PACD Hosting Free Online Training for Conservation Districts

PACD has scheduled five free communication webinar series for conservation districts. Presented by Water Words That Work, LLC, these environmental communication trainings will begin in January 2019 and end in March 2019. Each topic has three parts, so plan to attend all three dates for the topics you choose.

How do we get more participation at our programs? How can we effectively reach our target audiences and the general public? What are the most cost-effective means to get the word out about our programs? How can I work effectively with landowners to get more practices installed? Find out answers to these questions and more during these webinars.

Each webinar series consists of three 90-minute sessions. Please mark your calendar for all three dates so you don’t miss part 1, part 2, or part 3. Each session builds on the previous one, so don’t miss out!

The Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners webinar will be repeated twice. Please only sign up for one series.

The dates are:

The webinars are free, but registration is required. Space is limited to 15 participants for each topic. Please plan to attend all three parts of the topic you choose. Please register each person participating from your office separately.

Click here for a brochure on the webinars, which includes the course descriptions. Click on the links for each session above to register.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

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Shambaugh Attends Cumberland County Conservation District Board Meeting

Pictured with PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh are (left to right): Cumberland County Conservation District Board of Directors Glenn Kimmel, Denny Garman, Mike Berkheimer, Jim Hertzler (County Commissioner), and Wilbur Wolf.

On December 11, 2018, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Carlisle to attend the Cumberland County Conservation District board meeting. Brenda spoke to the board about the toolkit PACD is developing for project promotion, the new PACD office location, and how to get to know new legislators.

 

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Clarion Hosts Non-Point Source Pollution Impact Tour

The second stop on the tour was Longacres Potato Farm. Tour attendees saw potato sorting and spoke to the owner about conservation practices on the farm. Photo provided by Clarion County Conservation District.

On October 25, 2018, the Clarion County Conservation District hosted a field tour on the impacts of nonpoint source pollution. There were four stops on the tour, including an acid mine drainage passive treatment system, a potato farm, a dirt and gravel road project site, and the construction site of a new office for the Cook Forest State Park.

Attendees included elected officials and district board members. The tour highlighted past and future nonpoint source pollution projects that will improve water quality.

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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Susquehanna County Conservation District Radio Program Available Online

The Susquehanna County Conservation District has been developing local weekly radio outreach for many years. The “Conservation Corner” radio spot is aired for approximately 10 minutes on Thursdays. The radio spots from October 2018 to the present are now available online.

Recent topics include: riparian buffers, spotted lanternfly, wild turkeys, and Susquehanna County’s recycling efforts.

Click here to listen.

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Berks County Conservation District Sponsors 10 New Trout in the Classroom Aquariums

Conservation District Education & Outreach Coordinator Evan Corondi sorts brook trout eggs received from the PFBC in early November. Photo provided by BCCD.

Last month, the Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) in partnership with the Tulpehocken Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) sponsored 10 new Trout in the Classroom aquarium setups for schools in Berks County. In addition, the BCCD funded two Trout in the Classroom display aquariums, one for the Berks County Agricultural Center Lobby and another for Berks Nature.

Schools that participate in the Trout in the Classroom program received brook trout eggs from the PFBC in early November. Trout eggs have started to hatch in the classroom aquariums, and students will continue to take care of the trout throughout the school year until they are fingerlings (about 2 – 3 inches long). Teachers use the aquarium ecosystem in lesson plans to learn about good water quality, life cycles, and being good stewards of natural resources.

In late April, students get to release the trout fingerlings into a PFBC-approved trout stream. Over 20 Berks County schools, and 16 of 19 Berks schools districts, now have an active Trout in the Classroom program.

Click here for more information. 

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PACD/SCC Winter Meeting Registration Opens Today

Conservation district staff, board members, and partners are invited to attend the 2019 PACD/SCC Winter Meeting January 30-31 at Toftrees Golf Resort in State College, PA. Take in the beautiful winter views at Toftrees while enjoying a hot beverage with your counterparts from across the state. Conference learning opportunities will include an update on Chapter 102 ePermitting and a program on parliamentary procedure. Beat cabin fever and join us in State College! Click here for details and to register.

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Bedford County Conservation District Conducts Project for Homeowners

The conservation district had an educational booth for homeowners on August 8, 2018, at the Bedford County Farmers Market. Photo provided by Bedford County Conservation District.

Bedford County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Prevention Educational Mini-grant to conduct a project for homeowners. The “Homeowners Practices to Minimize NPS Pollution” project provided education at a variety of events in the county, such as the county fair, farmers market, and the home and garden club. Rain barrels were also distributed as part of the project.

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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Farm Show Volunteers Needed

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show runs from January 5-12, 2019, in Harrisburg, PA. This year, the conservation districts will share booth space with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Two volunteers are needed for the following shifts:

  • Saturday, 1/5 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1/6 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.
  • Monday, 1/7 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 1/9 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday, 1/10 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, 1/11 – 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 1/12 – 8 a.m.­­–12:30 p.m. and 12:30–5 p.m.

Volunteers receive a free parking pass to the event. Please email PACD Administrative Assistant Jann McNamara at jmcnamara@pacd.org to sign up or for more information.

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New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$60,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts

Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), conservation districts are eligible for mini-grants (up to $1,500) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would help farmers understand requirements and lead to the development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion and sedimentation plan. Districts are encouraged to use these mini-grant funds to market to and train private consultants (including certified crop advisors, seed/fertilizer salespeople, etc.) to help their clients write manure management plans.

Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. You should hear within a week if your project is approved for funding. Please note that there is limited funding available for this round and mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This grant will pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis.

The mini-grant application and guidelines are available here.  The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019 (or until all funds are allocated). Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 28, 2019. No extensions will be granted. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants.

Please note that there will not be any more “train the trainer” workshops. Instead, the PA Department of Environmental Protection is working with Penn State Extension staff to create web-based training for district staff to access as needed.

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

 

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McKean County Conservation District Holds Streamside Stewardship Workshop

Streamside Stewardship Workshop participants view an agricultural stream crossing and adjacent streambank stabilization structures on the tour at S & D Farms. These best management practices significantly reduce pollution from sedimentation in the watershed and protect stream banks. Photo provided by McKean County Conservation District.

McKean County Conservation District held a Streamside Stewardship Workshop on October 20, 2018. The workshop was for landowners with a stream on their property. Participants learned about practices and tools to improve stream riparian areas and reduce non-point source pollution in local streams. Topics included  tree planting tips for successful riparian buffers, identifying invasive plants, and a demonstration of practices for healthy streams.

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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