Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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Montgomery County Conservation District Holds Native Meadow and Riparian Buffer Showcase

Photo of riparian planting provided by MCCD.

On Friday, September 22, 2023, in partnership with Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley, Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD) held a “Native Meadow and Riparian Buffer Showcase.” This event toured and described a native meadow and two riparian plantings installed on the Variety campus. The benefits, steps to installation, maintenance requirements, funding, and other project details were discussed.

The meadow planting was completed as a demonstration through a partnership between MCCD, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Penn State Extension, and Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley.

The riparian plantings were completed through funding from the TreeVitalize Watersheds (now “Trees for Watersheds”) grant program. The partnership between MCCD and Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley has been ongoing since 2019, with the meadow planting in Fall 2019 and riparian plantings installed in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. There were approximately 40 people in attendance at the event, coming from many organizations and groups, but all coming together in their interest in environmental conservation projects.

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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Butler County Conservation District Hosts Round Table and Field Day

Photo provided by Butler County Conservation District.

The Butler County Conservation District partnered with the State Conservation Commission (SCC) to hold the Fall Western PA Nutrient Management Round Table and Field Day on October 17, 2023.

During the afternoon, employees from surrounding conservation districts met at the Thiele Dairy Farm to learn how to do manure spreader calibrations for solid and liquid manure. The group also toured best management practices installed on the operation.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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Warren County Conservation District Completes Multifunctional Riparian Forest Buffer

Photo provided by Warren County Conservation District.

Warren County Conservation District planted one acre of multifunctional riparian forest buffer on a farm in Glade Township, Warren County. The project cost a total of $13,433 with $4,958 funded by a sub-grant through PACD’s Riparian Buffer Sub-grant Program and a $8,474 match from the Warren County Conservation District.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program Environmental Stewardship fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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Potter County Conservation District Holds Field Day

Photo provided by the Potter County Conservation District.

The Potter County Conservation District held a “Managing Buffers for Wildlife” field day, where they discussed the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), riparian areas, pollinators, invasive species, and forestry practices. The project cost $352.

This event was funded through the CREP Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts. Click here for more information and to apply.

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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Indiana County Conservation District Holds First Apple Fest

(Left to right): Volunteer Hunter Overdorff, ICCD Executive Director Doug Beri, and volunteer Cindy Rogers make apple cider. Photo provided by ICCD.

On October 7, 2023, the Indiana County Conservation District (ICCD) had its very first Apple Festival to encourage local farmers to diversify their crops, help them stay in business, and keep produce locally grown for the community. ICCD Executive Director Doug Beri envisioned having a festival focused on live apple cider making, and from that, Apple Fest was born. ICCD has never hosted a festival before, so this was a new challenge, but with teamwork and planning, they brought out around 600 people to join in the fun.

Apple Fest included food trucks like Suttons Sweet Treats and Portia’s Donuts, vendors who brought their wonderful crafts and products out to share, and volunteer organizations to do kids activities, including Plant Patrol, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and Penns Manor FFA with a wonderful little petting zoo. But the main event was the apple cider making, where guests and the public could sample and help make the fresh hot and cold apple cider. ICCD had hundreds of apples bought and donated by local farmers to make about 100 gallons of delicious apple cider.

ICCD hopes to make this an annual event to continue to educate local farmers and community members about the benefits of locally grown specialty crops.

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Druckenmiller Attends New Training Center Launch

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.

On October 19, 2023, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service officials joined Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission representatives to launch the new Center for Agricultural Conservation Assistance Training (the Center). Berks County Conservation District Manager Dean Druckenmiller attended the event.

Through the Center, this partnership aims to provide resources and technical expertise to Pennsylvania’s conservation professionals to implement agricultural conservation practices. The Center will also help ensure healthy land and water throughout the Commonwealth by leveraging funding and partnerships.

The Center will specialize in creating and hosting technical training, assuring conservation practices meet the highest quality standards, offering continuing education credits to conservation professionals, and furthering conservation practice implementation in the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the full press release. 



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Communications Workshop Series Wraps Up in State College

Photo provided by Jay Braund.

This fall, PACD worked with the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to coordinate communications workshops for conservation district and DEP staff. The two-part series kicked off with Verbal Judo October 12-13, 2023, at the Wyndham Garden State College in Boalsburg, PA. The series wrapped up with two back-to-back sessions of The Art and Science of Deception October 25 and 26, 2023, at Toftrees Golf Resort in State College, PA.

Verbal Judo was originally designed for law enforcement officers and teaches techniques to generate voluntary compliance by managing and redirecting emotionally charged verbal attacks. The Art and Science of Deception is designed to improve an individual’s ability to detect deception and get to the truth. These workshops are useful for anyone who regularly deals with the public, particularly technicians and field staff. PACD received a total of over 80 registrations for the workshops.

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Register Now for the Fall Leadership Webinar Series

All district personnel and partners are invited to participate in the 2023 Fall Leadership Webinar Series. This year’s series includes sessions on financial issues, website accessibility, and insurance gaps. Sessions are scheduled from Noon–1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, November 15, 29, and December 13. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.

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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Blair County’s Watershed Specialist Provides Testimony

Screenshot of Chelsey Weyant’s testimony.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, Blair County Conservation District’s Stormwater Coordinator/Watershed Specialist Chelsey Weyant provided testimony to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on the consequences of insufficient funding to address stormwater issues. Weyant represented the Blair County Conservation District, the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, and the Blair County Intergovernmental Stormwater Committee.

The Committee hearing addressed the increasing challenges stormwater issues cause our communities. Funds received from the American Rescue Plan were in high demand. However, it was determined that Pennsylvania needs nearly five times the initial funding to address water, sewer, and stormwater needs.

Click here to read the testimony and here to view a recording of the hearing. (Weyant’s testimony starts at 1:47.)


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PACD Hiring Six Certified Planners

PACD is hiring six conservation planners or nutrient management specialists, who will work toward conservation planning certification for a two-year period to assist in conservation efforts across the Commonwealth. One planner will be hired in each of these counties: Dauphin, Erie, Bucks, Indiana, Lackawanna/Wayne, and Franklin. The salary range is $45,000 to $50,000 per year.

Click here to read the entire job description. 

Candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to PACD by e-mail with the subject heading “Conservation Planner” to: All application materials must be received by 4:00 PM on November 3, 2023.

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