PACD’s Somerset Office Engineering Staff Recognized at Pirates Game

PACD Conservation Engineer Eric Robertson, P.E. (along with other staff from the Somerset Office) was honored by the PA Fish and Boat Commission before a Pittsburgh Pirate game on May 25, 2016. He is pictured on the Jumbotron at PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA. The award was given to the Somerset staff for their acid mine drainage and stream restoration projects.

PACD Conservation Engineer Eric Robertson, P.E. (along with other staff from the Somerset Office) was honored by the PA Fish and Boat Commission before a Pittsburgh Pirate game on May 25, 2016. He is pictured on the Jumbotron at PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA. The award was given to the Somerset staff for their acid mine drainage and stream restoration projects.

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Montgomery County Hosts 2016 Envirothon and BioBlitz

Submitted by Krista Scheirer, Watershed Specialist, Montgomery County Conservation District
Students using a GPS camera unit to record a species during the BioBlitz.  Photo Credit: Jen Isett. Photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

Students using a GPS camera unit to record a species during the BioBlitz. Photo Credit: Jen Isett. Photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

The Montgomery County Conservation District hosted three Envirothon events this spring in an effort to provide free environmental education for local students. Approximately 300 students participated in the events, which were held for the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. The middle school students also took part in a National Geographic BioBlitz, which is an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. “In about an hour altogether, the students found 34 unique species. Kristin Byers, from the PA Alliance for Geographic Education, led a station at our middle school event, where students used GPS units to take photos of as many species as they could find. In total, they made 242 observations. This exploration was exciting to watch and really engaging for the students. After the event, the photos were uploaded to iNaturalist, an app that helps to identify the species,” said Krista Scheirer, Montgomery County Conservation District Watershed Specialist. Click here for the project page, which includes the results of the BioBlitz. Click here to read the full press release on the event.  

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Centre County Showcases Conservation Projects

In May, the Centre County Conservation District held a tour to showcase conservation projects in the county. The stops featured six conservation district projects, including one erosion and sediment control site, two stream restorations, and three farms.
Tour participants look at a conservation district project on a local farm. Photo provided by Centre County Conservation District.

Tour participants look at a conservation district project on a local farm. Photo provided by Centre County Conservation District.

epa_logo (2) Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) 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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CREP Billboards Erected in Berks County

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

The Berks County Conservation District designed a billboard for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Three billboards were displayed in the Tulpehocken watershed for 8 weeks, starting April 11, 2016. In addition to the billboard, the district is planning to hold a series of events including workshop on maintenance and invasive weeds and a field day. DEP left-rgbFinancial 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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Registration for the 2016 PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference Opens Today

button-registerPACD members and partners are invited to join us at this year’s Joint Annual Conference to network, learn, and take a leading role in statewide issues. The conference will take place July 27-28 at the Ramada Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania. As a special service to our members, PACD has arranged for Adam Long from the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC to provide an update on employment law on July 28, with a particular focus on the new overtime rule. Adam is familiar to many of our members and regularly provides advice and counseling to employers on a wide range of labor and employment law issues. Stay tuned for more Front Page articles highlighting this and other conference sessions and activities. Click here to register and learn more about the conference. We look forward to seeing you there!  

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Franklin County Conservation District Hosts First Grade Field Trip

FranklinFieldTrip

First grade students look for macroinvertebrates during their field trip hosted by the Franklin County Conservation District (FCCD). Photo provided by FCCD.

For the third year in a row, the Franklin County Conservation District hosted a field trip at Caledonia State Park for all of the first graders in the Chambersburg Area School District. There were approximately 688 first graders from 31 classes at 12 different elementary schools in the district. Click here to read more.

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Snyder Holds Agricultural Best Management Practice Tour

Shane Eia, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Civil Engineering Technician, shows participants an improved concrete barnyard that was installed on a Snyder County dairy farm. This barnyard not only collects manure for periodic clean out, it also allows the farmer to feed his animals without entering the manured section of the barnyard. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

Shane Eia, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Civil Engineering Technician, shows participants an improved concrete barnyard that was installed on a Snyder County dairy farm. This barnyard not only collects manure for periodic clean out, it also allows the farmer to feed his animals without entering the manured section of the barnyard. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

On April 28, 2016, the Snyder County Conservation District held a farm conservation practice tour for farmers. The tour was held in cooperation with local Snyder County farm operations and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Middleburg Field Office staff. During the Agricultural Best Management Practice (BMP) Tour, visitors were able to see actual BMPs such as dairy liquid and bedded pack manure storages, improved barnyards, stormwater and roofwater controls, milkhouse treatment systems, streambank fencing, and pasture improvements and expansions. As part of the project, an Agricultural BMP Guide was developed. The guide features a variety of best management practices, all heavily illustrated with photos from Snyder County farms. Click here to view the guide. Click here to read more about the tour and for more photos.epa_logo (2) Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) 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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Save the Date: Chapter 102 NPDES & PCSM Training for the Regulated Community

savethedatePACD is assisting the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Southcentral Regional Office to present a Chapter 102 NPDES & PCSM Training for the Regulated Community. This training will be held November 9, 2016 at the Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg East, 4751 Lindle Rd., Harrisburg, PA. Blair County Conservation District is holding their own event on November 16, 2016 at the Altoona Grand Hotel. Registration will open in August. Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger for information on the Harrisburg event and Donna Fisher for the Altoona event.

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Berks County Conservation District Holds “Paint the Rain Contest” with Local High Schools

The first place winner was Berks Catholic High School  Environmental Science & Meteorology Class.

The first place winner was Berks Catholic High School
Environmental Science & Meteorology Class.

As reported in the May 9, 2016 edition of Front Page, Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) held an Earth Day event on April 22. One of the activities was the “Paint the Rain” contest. Nine high schools with eighteen painted rain barrels participated in the BCCD Paint the Rain School Competition. The event was a rain barrel decorating contest for high schools throughout Berks County. The BCCD provided each participating class or school club with one rain barrel, a gift card for $25 (to help with the cost of painting supplies), and an in-classroom presentation/technical support visit from the BCCD. All competitors painted the rain barrel for the 2016 theme, “We all Need Trees,” and completed an associated education program in which they had to educate their school community about rain barrels and natural resource conservation. The public voted for their favorite rain barrel during the BCCD’s Annual Tree Seedling Sale and Backyard Basics event on April 22, 2016. At the same time, a silent auction was taking place where the public could bid on a barrel to take home.  All proceeds from the silent auction went to the BCCD’s scholarship fund. Click here to read a news article on the contest.

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Growing Greener Funding Awarded to Forty-Two Conservation District Projects

DEP left-rgbOn May 18 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the selection of 114 projects to receive $25,143,294 in funding from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), for the protection of Pennsylvania’s water resources. The selected projects enhance watersheds, mitigate acid mine drainage, and support water pollution cleanup programs. The grant awards are made possible by the Growing Greener Grant Program, the largest single investment of state funds to address Pennsylvania’s environmental concerns. Funding for 42 conservation district projects was awarded to 29 different conservation districts. These grants equal $7,685,690 or approximately 31% of the total grants awarded. PACD received one grant for its engineering technical assistance program. Together, 37% of the funding was awarded to conservation districts and PACD. Click here for a full list of conservation district and PACD funded projects. For more information on Growing Greener, click here.

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