Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Wraps Up for 2019

Participants pose for a group photo on their first day of training.

Thirty individuals attended Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Level II, April 29-May 3, 2019, at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and affiliates, and the PA Departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Level II annual training consists of two learning tracks: agronomy and engineering. The two tracks allow participants to focus more deeply on their area of study. The event features a balance of classroom work and field work to give participants hands-on experience.

The training is sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Conservation Commission. PACD works with these partners to coordinate the training.

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2019 PSATS Conference

District volunteers helped at the conservation district table at this year’s PA State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference from Sunday, April 14, through Tuesday, April 17. About 4,000 township officials from across the Commonwealth attended the three-day event.

The primary focus of the district exhibit was to share information about conservation district programs and initiatives that affect local townships. The district volunteers helped build new relationships and reinforce existing relationships with township officials.

In addition, Cliff Lane, PACD North West Region Director; Chris Strohmaier, Chester County Conservation District Manager; Dave Rupert, Armstrong Conservation District Manager; and Lori Glace Cumberland County Conservation District Watershed Specialist/Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Roads; conducted a workshop entitled, “The Dirt on Conservation Districts.”

Many thanks to Lance Bowes, Sharon Pletchan, Evan Corondi, and Kelsey Schwenk for their help at the conference!

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Berks County Holds Riparian Forested Buffer Showcase

By Christine Griesemer, Agricultural Resource Conservationist, Berks County Conservation District

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District recently held a Forested Riparian Buffer Showcase on April 26, 2019, at the Berks County 4H Center in Leesport, PA. This project was made possible by a $3,000 mini-grant provided through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts).

Thanks to funding from this grant, a 0.5 acre demonstration Forested Riparian Buffer was established near the Berks County 4-H Center.

Click here to read the entire article.

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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Register Today for New Managers Bootcamp

Registration is now open for Building for Tomorrow 2019 New Manager Bootcamp training, June 18–20 at Toftrees Resort in State College. The program will include sessions on conservation district history and law, applicable laws and policies, program partners, fiscal management, integrated planning, board relations, and personnel and office management.

This event is designed to deliver information crucial to new conservation district managers and registration is limited to managers that have been in the role for less than five years.

Click here for more information and to register. Please make your room reservations at Toftrees by May 17 (direct 814-234-8000).

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Pike & Wayne County Conservation Districts Hold Legislative Event

(left to right): Andrew Seder, District Communications, Eastern District Field Representative for Senator Lisa Baker (R-20); Kelly Stagen, PACD Secretary and Northeast Region Director; Joseph Adams, Wayne County Commissioner; Linda O’Hara, Legislative Aide to Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111); Brian Smith, Wayne County Conservation District Chairman and Wayne County Commissioner. Photo provided by Kelly Stagen and the Pike County Conservation District.

The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership annual Legislative Breakfast was held on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale, PA. The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership is an alliance of over twenty government, non-government, non-profit, and grass roots organizations that work toward common goals for natural resource conservation, sustainable communities, and citizen involvement in community planning in Pike and Wayne Counties.

Pike and Wayne County Conservation Districts take turns planning the annual legislative breakfast. This year, Wayne County Conservation District took the lead with District Manager Jamie Knecht and Watershed Specialist Colleen Campion handling event details.

Legislators from the federal, state, county, and local levels participate. This year, topics related to conservation districts included the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads program, funding for the Watershed Specialist position through the Growing Greener grant program through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process.

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Lackawanna County Conservation District Holds Rain Barrel Workshops

Photo of rain barrel workshop provided by Lackawanna County Conservation District.

Through their 2018-19 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant (administered by PACD), the Lackawanna County Conservation District conducted two workshops on non-point source pollution. Twenty county residents registered and attended the workshops, including local municipal employees and one county commissioner. The workshops were held in August 2018 and April 2019.

The district educated attendees on the causes of stormwater and ways to use rain barrels to mitigate some of its negative impacts. The project successfully engaged residents of Lackawanna County in managing stormwater in their backyards.

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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Columbia County Conservation District’s Good Water = Good Fishing Event Featured in News

WNEP featured Columbia County Conservation District (CCCD) and PA Fish & Boat Commission’s Good Water = Good Fishing event on a PA Outdoor Life segment. CCCD Watershed Specialist Brittney Hartzell is featured in the video. Click here to view the nine-minute segment.

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Columbia County Conservation District Hosts CREP Workshop

Participants learn about the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill that is available for use by landowners. Photo provided by Columbia County Conservation District.

The Columbia County Conservation District used a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grant, administered by PACD, to host a CREP Workshop at the Montour Preserve in Danville, PA on March 28, 2019. Forty-five people attended the workshop and heard presentations from the Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PA Game Commission about the new mid-contract management rules and how landowners can use CREP to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. A demonstration on how to use the Game Commission’s no-till seed drill was also part of the workshop.

Financial support for the CREP 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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Lycoming County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

(Left to right) Representative Jeff Wheeland, Senator Gene Yaw, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, PA Department of Environmental Protection Northcentral Region Director Marcus Kohl, and Lycoming County Conservation District Manager Mark Davidson pose for a photo during the legislative breakfast.

On April 11, 2019, the Lycoming County Conservation District held a legislative breakfast at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport, PA. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Williamsport for the event.

Topics of discussion included stream restoration efforts in the county and the state budget.

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