In June, Jefferson County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant to hold their first-ever rain barrel workshop. The district educated over 13 participants about the importance of nonpoint source pollution, water conservation, and 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.
On Friday, August 27, 2021, the Potter and Cameron County Conservation Districts held a joint legislative project tour. The tour showcased two project sites in each county and highlighted the need for continued funding and prioritization. North West Region Director and National Association of Conservation Districts Director Cliff Lane represented PACD at the event.
Project sites visited include the Sterling Run Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Site and the Driftwood Mudsill Crib Wall and Riparian Planting Site in Cameron County. In Potter County, the areas visited included the Southwoods Road Soil Pinning Site and the Pine Run Culvert Replacement Project.
Tour participants included Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection North Central Regional Office representatives, local state representatives, commissioners, and conservation district board members from multiple counties.
The project sites provide great benefits for their respective watersheds and demonstrate the need for continued funding and prioritization of this work.
On August 25, 2021, two Fayette County Conservation District representatives spoke to the local radio station WMBS. Dave Lohr, Commissioner Director, and Pierce Willson, Agricultural Coordinator, participated in a 45-minute segment called “What’s Working in Fayette County.”
Dave and Pierce spoke about the history of conservation districts, soil conservation, and how the district helps farmers in the county.
Westmoreland Conservation District has created “The Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Video Series.” The series is available on YouTube and through the district’s website here. This series of videos will help homeowners learn how they can control stormwater around their homes and property.
Twenty-five individuals attended Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Level II, August 23-27, 2021, at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and affiliates.
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 Basic level course was held earlier this month.
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.
The 2021 Conservation District Watershed Specialist Webinar Series will take place October 5-7, 2021. Watershed specialists will learn how to use Stroud Water Research Center’s EnviroDIY program and Monitor My Watershed to build, program, install, and manage a standard Enviro DIY monitoring station; learn how a seasoned watershed specialist approaches project management; learn about prevailing wage; get tips on putting together a project bid package from a conservation district perspective, and much more. Registration is open to conservation district watershed specialists and invited guests only. For a registration link, contact Molly Burns with PACD at email@example.com.
Dakota Welkom recently graduated from Cecil College in North East, Maryland, with a Biological and Environmental Science degree. Dakota was previously employed as a Mosquito-borne Disease Control Technician by the Northumberland County Conservation District. She grew up on her family farm with her four sisters in Columbia County. Dakota currently resides with her fiancé, Micah, their four hounds, and a variety of farm animals.
Last chance for managers and assistant managers to register for the 2021 Management Summit September 1-16 in State College. All attendees are strongly encouraged to mask and practice social distancing when possible. The deadline to register is this Friday, September 3.
Directors and all interested district personnel are encouraged to register for the 2021 Fall Leadership webinar series. This year’s series includes a two-part workshop on Succession Planning Management on October 27 and November 3 and a presentation on Conservation Leadership & Environmental Justice on November 10. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.
Letters of intent for the 2021-22 Strategic Planning Grants program are being accepted through November 19. If your district is considering updating its strategic plan, please click here for program information and requirements.
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.
On August 24, 2021, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a virtual public hearing on the negative impact of invasive species in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s conservation districts provided testimony at the hearing. Conservation district representatives outlined the importance of developing and funding a statewide invasive species program.
Brian Pilarcik is the Watershed Specialist for the Crawford County Conservation District. Pilarcik spoke about the aquatic invasive species, hydrilla, in the Pymatuning Reservoir. Pilarcik’s testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/BPilarcik.
The second conservation district speaker was Jody Groshek, the Communications and Outreach Director at McKean County Conservation District. She spoke about the importance of developing a coordinated statewide effort to address the threat of invasive species to Pennsylvania’s economy.