Snyder County Conservation District Holds CREP & Stream Buffer Field Day

Frank Rohrer, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Restoration Specialist (third from right, white shirt, wearing blue hat), points toward a grassed riparian buffer along Susquehecka Creek for the tour group. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

Frank Rohrer, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Restoration Specialist (third from right, white shirt, wearing blue hat), points toward a grassed riparian buffer along Susquehecka Creek for the tour group. Photo provided by Snyder County Conservation District.

The Snyder County Conservation District held a Stream Buffer and CREP Field Day event on July 28, 2016, in which thirty-five visiting and host farmers, landowners, a legislative aide, state government officials participated. The event included a tour of three farm sites. Representatives from Pheasants Forever, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, PA DCNR-Bureau of Forestry, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USDA-Farm Service Agency, relayed information about buffers, weeds, grass plantings, and CREP procedures. Click here to read more about the event.
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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Conservation Districts Reach Thousands through CREP Mini-grant Program

PACREP_FullColorCROPPEDThe 2015-16 round of Pennsylvania Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grants for conservation districts recently concluded. Thanks to the conservation districts and their partners, the program was a success! Some of the outcomes include:
  • 20 projects were conducted
  • 2,458 farmers and landowners were reached
  • 11 field days/walkabouts were held
  • 23 workshops were held
  • 149 one-on-one visits were held
  • 109 participants indicated they plan to enroll in CREP in the future
  • 137 participants indicated they plan to re-enroll in CREP when their contract expires
Applications for the 2016-17 round of mini-grants were due August 19. Notifications of the projects funded in the new round will be made by August 31. Questions about the mini-grant program should be directed to swehinger@pacd.org.

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Westmoreland Conservation District Hosts CREP Tours

Tour participants learn about the native plants grown at the Friendship Farms nursery.  Photo provided by Westmoreland Conservation District.

Tour participants learn about the native plants grown at the Friendship Farms nursery. Photo provided by Westmoreland Conservation District.

The Westmoreland Conservation District hosted the first of two tours highlighting the benefits of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).  Participants visited Friendship Farms to see how they have protected streams on their property using riparian buffers, fencing, and stream crossings. To read more about the tour and CREP, click here.
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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Jefferson County Conservation District Holds Grazing Field Day

Tim Elder, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Specialist, performs a soil health demonstration during the field day. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

Tim Elder, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Specialist, performs a soil health demonstration during the field day. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

The Jefferson County Conservation District held a grazing field day on July 8 in Mayport, PA. The event was held at Annabelle Grazing Farm and educated over 40 farmers and 5 agency personnel. Topics included grazing management practices that improve soil health and preventing nutrient and soil runoff into waterways. The field day highlighted the farm’s rotational grazing system, demonstrated the environmental benefits of well-managed pastures, and explained the operator’s experimental use of biochar as a potential soil amendment.
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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Registration is Open for Chapter 102 NPDES & PCSM Training for the Regulated Community

Register On-Line Now buttonPACD 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 Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Red Lion Inn Hotel Harrisburg Hershey, 4751 Lindle Rd., Harrisburg, PA. Cost is $150/person. Click here to register. The draft agenda is available here. There will be a training in Altoona on November 16 for those who are closer to that end of the region.

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Beaver County Conservation District Hosts Senior Environment Corps

Beaver County Senior Environment Corps volunteers learn how to use a colorimeter at a training on July 21, 2016. Photo provided by Beaver County Conservation District.

Beaver County Senior Environment Corps volunteers learn how to use a colorimeter at a training on July 21, 2016. Photo provided by Beaver County Conservation District.

The first group of the new Beaver County Senior Environment Corps (SEC) has been trained. Training took place on July 21st at the Beaver County Conservation District. Volunteers, aged 55 years or older, learned why water quality monitoring is needed and how to use water quality monitoring equipment. Commenting on the SEC program, Jeff Leindecker, Beaver County’s Agricultural Conservation Technician and Nutrient Management Specialist, said, “I feel the Beaver County SEC helps the district achieve its mission of preserving natural resources, conserving soil, and improving resource management for all of Beaver County. The goal is to use the data gathered by the SEC to focus where we need to focus our efforts. I commend the eleven volunteers who attended the training and look forward to working with them!” The Beaver County Conservation District, the local host for the new group, is working together with Nature Abounds, a national environmental non-profit and organizer of the SEC. Volunteers with the SEC can participate in a variety of tasks from monitoring water quality, observing and reporting on wildlife, reaching out to others about how they can help the environment, and even aiding with office tasks. Because of the incredible interest in the SEC program, a second training for interested senior residents of Beaver County will be held in August, and a training will also be held in Allegheny County in September. For more information, contact Melinda Hughes of Nature Abounds at either 814-765-1453 x203 or at SEC@Natureabounds.org.

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State Level Poster Contest Winners Announced

The 4th-6th grade winner in the state level poster contest was submitted by Sreekethav Vaka of Delaware County.

The 4th-6th grade winner in the state level poster contest was submitted by Sreekethav Vaka of Delaware County.

PACD and the PACD Auxiliary are pleased to announce the five state level winners of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) 2016 “We All Need Trees” poster contest. The winners in each age category are:
  • K – 1st Grade: Sabrina Ibragimova, Berks County
  • 2nd – 3rd Grade: Shricharan Ilayanambi, Delaware County
  • 4th – 6th Grade: Sreekethav Vaka, Delaware County
  • 7th – 9th Grade: Mara Yahner, Cambria County
  • 10th – 12th Grade: Shaianne Perkins, Carbon County
To promote the importance of trees, 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 http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-and-education-materials/contests.  

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Presentations from PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference Available Online

Overtime Presentations and handouts from last week’s PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference are available online, including: Click on the titles to download the presentations in PDF format.

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PACD Executive Council Elects Slate of Officers, Passes Dues Structure

Joe Dietrick 1 crop At the PACD Executive Council meeting on July 28, a slate of officers was elected. They are:
  • President – Glenn Seidel (Berks)
  • 1st Vice President – Donald Koontz (Mercer)
  • 2nd Vice President – Charles Duritsa (Westmoreland)
  • Secretary – Joseph Dietrick (Westmoreland)
  • Treasurer – Kenneth Meck (Lancaster)
Also during the meeting, the membership voted to support the use of properly permitted and treated acid mine drainage water for fracking. The final measure to pass was the “Option C: Alternate Dues Structure with 3-Year Increase.” This option combines the eight county classes to create four levels, A through D, and incorporates increases to the overall dues for the next three years. Any increases after that timeframe will be a flat dollar amount for all districts. The table of the new dues amounts is available from PACD upon request. Please email lsuhr@pacd.org for a copy.

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PACD Hiring Conservation Technician in Somerset Office

jobbuttonAs the Conservation Technician for the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) in the Southwest Region, the incumbent will provide 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 conservation practices and water quality best management practices, 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 jobs@pacd.org. All application materials must be received by 4:30pm EDT on August 23, 2016.  

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