and federal levels. And all of this PROGRESS is happening because of expanding PARTNERSHIPS and PROJECTS! We invite your district to join these two half-day meetings to hear from local, state, and federal partners about how your work is connecting the dots everywhere and inspiring partners at every level.

Staff from PA state agencies, USDA-NRCS, and conservation districts are encouraged to attend.

More information to come! Registration will open in February. Please contact Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org with questions.

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Brenda Shambaugh Participates in Senate Committee Information Session

Brenda Shambaugh at the Senate Committee Information Session.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh participated in the Senate Environmental Affairs and Resource Committee information session on Chesapeake Bay issues. The session was held at the Farm Show Complex on January 12, 2023.  

Click here to watch the session. Brenda’s comments begin at 1:03:08.

 

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2023 PSATS Conference – Volunteers Needed

Close to 4,000 township officials and guests from all over Pennsylvania will attend the annual Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference and Trade Show, April 23-26, 2023. Once again, there will be a Conservation District Booth at the show from Sunday, April 23, to Tuesday, April 25. 

Trade Show dates and times are:

  • Sunday, April 23
    • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (1st shift)
    • 6:30–8:00 p.m. (2nd shift)
  • Monday, April 24      
    • 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (1st shift)
    • 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (2nd shift) 
  • Tuesday, April 25
    • 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Please consider volunteering for a morning or afternoon shift at the conservation district booth. This is a valuable opportunity to promote the districts and explain the type of work they do, as well as reinforce existing relationships with local township officials.

To volunteer, please get in touch with Brenda Shambaugh at bshambaugh@pacd.org.

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$100,000 Available for CREP Mini-grants!

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $3,000 to implement educational and outreach activities that support and extend the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) work. Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment and/or CREP maintenance.

Applications are due February 24, 2023.

Project examples:

-Walkabouts/field days
-Farmer and landowner workshops
-Riparian buffer workshops
-Workshop series with several topics
-Developing educational materials like brochures, flyers, fact sheets, or even billboards
-Hire interns to provide CREP outreach

The guidelines and application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts are posted here https://pacd.org/?page_id=24534. Questions should be directed to Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

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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Mark Your Calendars for 3rd Annual Conservation District Video Awards February 16

All district personnel and partners are invited to join us for the 3rd Annual Conservation District Video Awards, streaming via Zoom on Thursday, February 16 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Since 2020 we’ve been recognizing excellence in this medium and celebrating the efforts of district staff who produce and share video content. Our 2022 finalists represent the best of the best from across the state. Tune in on February 16 to find out who will win bragging rights for their district and bring home the coveted CONDIVA trophy.

Leadership Development Reminders

Every district is encouraged to send a representative to attend one of the Employment Law Seminars scheduled for February 21, 22, and 23. Space is limited and filling up quickly – visit Building for Tomorrow to register.

All staff and managers participating in the 2023 CliftonStrengths Initiative should complete their assessments by February 3. Those planning to attend a workshop can register here – space is limited, and registration closes for each when capacity is filled or by February 17. Contact Matt Miller, LD Coordinator mmiller@pacd.org, for more information.

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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Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm Receives Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award

Photo caption: Screenshot from Sand County Foundation’s website, https://sandcountyfoundation.org/news/2023

Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm of York County is the 2022 recipient of the Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award recognizes farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat resources in their care.

In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, American Farmland Trust, The Heinz Endowments, Horizon Farm Credit, and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

The Flinchbaugh family was revealed as the award’s recipients at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. They receive $10,000 and a crystal award for being selected. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Pennsylvania is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, The Heinz Endowments, Horizon Farm Credit, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Sand County Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, EDPR NA Distributed Generation, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, and The Nature Conservancy.

Click here to read more. 

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$60,000 Available for 2023-24 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

PACD is ready to open a new round of Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grants! This funding is possible thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continuing to support conservation district educational projects.

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 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 January 31, 2023. Projects selected for funding will be announced on February 8. Click here for the online application and more information. Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

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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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Basic & Level II Application Period Opens

The application period is open for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training “Boot Camp”- Basic and Level II.

Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Basic Level
March 27-30, 2023 (in-person) & March 21 and March 23 (virtual)    
Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County)

Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Level II
April 17-21, 2023 (in-person) & April 11 (virtual)       
Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County) and the USDA NRCS State Office, Harrisburg, PA

Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Basic Level
May 1-4, 2023 (in-person) & March 21 and March 23 (virtual)
Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County)

Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Level II
May 15-19, 2023 (in-person) & April 11 (virtual)       
Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County) and the USDA NRCS State Office, Harrisburg, PA

For 2023, the Basic and Level II training will be held twice (if needed). The content is the same, and attendees will only attend for one week. There are two virtual training days and four in-person days for Basic and one virtual training, and five days in-person for Level II.

Please note: Boot Camp is not a two-week course. The instructors prefer that you use the information you learned in Basic for a year and take Level II the year following Basic. Do not apply for Basic and Level II in the same year.

The deadline to apply is January 27, 2023. Notifications of those accepted or not accepted into the course will be made by February 3, 2023.

Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

The following sponsors make these training opportunities possible: Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

 

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Cumberland County Conservation District Holds 11th Annual Corn Planter Clinic

Photo provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

On December 14, 2022, the 11th Annual Corn Planter Clinic was held at the Shippensburg Auction Center. The Clinic is the largest agricultural education event in Cumberland County. Cumberland County Conservation District staff worked with Cumberland Planter to organize this event. The event benefits the farming community by coming together to share ideas and gather valuable information from knowledgeable speakers.

Click here to read the entire article. 

 

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Meet the New Clean Water Academy Expert – Chris Grimsley

By Chris Grimsley, PACD Instructional Designer

I am a former teacher transitioning from a career in secondary and higher education into instructional design. I have served in many roles as an educator, including working as a classroom teacher, student support specialist, course designer, and researcher. I hold a B.S. in sociology, an M.A. in teaching, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. I completed my doctoral dissertation on the history and philosophy of science, focusing primarily on the social implications of new technologies like artificial intelligence.

In my capacity as an academic, I focused on communicating issues of philosophical significance within the sciences to both technical and non-technical audiences. I want to leverage my experience in education and science communication as I pivot to instructional design with a focus on conservation at PACD. My main responsibility is the Clean Water Academy

I enjoy camping and hiking, photography, motorcycling, computer programming, and playing guitar in my spare time.

I can be reached at cgrimsley@pacd.org.

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