Westmoreland Conservation District Creates Stormwater Video Series

Westmoreland Conservation District has created “The Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Video Series.” The series is available on YouTube and through the district’s website here. This series of videos will help homeowners learn how they can control stormwater around their homes and property.


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Allegheny County Conservation District Releases Flood Education Workshop Series

The Allegheny County Conservation District and partners have released a Flood Education Workshop series for home and business owners.

This educational series includes instruction from experts about why it floods, ways to prepare before and after, and how to recover from a flood event.

The five-part series covers the following topics:

  • Watershed Basics and Types of Flooding
  • Where Flooding Occurs and How You Can Find Out
  • Preparation and Mitigation for Flooding
  • Responding to Flooding
  • Recovering from Flooding

Workshop recordings are now available here.

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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Wraps Up for 2021

The Boot Camp Level II participants begin the training at the Keystone Conference Center in Lebanon County on August 23, 2021.

Twenty-five individuals attended Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Level II, August 23-27, 2021, at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and affiliates.

The Level II annual training consists of two learning tracks: agronomy and engineering. The two tracks allow participants to focus more deeply on their area of study. The event features a balance of classroom work and field work to give participants hands-on experience.

The Basic level course was held earlier this month.

The training is sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Conservation Commission. PACD works with these partners to coordinate the training.

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Registration Opens for the Conservation District Watershed Specialist Webinar Series

“Elk on Cribwall” by Jon-Marc Burdick, Cameron County Conservation District, 2020 Conservation District Watershed Specialist Photo Contest Best in Show.

The 2021 Conservation District Watershed Specialist Webinar Series will take place October 5-7, 2021. Watershed specialists will learn how to use Stroud Water Research Center’s EnviroDIY program and Monitor My Watershed to build, program, install, and manage a standard Enviro DIY monitoring station; learn how a seasoned watershed specialist approaches project management; learn about prevailing wage; get tips on putting together a project bid package from a conservation district perspective, and much more. Registration is open to conservation district watershed specialists and invited guests only. For a registration link, contact Molly Burns with PACD at mburns@pacd.org.

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Meet the New PACD Conservation Technician in the Bloomsburg Office

Photo provided by Dakota Welkom.

Dakota Welkom recently graduated from Cecil College in North East, Maryland, with a Biological and Environmental Science degree. Dakota was previously employed as a Mosquito-borne Disease Control Technician by the Northumberland County Conservation District. She grew up on her family farm with her four sisters in Columbia County. Dakota currently resides with her fiancé, Micah, their four hounds, and a variety of farm animals.

Welcome, Dakota!

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Leadership Development Updates

Last chance for managers and assistant managers to register for the 2021 Management Summit September 1-16 in State College. All attendees are strongly encouraged to mask and practice social distancing when possible. The deadline to register is this Friday, September 3.

Directors and all interested district personnel are encouraged to register for the 2021 Fall Leadership webinar series. This year’s series includes a two-part workshop on Succession Planning Management on October 27 and November 3 and a presentation on Conservation Leadership & Environmental Justice on November 10. Visit Building for Tomorrow for more information and to register.

Letters of intent for the 2021-22 Strategic Planning Grants program are being accepted through November 19. If your district is considering updating its strategic plan, please click here for program information and requirements.

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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Conservationists Testify on Invasive Species in the Commonwealth

Screenshots of Brian Pilarcik and Jody Groshek providing testimony.

On August 24, 2021, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a virtual public hearing on the negative impact of invasive species in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s conservation districts provided testimony at the hearing. Conservation district representatives outlined the importance of developing and funding a statewide invasive species program.

Brian Pilarcik is the Watershed Specialist for the Crawford County Conservation District. Pilarcik spoke about the aquatic invasive species, hydrilla, in the Pymatuning Reservoir. Pilarcik’s testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/BPilarcik.

The second conservation district speaker was Jody Groshek, the Communications and Outreach Director at McKean County Conservation District. She spoke about the importance of developing a coordinated statewide effort to address the threat of invasive species to Pennsylvania’s economy.

Groshek’s full testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/Groshek.

Pennsylvania’s conservation districts support cooperative invasive species work, which will benefit all Pennsylvanians.

Click here to read the press release. 

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Armstrong Completes Multi-Functional Riparian Forest Buffer

Photos of the buffer before and after planting provided by the Armstrong Conservation District.

Armstrong Conservation District planted 3.2 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffer along two branches of Big Run, a tributary to the Allegheny River. The total cost for the buffer was $31,603.25, which was paid for through PACD’s multi-functional buffer sub-grant program. Contact Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org for more information on this sub-grant program.

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 Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. 

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Cumberland County Conservation District Holds Rain Garden Workshop

Photo of rain garden workshop provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

At the Upper Allen Township’s annual stormwater workshop on May 20, 2021, residents had the opportunity to learn how to design, install, and maintain a rain garden.

The workshop included presentations on “Local Watersheds in Cumberland County” by Lori Glace with Cumberland County Conservation District, and “How to Construct Rain Gardens” by Andy Yencha with Penn State Extension. The workshop ended with a live demonstration of planting a rain garden at the Upper Allen Township municipal building.

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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Franklin County Conservation District Holds Summer Conservation Tour

Leslie Bowman (speaking) at a stop on the Summer Conservation Farm Tour. Photo provided by Franklin County Conservation District.

Franklin County Conservation District received a Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant to hold a Summer Conservation Farm Tour on July 27, 2021.

The tour’s highlight was seeing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on-site and asking the district’s 2021 Conservation Farmer of the Year, Leslie Bowman (Lesher’s Poultry Farm, Inc.), for his first-hand knowledge of implementing and maintaining BMPs. The 70 attendees were able to hear about numerous BMPs, including animal waste storage facilities, composting manure, planting green, utilizing cover crops, variable rate manure/nutrient application, grassed waterways, diversifying crop rotations, and experimenting with growing organic row crops.

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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