Register Today for the Building for Tomorrow Director Training Workshops

Are you prepared for a fire? We hope that the answer is yes, and we assume that a big part of that preparation involved drawing up a plan and then practicing it.

But are you prepared for a harassment or discrimination complaint? Is your district positioned to be in control of the process to ensure a positive outcome in the face a problematic personnel issue?

Fire drills are only effective when you practice them before a fire happens, so don’t wait to be prepared for a personnel problem that could expose your district’s board members to potential liability in the event of a complaint.

All conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to attend our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training workshops on Sexual Harassment and Respect in the Workplace, presented by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting. District managers are welcome too!

In addition to examining the definitions of harassment and discrimination, the interactive workshop program will include discussions of “what if” scenarios and focus on effective policies and steps you can take to lessen liability. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.

Please click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.):

Tuesday, March 5 – Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre
Wednesday, March 6 – Ramada Conference Center, State College
Wednesday, March 13 – Cross Creek Resort, Titusville
Thursday, March 14 – West Meeting Center, West Elizabeth
Thursday, March 21 – Woodcrest Retreat Center, Ephrata

Help us spread the word and please encourage your fellow directors to participate.

Contact Matt Miller with questions.

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Monroe and Pike County Workshop in Local News

Screen shot of news report on Monroe and Pike Workshop from Eyewitness News WBRE WYOU. www.pahomepage.com

Monroe and Pike County Conservation Districts partnered to hold two day-long workshops on green infrastructure and permit coordination in Tannersville, PA. The districts connected with engineers and other professionals involved in project planning and development.

Click here to read the entire article and to view the video.

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Lehigh County Conservation District Receives Urban Agriculture Grant

Screenshot of LCCD website, http://www.lehighconservation.org.

Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD) was awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to boost technical capacity nationwide.

LCCD will expand its pilot urban agriculture field experience education program in Allentown. Through program implementation, urban, school-aged youth will be provided with training for twenty-first century green-collar jobs, increased access to healthy foods, and STEM education – all of which are to be shared with the broader community. Equipping students with critical thinking skills through participation in this field experience curriculum ensures they will be outfitted with experience to address and predict the area’s current and future conservation needs.P

Click here to read more about the LCCD program and here for the full list of recipients.

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Chester County Conservation District Receives Over $1.1 Million

PENNVEST logo

Governor Tom Wolf announced the investment of $121 million for 25 drinking water, wastewater, and non-point source projects across 20 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST). Chester County Conservation District will receive over $1.1 million for non-point source water quality improvement projects:

  • Project 1 – received a $695,838 loan to pay for a circular concrete manure storage facility, roofed stacking structure, barnyard and curbing with confinement fence, roofed heavy use area, gravel access road, roof cutters, downspouts, and reinforced gravel animal walkway on the Clair Good property. The project is expected to eliminate over 8,000 pounds of nitrogen, 3,529 pounds of phosphorus, and 10,180 pounds of sediment from Cedar Creek, a tributary to the Conestoga and Susquehanna Rivers.
  • Project 2 – received a $469,308 grant to cover the costs related to construction of manure storage facilities, heavy use areas, walkways, and storm water controls on the Benuel Stoltzfus property. The project is expected to eliminate 6,612 pounds of nitrogen, 2,789 pounds of phosphorus, and 5,660 pounds of sediment from entering the Little Conestoga Creek, a tributary to the Conestoga and Susquehanna Rivers.

Click here to read the entire press release.

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Westmoreland Conservation District Holds Municipal Roundtable


Scott Hilty and Emily Mallisee of Murrysville take a riparian buffer education sign designed by the district. 

The Westmoreland Conservation District held a successful “No-Mow” Riparian Buffer Education Project as part of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Program. Fifty people, representing 20 municipalities, attended the annual Municipal Roundtable held in late January at the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center. Attendees learned about stormwater issues, riparian buffers, mosquito habitat controls, and permitting. Attendees were invited to take no-mow signs with them to install in their new or existing riparian buffers.

Click here for more pictures of the municipal roundtable.

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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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Application Period Opens

Photo by Holly Hunt.

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic level and Level II). Conservation district staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.

Basic Level –April 1-5, 2019

Level II – April 29-May 3, 2019

If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted. Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

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Register Now for the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting

The 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting will be held March 11, 2019, at the Degenstein Theater at Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. The target audience for this meeting is staff from PA state agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and conservation districts.

Topics include County WIP planning, PA Department of Environmental Protection program updates, conservation district project spotlights, the PA Ag Conservation Stewardship Program and more!

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to the snow date (March 13, 2019). Registrants will be notified via email 24 hours in advance if the meeting is postponed.

Click here for the full agenda and to register. The deadline to register is February 25.

This meeting is sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection with administrative assistance from PACD.

Please contact Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org with questions.

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Register Now for Respect in the Workplace: 2019 Director Training

Recent news coverage of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has left many wondering what they can do to ensure that their organizations are prepared to handle these kinds of issues when they arise.

In addition to matters of legal compliance and liability, understanding how to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination is important in maintaining a respectful organizational culture that allows all team members to thrive professionally. District organizational culture can affect staff recruitment, retention, and team cohesiveness, as well as community and partner relations. Effective policies are a crucial requirement for harassment-free workplaces, but focusing on the board’s role in communicating and modeling respect and appreciation for diversity is also vitally important for your district.

Respect in the Workplace, our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training Program, features an interactive workshop facilitated by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting.

The program will include topics such as:

  • Understanding workplace diversity and inclusion issues
  • Defining discrimination & harassment
  • “What if” scenarios
  • Effective policy & training authorization documents
  • Steps to create awareness and lessen liability

All conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to attend. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.

Please click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10am – 3pm):

Tuesday, March 5 – Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre
Wednesday, March 6 – Ramada Conference Center, State College
Wednesday, March 13 – Cross Creek Resort, Titusville
Thursday, March 14 – West Meeting Center, West Elizabeth
Thursday, March 21 – Woodcrest Retreat Center, Ephrata

Help us spread the word and please encourage your fellow directors to participate. Contact Matt Miller with questions.

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Thank You to All the Farm Show Volunteers!

Thank you to all the PA Farm Show volunteers for giving their time to promote the work conservation districts are doing throughout the state!

Nick Biondi and Brittany Smith from Lancaster County Conservation District staff the Farm Show booth on Sunday, January 6, 2019.

The following districts staffed the conservation district booth at the PA Farm Show:

  • Berks
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Schuylkill
  • Union

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