Armstrong Completes Multi-Functional Riparian Forest Buffer

Photos of the buffer before and after planting provided by the Armstrong Conservation District.

Armstrong Conservation District planted 3.2 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffer along two branches of Big Run, a tributary to the Allegheny River. The total cost for the buffer was $31,603.25, which was paid for through PACD’s multi-functional buffer sub-grant program. Contact Holly Miller at for more information on this sub-grant program.

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 Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. 

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Cumberland County Conservation District Holds Rain Garden Workshop

Photo of rain garden workshop provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

At the Upper Allen Township’s annual stormwater workshop on May 20, 2021, residents had the opportunity to learn how to design, install, and maintain a rain garden.

The workshop included presentations on “Local Watersheds in Cumberland County” by Lori Glace with Cumberland County Conservation District, and “How to Construct Rain Gardens” by Andy Yencha with Penn State Extension. The workshop ended with a live demonstration of planting a rain garden at the Upper Allen Township municipal building.

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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Franklin County Conservation District Holds Summer Conservation Tour

Leslie Bowman (speaking) at a stop on the Summer Conservation Farm Tour. Photo provided by Franklin County Conservation District.

Franklin County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant to hold a Summer Conservation Farm Tour on July 27, 2021.

The tour’s highlight was seeing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on-site and asking the district’s 2021 Conservation Farmer of the Year, Leslie Bowman (Lesher’s Poultry Farm, Inc.), for his first-hand knowledge of implementing and maintaining BMPs. The 70 attendees were able to hear about numerous BMPs, including animal waste storage facilities, composting manure, planting green, utilizing cover crops, variable rate manure/nutrient application, grassed waterways, diversifying crop rotations, and experimenting with growing organic row crops.

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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Snyder and Juniata County Conservation Districts Hold Enviro Camp

Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

During the evenings of August 9 -13, 2021, Snyder County Conservation District had the privilege of co-hosting the first kids’ Enviro Camp at Basom Memorial Park with Juniata County Conservation District. Fifty-four children attended the camp. Each night, children learned about topics focused on aquatics, wildlife, soils, and forestry. The final night of Enviro Camp was family night, which included conservation jeopardy, a streamside tree planting, and a bluebird box installation at the park.

The Enviro Camp was funded through a DEP Educational Grant.


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Indiana and Clearfield County Conservation Districts Join Agriculture Summit

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

On August 9, 2021, Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson held an Agriculture Summit at Mount Aloysius College. Indiana County Conservation District Manager Doug Beri Jr. and Agricultural Specialist Marisa Matlin exhibited with Clearfield County Conservation District staff.

Panelists including Congressman John Joyce, PA Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and PA Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert discussed various issues and legislation impacting Pennsylvania farmers.

A video of the event is available here


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Stagen Elected President of State Association

At the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) in July the Association elected a new slate of officers. Among them was Pike County Conservation District Director Kelly Stagen who was elected as President.

Previously, Stagen served as the First Vice President and Secretary of the Association. In addition to being President, she remains the alternate representative to the National Association of Conservation Districts.

“I am thankful for Pennsylvania’s conservation districts for electing me to represent their interests as their President,” said Kelly Stagen. “I look forward to moving the association forward and to supporting the important work of environmental education that districts provide across the state.”

The 2021 PACD officers are as follows: 

1st Vice President: Dennis Beck, Cambria County Conservation District
2nd Vice President: Emil Bove, Westmoreland Conservation District
Secretary: Charles Duritsa, Westmoreland Conservation District
Treasurer: Sonia Wasco, Lancaster County Conservation District


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Cambria County Conservation District Receives NACD Technical Assistance Grant

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced $2.1 million in new technical assistance grants to nearly 60 conservation districts in 23 states and territories. In Pennsylvania, Cambria County Conservation District received a grant.

The funding supports resource technicians, conservation planners, program support specialists, and technical specialists based on local needs and priorities.

Click here to read more. 

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Berks County Conservation District Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Berks County Conservation District Chair Piper Sherburne and Senator David G. Argall at the celebration.

Berks County Conservation District celebrated its 75th anniversary on August 9, 2021, at the Oley Fairgrounds. Attendees enjoyed great food and live music, all while honoring those who strived for conservation in Berks County this year!

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event.

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Public Hearing on Invasive Species

On August 24, 2021, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold a public hearing on the negative impact of invasive species in PA. The webinar will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The meeting is virtual, but you must register to attend. This is a Senate Committee Meeting

This hearing is crucial to show the PA General Assembly the importance of developing and funding a statewide invasive species program.

Click here to register. 

Two conservation district staff will testify during the session.

Panel 1

Secretary Redding, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Secretary Dunn, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Executive Director Shaeffer, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Panel 2

Jayson Harper, Professor of Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University

Tom Kase, Resource Manager, Kane Hardwood

Dean Spencer, Owner, Shanesville Fruit Farm

Brian Pilarcik, Watershed Specialist, Crawford County Conservation District

Panel 3

Sara Grove, Professor of Political Science, Shippensburg University

Sarah Whitney, Director, Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Jody Groshek, Communications & Outreach Director, McKean County Conservation District

Josh Thiel, Invasive Species Section Chief, New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Closing Remarks: Secretary Redding


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Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Updates

  • The Strategic Planning Grants program for 2021-22 is accepting letters of intent through November 19. Interested districts should review the program requirements and submit a letter of intent by November 19.
  • Managers, assistant managers, and team leaders can still register for the 2021 Management Summit, September 15-16 in State College.
  • Registration is open for the 2021 Fall Leadership webinar series in October and November. All conservation district personnel are welcome to attend these sessions.

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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