New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$99,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), each conservation district is eligible for a mini-grant (up to $1,500 initially per conservation district) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would assist farmers in understanding requirements and lead to development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion & sedimentation plan. Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. You should hear within a week if your project is okay or if it needs fine tuning. These are non-competitive grants — we have $1,500 earmarked for your district. Grants pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis. The Mini-grant application and guidelines are available here.  The deadline to apply is December 30, 2016. Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 5, 2017. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants. Two free trainings on the Manure Management Manual will be held this winter. These “train the trainer” events are for new conservation district staff or those who want a refresher from when the same training was held in previous years.  More information to follow. DEP left-rgbFinancial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

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Chapter 102 NPDES & PCSM Training for the Regulated Community Available in Altoona and Harrisburg

register today buttonPACD and the Blair County Conservation District are partnering with the Southcentral Region of the PA Department of Environmental Protection to offer a one day training session for planners, engineers and others working with the state’s Chapter 102: Erosion & Sediment Control regulations including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Post-Construction Stormwater Management. The first training will take place November 9, 2016 at the Red Lion Inn Hotel Harrisburg Hershey. Click here to register. The same training is being offered by the Blair County Conservation District on November 16, 2016 at the Altoona Grand Hotel for those who are closer to Altoona than Harrisburg. Click here for the flyer on the Altoona event.

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Lebanon County Conservation District to Hold Fundraiser for Farmland Preservation

lebanonpaintnightLebanon County Conservation District is inviting the public to a “Moo-velous Night of Painting” on October 4, 2016. The event is a fundraiser for their farmland preservation program. Two classes will be held: 1-4pm and 7-9:30pm. The event is being held at Brushstrokes on Canvas, 720 Quentin Rd., Lebanon, PA. The cost is $35/person and includes supplies, drinks, and snacks. Proceeds benefit Lebanon County farmland preservation. Click here to read more about the event.

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Beaver County Conservation District Holds Stormwater Workshop

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BCCD Environmental Educator Susan Boser explains how to construct a rain barrel during the June 14 stormwater workshop. Photo provided by Beaver County Conservation District.

The Beaver County Conservation District (BCCD) held a workshop titled, “Managing Stormwater: A plan for your property,” on June 14, 2016. Twenty-six attendees learned about watersheds, nonpoint source pollution, and stormwater best management practices (BMPs). They also saw a demonstration on how to assemble and use a rain barrel and took a tour of BMPs in action at the BCCD Environmental Center in Aliquippa, PA.
epa_logo (2) 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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Media Day Highlights Project in Northumberland County

It took a joint effort to improve stream conditions and aquatic habitat along this unnamed tributary which discharges directly into the Susquehanna River. Installing fish habitat structures will reduce sediment inputs at the source, stabilize streambanks, and add diversity to the aquatic ecosystem. Photo provided by Northumberland County Conservation District.

It took a joint effort to improve stream conditions and aquatic habitat along this unnamed tributary which discharges directly into the Susquehanna River. Installing fish habitat structures will reduce sediment inputs at the source, stabilize streambanks, and add diversity to the aquatic ecosystem. Photo provided by Northumberland County Conservation District.

During a media day on August 12, a site in Northumberland County was highlighted. The Northumberland County Conservation District and partners worked with two landowners to address 4,342 linear feet of stream. The project includes approximately 90 structures, bank regrading, gravel bar removal, stabilized livestock crossing, and streambank fencing. The district worked for 3 weeks in August on the project and will finish in October. This project is part of a larger effort. The PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener grant program awarded $354,972 to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy for project implementation. This is the seventh year of stream restoration work. The partners have completed 85 projects in almost seven miles of agriculturally impaired streams in north-central Pennsylvania and won a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 2014. Project partners included: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Clinton County Conservation District, Columbia County Conservation District, Lycoming County Conservation District, Montour County Conservation District, Northumberland County Conservation District, Snyder County Conservation District, Tioga County Conservation District, and Union County Conservation District. Click here for a press release on the project, here for photos, and here for a short video.

