Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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

Volunteers Needed: Ag Progress Days 2024

Penn State Ag Progress Days will be held August 13-15, 2024, at the Russell E. Larson Agriculture Research Center at 2710 West Pine Grove Road in Pennsylvania Furnace. Nine miles southwest of State College, PA, this event will feature the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.

This event is an excellent opportunity to call attention to the work and programs accomplished by the conservation districts.

We are looking for volunteers for the conservation district booth for this event (2 volunteers are needed per shift). If you’d like to schedule a shift, send your name, contact information, and preferred shift(s) to swehinger@pacd.org.                                                                           

Tuesday, August 13: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.       
Tuesday, August 13: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 14: Filled
Wednesday, August 14: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 14: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 15: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 15: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

When available, volunteers will be sent a final volunteer schedule, parking passes, and other show information. For more information on Ag Progress Days, visit their website at http://agsci.psu.edu/apd.

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CliftonStrengths Initiative Extended through 2025

The CliftonStrengths for Conservation Districts Initiative has been extended through April 2025. Thank you to the 300+ who have participated in the initiative so far!

Access codes for the CliftonStrengths online assessment and Top 5 Reports will continue to be available to staff at all districts. Participating managers will continue to have access to CliftonStrengths for Managers, including a Top 10 Report, and access to Gallup portal resources such as the individualized Manager Learning Journey self-guided curriculum and other learning models, articles, and advice. CliftonStrengths team-building workshops are also available for participating districts and are great opportunities for both staff and board development.

Contact LD Manager Matt Miller at mmiller@pacd.org for more information on getting the most out of CliftonStrengths or to schedule a workshop for your district team.

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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Conservation District and DEP Staff Receive Chapter 102 Technical Training

Participants receive instruction on an active construction site during the field day.

Fifty learners from 28 conservation districts and the PA Department of Environmental Protection convened for Chapter 102 Basic Technical Training at the Red Lion Harrisburg-Hershey in Harrisburg, PA, May 20-24, 2024.

Participants engaged in a combination of hands-on classroom learning, field work, and presentations on topics ranging from technical plan review to Verbal Judo. The field day featured strategically placed learning stations at two sites in different stages of construction. Special thanks to the Cumberland County Conservation District for hosting the field day. It was a huge success!

This training was funded through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection and made possible through the cooperation of the PA Association of Conservation Districts and Pennsylvania’s conservation districts.

 

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Legislative Luncheon

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event.

The Tioga County Conservation District (TCCD) held a Legislative Luncheon in Wellsboro, PA, on May 10, 2024. Senator Yaw’s office, Representative Owlett, the Tioga County Commissioners, PACD, the State Conservation Commission, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the TCCD Board and staff were all represented.

The district highlighted its accomplishments from 2023, achieved through grant funding, partnerships, and the support of its legislators. The district concluded by looking forward to providing leadership, education, and technical assistance in 2024.

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Register for the 2024 PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference Today

The Joint Annual Conference will take place July 17-18 at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College. The conference features a new venue, a fresh agenda, and a Technology and Innovation theme. Register by June 14 and save $40 on full registration!

Participants can look forward to presentations on Leveraging Technology to Conserve Biodiversity and Utility-Scale Solar in PA–The Approaching Wave. Tour the Rock Springs Research Farm and Ag Progress Days or the Chestnut Restoration Research and Frost Entomology Museum, hosted by Penn State University. Stay after dinner for entertainment by Van Wagner, whose music gives voice to Pennsylvania’s history and ecology with songs like Talking Eel and Shad Blues and Hard Coal.

Stay tuned to future issues of Front Page for more conference highlights. Click here for more information and to register. 

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Conservation District Projects Awarded for Nonpoint Source Mini-grant Program

Participants are pictured from McKean County Conservation District’s Erosion Control in our Forests Workshop. This project was funded through the 2023-24 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant Program.

Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts were awarded nearly $37,000 for twenty-one pollution reduction projects in twenty counties. These projects will educate adults on water pollution prevention. The projects are funded through the Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program and will take place over the next year.

Click here to read the entire press release and here for a summary of funded 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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Save the Dates for PACD Summer Committee Meetings

PACD will hold our summer committee meetings via videoconference in June and July prior to the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference. The meetings are open to conservation district directors, associate directors, staff, partner agency staff, and invited guests. Registration for the virtual committee meetings will be free and required. Mark your calendars and look for more information in a future edition of Front Page!

PACD Conservation Committee Videoconference
June 20, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PACD District Employees Committee Videoconference
June 25, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PACD Education & Outreach Committee Videoconference
June 27, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PACD Legislative Committee Videoconference
July 1, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PACD Ways & Means Committee Videoconference
July 11, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PACD Operations Committee Videoconference
July 12, 2024 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.

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Save the Date for Fall Region Meetings

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend your fall PACD region meeting!

September 12, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.                
PACD North West Region Meeting (In-person only)
Elk Country Visitor Center, Benezette, PA

September 24, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.                                        
PACD North Central Region Meeting      
Clinton County Conservation District, Mill Hall, PA

September 27, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.                   
PACD South West Region Meeting     
Westmoreland Conservation District, Greensburg, PA

October 4, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.                
PACD North East Region Meeting      
Lands at Hillside Farms Education Center, Shavertown, PA

October 29, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.                     
PACD South Central Region Meeting      
Cumberland County Conservation District, Carlisle, PA

October 31, 2024 | 10:00 a.m.            
PACD South East Region Meeting     
Henning’s Market, Harleysville, PA

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Second Week of Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Level II Concludes

The Boot Camp Level II Agronomy Track poses for a group photo on their first day of class.

Twenty-one individuals attended the second Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training session – Level II, May 13-17, 2024. The training was held at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Harrisburg, PA. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, the USDA NRCS and affiliates, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Conservation Commission sponsor the training, which PACD coordinates with these partners.

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McKean County Conservation District Holds Legislative Tour

Tour Participants (left to right) – Amanda Murdock, NRCS; Madi Rukgaber; Jeff Larson, MCCD Chairman; Sean Rukgaber, NRCS; Jake Tomlinson, Penn State Extension; Blaine Puller, MCCD Director; Justin Challenger, SCC; Doug Wolfgang, SCC; Ken Kane, MCCD Director; Adam Causer, MCCD Watershed Specialist; Sandy Thompson, MCCD Manager; Representative Martin Causer; Don Dickerson; Sarah Carlson; Katelynn Decker, MCCD Resource Technician; Kerry Fetter, MCCD Conservation Technician; Cliff Lane, MCCD Director; Senator Cris Dush; Ann Kaufman, Congressman Thompson’s Office; and Commissioner Tom Kreiner. Photo provided by MCCD.

To cap off Conservation District Week, the McKean County Conservation District (MCCD) directors and staff held a legislative tour to promote dedicated funding for the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program. The district welcomed Senator Dush, Representative Causer, Commissioner Tom Kreiner, Ann Kaufman from Congressman Glenn Thompson’s office, State Conservation Commission Executive Director Doug Wolfgang, and representatives from the State Conservation Commission, Penn State Extension, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to the event.

Click here to read the entire press release. Visit the district’s Facebook page to see photos from the event. 

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