Building for Tomorrow Announces 2020 Fall Leadership Webinar Series

In light of the ongoing restrictions on event size, Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development has scheduled a Fall 2020 webinar series that includes programming for both district staff and boards.

Wednesday October 14, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

PA Environmental Rights Amendment & Responsibility for Natural Resources

Presented by Margaret Murphy, DEP Counsel for Special Projects

Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, also known as the PA Environmental Rights Amendment, states, “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.” This presentation will examine the background of the Environmental Rights Amendment and its significance to the work of Pennsylvania’s conservation districts and is open to all conservation district staff, board members, and partners.

Click Here to Register for 10/14 webinar

Tuesdays October 20, October 27, and November 17, 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Adaptive Strategies & Contingency Planning for Conservation Districts

Presented by Deb Thompson, Strategy Solutions

Ongoing disruptions have demonstrated that contingency planning is more important now than ever before. This workshop series will examine the lessons learned and potential opportunities for the future. We will identify issues, challenge assumptions, and develop an action plan to engage boards in scenario planning.

Session 1: Adaptive Strategies & Scenario Planning for Managers will define the parameters of contingency planning related to technology, staff support, program operations, stakeholder advocacy, and fundraising. Managers will discuss the challenges and hazards they have faced during the pandemic and beyond, as well as lessons learned and challenges yet to come. They will collectively develop an action list to increase awareness with their boards.

Session 2: Adaptive Strategies & Scenario Planning for Board Members will introduce the concept of scenario planning and will examine the role of the board in helping staff work through a contingency planning exercise based on the discussion from Session 1.

Session 3: Finalizing Scenario Plans: Identifying “Must Do” Strategies for Conservation Districts will allow managers and directors to work together in groups to identify top-priority strategies and share ideas and best practices for implementation.

Click Here to Register for the 10/20 Manager Session. 

Click Here to Register for the 10/27 Director Session

All registrants will receive an invitation to Session 3 on 11/17.

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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PACD Hiring Agricultural Conservation Technician in Clarion Office

The Conservation Technician for the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) in the North West Region provides technical assistance to the Growing Greener program and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

This position will provide technical assistance to area partnership Growing Greener personnel and the NRCS in the planning, design, and construction of engineering practices; prepare designs of agricultural conservation practices and water quality best management practices (BMPs), which are site-specific and require coordination among various groups and individuals; and provide engineering assistance in conducting preliminary investigations.

Click here for the full job description. Candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to the PACD at All application materials must be received by 4:30 p.m.  on August 19, 2020. 

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Employment Law for Conservation Districts Video & Reference Guide Available

Session 3 of the Employment Law for Conservation Districts webinar series was held on August 5.  Videos of all three presentations, along with a reference guide, are posted at Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development.  

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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Local Library Creates Video of Cambria County Conservation District’s Education Center

Jackie Ritko talking about the painted turtle from the Disaster’s Edge Environmental Education Center.

The Cambria County Library Children’s Department created a video featuring staff member Jackie Ritko talking about the various animals at the district’s education center.

Click here to view the video and here to read more about the Disaster’s Edge Environmental Education Center. 

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Delaware County Conservation District Produces Spotted Lanternfly Video

Screenshot from Delaware County Conservation District’s How to Install a Sticky Trap video.

The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species that is spreading across Pennsylvania. One control method a homeowner can easily implement is the installation of sticky traps. Karen Wilwol, Watershed Specialist for the Delaware County Conservation District, is putting these traps on several trees in county-owned parks for demonstration purposes. This video shows how one of these traps was installed at Rose Tree Park.

Click here to watch the video. 

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PACD Fall Region Meetings Go Virtual

With the safety of our members in mind, PACD will hold the fall PACD region meetings virtually. More information will be available closer to the date. In the meantime, mark your calendar and plan to attend your fall PACD region web meeting!

