Chester County Conservation District Holds Chesapeake Bay Boat Tour

Photo provided by Chester County Conservation District.

Submitted by Paige LaDuca, Chesapeake Bay Resource Conservationist, Chester County Conservation District

On August 15th, Chester County Conservation District staff and local farmers had the opportunity to attend an educational tour given by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We departed from the Baltimore Aquarium and discussed the effects that rivers and tributaries have on the Bay before continuing our journey to test water turbidity (clearness), dredge the bottom of the Harbor for sediment, and view the city’s aquatic trash wheels and skimmers.

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.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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Franklin County Holds its Annual Summer Conservation Farm Tour

Photo provided by FCCD.

Submitted by Jennifer Bratthauar, Ag Conservation Technician, Franklin County Conservation District

The Franklin County Conservation District (FCCD) held its third annual Summer Conservation Farm Tour on August 1, 2018, which was made possible through a PACD Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Project. In addition to recognizing the FCCD’s Conservation Farmer of the Year, this tour also provided attendees with a first-hand look at Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce soil and nutrient runoff leaving the farm. This year’s Conservation Farmer of the Year was Martin Farms in Chambersburg.

Financial and other support for this project was 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. The FCCD also received financial support from AgChoice Farm Credit.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Snyder County Recognizes Craig Bingman

(left to right): SCCD Director Charles Kessler, Jr.; Chairperson Annette Gray; Associate Director Rick Bailey; Commissioner Kantz; Associate Director Lincoln Kaufman; District Manager Craig Bingman; PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh; Director LaMar Troup; and Director Mac Curtis.

Snyder County Conservation District Manager Craig Bingman retired on August 3. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Snyder County in July for his retirement recognition.

Craig began his work with the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) under the title Executive Assistant on October 1, 1977. Craig was on the original Envir-Olympics board, came up with the name Envirothon, and helped coordinate the first state event in 1984 at Shaver’s Creek. Craig served on the PA Envirothon board for over 30 years, serving as chair for one year and vice-chair for the first National Envirothon at King’s Gap in 1988.

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PACD Announces State Level Winners of NACD Poster Contest

The winning poster by Tvisha Jani from Delaware County won the 2nd–3rd grade category.

PACD is pleased to announce the five state level winners of the National Association of Conservation Districts 2018 “Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home” poster contest.

The winners in each age category are:

K–1st Grade: Aaliyah Basile, Carbon County
2nd–3rd Grade:            Tvisha Jani, Delaware County
4th–6th Grade:            Bethany Boecker, Sullivan County
7th–9th Grade:            Eric Chen, Bucks County
10th–12th Grade:        Paige Hollibaugh, Huntingdon County

To promote education on the importance of healthy watersheds, students from kindergarten through twelfth grades entered posters conveying their thoughts and ideas through original artwork. Submissions were judged based on the entry’s conservation message, visual effectiveness, originality, and universal appeal.

PACD thanks all of the participants in the contest for their interest and dedication to conservation. Best wishes to the state level winners in the upcoming national judging competition.

For more information about the NACD poster contest, visit

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PACD Education & Outreach Committee Launches Photo Library

Over a year ago, the PACD Education & Outreach Committee began the process of creating a shared photo library for conservation districts to use. The library is now up and running! Conservation districts are able to upload photos to share with PACD and other districts, as well as download photos to use.

A photo release is available and must be used for photos with people who are “recognizable by a reasonable person.” The release must be uploaded along with the photos. PACD staff will then review the release and add photos to the library, which is organized by category.

Jessie Albright, Allegheny County Conservation District Marketing and Operations Director created a “how-to” video for the library. Click here to view it. 

Click here for more information and to request access to the library. A usage agreement form is required prior to receiving access to the library. PACD asks that only one or two people per district request access–or better yet, use your district’s general email address, which doesn’t change as staff does.

Thank you to the Education & Outreach Committee for their assistance with the project, especially Jessie Albright for spearheading the effort and providing the photos to start the library.

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Save the Date: Chapter 102 Fall Regional Sessions

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will hold Chapter 102 Fall Regional Sessions for conservation districts and DEP staff September through November of 2018. Registration will be required, but attendance is free and lunch will be provided. Please save the date for the meeting closest to you! An agenda and more information will be provided closer to the date.

  • Northcentral: September 25, 2018, Northcentral Regional Office, Williamsport, PA
  • Northwest: October 2, 2018, Northwest Regional Office, Meadville, PA
  • Southwest: October 3, 2018, Cranberry Public Library, Cranberry Township, PA
  • Northeast: October 16, 2018, Northeast Regional Office, Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • Southeast: October 30, 2018, Southeast Regional Office, Norristown, PA
  • Southcentral: November 6, 2018, Southcentral Regional Office, Harrisburg, PA

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Intro to Conservation Planning Course Slated for November

PACD is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the State Conservation Commission (SCC) to deliver a three day Introduction to Conservation Planning course. This free training will take place November 13-15, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg (Hershey area) in Grantville, PA.

The event is for entry-level employees of all organizations in Pennsylvania delivering conservation planning technical assistance, including but not limited to, NRCS, conservation districts, SCC, farmland preservation entities, non-profits, and private consultants. Lunch will be provided.

The application link will be emailed to those who are interested in taking the course after they have submitted their pre-requisite certificate of completion to  Click here for information on the pre-requisite. The deadline to apply is October 12, 2018.

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New Officers Elected

The newly elected PACD officers are Sonia Wasco (left), PACD Treasurer and Kelly Stagen, PACD Secretary and North East Region Director.

During the PACD Executive Council meeting on July 18, three officers were re-elected and two new officers were elected.

The 2018-19 slate of officers includes:

  • President: Charles Duritsa, Westmoreland Conservation District
  • 1st Vice President: Mike Price, Beaver County Conservation District
  • 2nd Vice President: Donald Koontz, Mercer County Conservation District
  • Secretary & NE Region Director: Kelly Stagen, Pike County Conservation District
  • Treasurer: Sonia Wasco, Lancaster County Conservation District

Also during the Executive Council meeting, delegates voted to give the Executive Board the authority to sell the existing PACD office building and purchase a condo.


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Four Pennsylvania Farms Receive Clean Water Farm Award

(Left to right) PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, PA Department of
Agriculture Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety Gregory Hostetter, PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, award recipient Kelly Smith, award recipient Will Smith, PACD President Charles Duritsa, and PACD North Central Region Director Dr. Robert Shannon.

PACD, in conjunction with the award sponsor, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), presented the operators of four farms with the Clean Water Farm Award during its annual conference on July 18, 2018 in Lancaster, PA. The honor is awarded annually to farmers who manage their daily farm operations in an environmentally conscious manner that helps to protect Pennsylvania’s water quality.

DEP has sponsored this award for the past thirty-two years. Recipients receive a certificate signed by the DEP Secretary and a large Clean Water Farm Award sign to erect on their property.

The 2018 Clean Water Farm Award Recipients are:

  • Ed Chianese (Susquehanna County)
  • Justin and Doreen Geisinger Air Hill Acres Farm (Franklin County)
  • Will & Kelly Smith, Deep Roots Valley Farm (Berks County)
  • Dave Pounds (Indiana County)

The Clean Water Farm award was initiated in 1986. Recipients of the award are nominated by their local county conservation districts. Financial support for this award is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program and the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.).

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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