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Over $17,000 Awarded to Conservation Districts to Promote CREP

PACREP_FullColor_HorizCROPPED Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts were awarded more than $17,000 for eight projects in eight counties for the 2016-17 Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Mini-Grant Program. Conservation districts will use these grants to work with landowners to prevent pollution in our streams, lakes, and rivers. Projects will take place over the next nine months. The following projects were awarded up to $2,500 each as a part of the 2016–2017 CREP Mini-grant round:
County Conservation District Amount Awarded
Allegheny $2,500
Armstrong $2,500
Beaver $2,050
Berks $2,500
Chester $1,500
Columbia $2,500
Jefferson $1,500
Lebanon $2,300
Click here to learn more about CREP. DEP left-rgbThe CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by PACD through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Additional support is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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Annual Fall 102-105 Training Meeting – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Register On-Line Now button Registration is now open for the Annual Fall 102-105 Training meeting to be held October 25-27, 2016 at the Ramada Conference Center in State College, PA. Click here for more information, to register, and to see the draft training agenda for this meeting. Project Spotlight:  Table space is available in the conference center lobby for districts and others to highlight projects and to share ideas and techniques.  Display pictures, drawings or other information on projects relating to Chapters 102 and 105.  Contact Terry Fisher to reserve a table. Questions about the meeting can be directed to Jill Whitcomb at the PA Department of Environmental Protection, jiwhitcomb@pa.gov or 717-772-5668 or Terry Fisher at PACD, tfisher@pacd.org or 717-238-7223.

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Thompson Testifies on Progress and Challenges in Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay

cbprogramPennsylvania’s conservation districts voiced their concerns about the Chesapeake Bay “reboot strategy” during the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Chesapeake Executive Council. The CAC held their quarterly meeting on September 8, 2016 in Lancaster, PA. Lancaster County Conservation District Manager Christopher Thompson addressed the Committee on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. Thompson briefed attendees on the issues conservation districts are now facing as a result of the reboot strategy. Conservation districts have had meetings with the DEP in regards to the farm inspections conservation districts have been asked to conduct. This has been a step forward since many concerns the conservation districts have were addressed by DEP. “Although many of the conservation districts’ concerns have already been adequately addressed by DEP, there are still two outstanding issues – the discrepancies between the Statement of Policy, the inspection form, and the contract, and privacy concerns when a district employee obtains information generated by federal entities,” said Thompson. Click here to read the full testimony and here to read the press release.

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Multi-District Adventure in Southwest PA

Submitted by Allegheny County Conservation District
Staff from Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Conservation Districts came together for an outdoor adventure. Photo taken by Kelly McLaughlin and used with permission from Allegheny County Conservation District.

Staff from Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Conservation Districts came together for an outdoor adventure. Photo taken by Kelly McLaughlin and used with permission from Allegheny County Conservation District.

Staff from Allegheny Conservation District organized a team building challenge at Go Ape Treetop Adventure in North Park. Eighteen staff from Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Conservation Districts participated in the event. Go Ape is an exhilarating journey through the forest canopy on suspended obstacles including aerial crossings, Tarzan swings, and 5 zip lines. Team members provided support and encouragement to each other as they completed each obstacle while getting to know some of their neighboring conservation district counterparts a little better. The course took just over two hours to complete and was certainly a unique and challenging experience for all. It offered an incredible, extraordinary, view of North Park and certainly tested our strength and nerves, especially those of us who are uncomfortable with heights! Thanks to all who participated and made it a great outing!

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Indiana County Conservation District Hosts CREP Workshops and Field Day

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

This summer the Indiana County Conservation District (District) was awarded a CREP mini-grant to work with and educate landowners about stream buffer planting and weed maintenance on local CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) land. The ultimate goal is to prevent pollution and improve water quality in our local streams, lakes, and rivers. The District used these grant funds to participate in multiple events as public educational opportunities, in addition to holding two workshops and one field day. These events focused on explaining the financial and environmental benefits of the CREP program. Through this grant, the District reached over 500 landowners with educational materials and hosted nearly 40 attendees at workshop and field day events. Attendees were educated on the identification and maintenance of noxious and invasive weed species, as well as the benefits of stream buffers and how to successfully plant them.
DEP left-rgb Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.
   

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