PACD North West Region Web Meeting
September 25, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon

PACD South Central Region Web Meeting
September 29, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon

PACD South East Region Web Meeting
October 1, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon

PACD North East Region Web Meeting
October 2, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon

PACD South West Region Web Meeting
October 5, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon

PACD North Central Region Web Meeting
October 22, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. to Noon


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Crawford County Conservation District Produces Wetlands Video

Wetlands can have major impacts on our lives, but what in the world is a wetland anyway?

In this video, the Crawford County Conservation District discusses specific wetland qualities and why they’re important to us and our ecosystems.

Click here to view the video. 

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Conservationists Recognized for Making a Difference

(Clockwise): Rep. Keller, Sonia Wasco, Brooke Russick, and SCC.

Several conservationists were recognized during the PACD Executive Council meeting online on July 23, 2020.

“These individuals are shining stars among Pennsylvania’s 66 conservation districts. Today we recognize their efforts going above and beyond for clean water and healthy soil,” said Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director. “Congratulations to all these individuals and organizations on this recognition.”

The 2020 PACD honorees are as follows:

Legislator Leadership Award
Representative Mark Keller (PA 86th District)
The Perry County Conservation District nominated representative Mark Keller. He is currently in his eighth and last term representing the 86th Legislative District in Perry and Cumberland counties. He serves as chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

President’s Award
Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission
The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) provides financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. Starting in 2018, the SCC provided funding to hire a full-time program coordinator. This position allows consistent and regular training for conservation district directors, associate directors, and staff.

Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director Excellence Award
Sonia Wasco (Lancaster County)
Sonia Wasco has been connected to and supported the Lancaster County Conservation District (LCCD) for more than 40 years. Sonia is currently serving as a director on the LCCD board of directors for 12 years after serving as an Associate Director for ten years. She is also an active member of the PACD Executive Board, serving as treasurer. Sonia’s most unique and priceless volunteer work benefitting generations of students is her passion for serving as the co-director of the Lancaster County Youth Conservation School.

Conservation District Employee Excellence Award
Brooke Russick (Indiana County)
Brooke has worked for the Indiana County Conservation District for five years. She started as a watershed specialist, then moved to the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program specialist position. Through this position, Brooke built relationships with nearly every municipality in the county. These relationships allow the district to receive $1.5 million in requests for program funding each year. Brooke goes above and beyond to maintain the highest level of quality for the projects.

Conservation District Employee Service Recognition Program Awards

30 Years of Service
• Susan Gallagher, Chief Naturalist, Carbon County
• David Stoner, District Manager, Franklin County
• JoAnn McCready, District Manager, Lawrence County
• Patrick McKinney, Environmental Education Coordinator, Schuylkill County
•Keith Largent, E&S Technician, Somerset County
• Sylvia Thompson, Fiscal Coordinator/Bookkeeper II, Wayne County

35 Years of Service
• Donna Fisher, District Manager, Blair County
• Robert Sweitzer, District Manager (retired), Centre County
• Roger Spotts, Head Naturalist, Monroe County
• Mark Kimmel, District Manager, York County

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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Winners Announced in State Poster Contest on Pollinators

Grace Petrunak’s poster, submitted by Lehigh County Conservation District, won the 2-3 grade category in the statewide poster contest.

PACD is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 “Where Would We BEE without Pollinators” statewide poster contest.

To promote the importance of pollinators, students from kindergarten through 12th grade entered posters conveying their thoughts and ideas through original artwork.

The winners and the county conservation districts that submitted the posters are:

Category: Kindergarten through First Grade

  • Payton Joy Duncan, Greene County Conservation District

Category: Second through Third Grades

  • Grace Petrunak, Lehigh County Conservation District

Category: Fourth through Sixth Grades

  • Andrew John Watts, Berks County Conservation District

Category: Seventh through Ninth Grades

  • Sarah Hartman, Carbon Conservation District

Category: Tenth through Twelfth Grades

  • Natalie Brown, Clinton County Conservation District

Each state-level winner will be submitted for judging in the upcoming national competition this winter. The National Association of Conservation Districts sponsors the national contest. Visit for more information.

Click here for the press release and here to view photos of the posters. 

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