Winter 2017 

News and Updates

The CREP Outreach Program Office
PA Association of Conservation Districts
25 North Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17101

In This Issue
It's that time of year when planning and preparations are underway for another growing season.  It's also time to remind landowners to inspect their installed conservation practices and to make plans for replanting and performing other maintenance to be done in the spring. 

There are a few spring events already scheduled for potential new and existing CREP participants.  There will be more events added soon so check, the CREP Facebook page or the Calendar below to see what's going on. 

Be sure to send your event information to the outreach office so we can share it with others.    Also, send pictures and write-ups about your completed projects or events. 
Be sure to pass this newsletter along to your colleagues or anyone else who works with CREP. 

Join Our Mailing List!

March 1, 2017
Beaver County Conservation District CREP Workshop
9 AM until Noon
Beaver County Conservation District Environmental Center
Snacks Provided.
Click HERE for event brochure. 

March 2-3, 2017
The 2nd Annual Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Networking Forum
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay with support from the USDA Forest Service and Farm Service Agency will host the second annual Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Networking Forum  in Buckeystown, MD. This Forum will bring nearly 100 individuals from federal, state, and local agencies as well as non-profit partners together  from across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to share insights on resources, techniques, partnering opportunities, and innovations related to riparian forest buffers.
Registration is open until Friday, February 17th. Click HERE  to register.  
March 13, 2017
The Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Click HERE for more information or to register

April 4, 2017
Jefferson County CREP Workshop     
Attendees will learn about the benefits of CREP and how to identify and control the spread of noxious & invasive weeds, and about safe herbicide use. Two pesticide credits are offered.
Click  HERE for more information.
Newsletter Submissions:


- Send to 

- Keep submissions short; no longer than three paragraphs.  

- For longer submissions provide a short introduction to be posted,  with the article in pdf format to be linked to the newsletter.

- Web pages and images you provide can be linked to your article.  

- Your submission may also be added to the CREP facebook page or website.   

Steps for Success:  Preparing CREP Participants for Re-enrollment
There are various reasons CREP participants do not re-enroll when their current contract ends.  Some choose not to re-enroll because of personal situations or a business decision.  However, many do not re-enroll because their installed conservation practices fail to meet the minimum thresholds required to stay in CREP.  In those cases leaving CREP is not a choice, but a consequence of improper or insufficient maintenance.    
In partnership with NRCS, FSA and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the CREP Outreach Program Office will soon be ma iling postcards to CREP participants with contracts expiring within the next couple of years.  The postcards are a reminder to review eligibility thresholds, to make any needed improvements now and to reach out to CREP partners for assistance when needed.       
Re-enrollment information, including the thresholds needed to be eligible for re-enrollment can be found at  
CREP Mini-grant Programs are Underway!

Eight county conservation districts received Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grants. Conservation districts are using these funds to work with landowners to prevent pollution in our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Here are updates on a few of the projects:
  • Allegheny County Conservation District: The district updated and printed 1,300 copies of the Guide for Identifying & Controlling Common Noxious & Invasive Weeds in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Guides have been distributed to each of the southwestern PA districts for use in their one-on-one farmer/landowner visits and educational events to help promote the CREP program.
  • Berks County Conservation District: The district has three billboards on display in the county for 8 weeks, which started in January.
  • Lebanon County Conservation District: the district held a half-day workshop on November 5, 2016 to take participants through the CREP enrollment process. They also headed out to the field to look at successful projects.
The CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by PA CD through a Gro wing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Additional support is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
"The Pennsylvania Riparian Forest Handbook" is now available
A new publication is now available for new CREP contract holders in Pennsylvania. This handbook is designed to assist new CREP participants as they move forward to implement the CREP riparian forest buffer practice. The handbook includes useful information on the financial payments and issues related to their CREP contract, and helpful resources on the management and maintenance of the conservation practice.
This publication may be found electronically on the CREP PA website resource page HERE.  Hard copies are now available at local county conservation district offices.   
At the Intersection of Religious Conviction and Environmental Ethics  

Francis and Tim Sauder           photo by Joel McCord 

In this article, J
oel McCord explores the relationship between Plain Sect farmers, government agencies and the improving water quality.   Click HERE to read.   
Saving the Susquehanna
Check out ABC27 News footage from "Saving the Susquehanna: What happens after Pennsylvania misses interim pollution goals?" from December 2016.  Click HERE  to watch the video.   
Stay Connected...
The CREP Outreach Program Office has created a number of ways to share information among CREP partners, landowners already in CREP and people who are learning about the program. 

However, your participation is needed for these resources to be worthwhile.  Please take advantage of them by reading, sharing and contributing content.  Tell others about the resources available by forwarding this newsletter, posting information on your websites, sharing at workshops, etc.   
  1. The CREP PA Website,  was recently overhauled and given a new modern look, content was updated & added and navigation around the site was improved.  Whether you're just learning about CREP, are already enrolled or a technical partner there is something for you.   
  2. CREP Facebook Page is for CREP partners and participants alike. Share or learn about the CREP program, conservation practices, events and other program information.  Partners can submit information and news they want to share.  Submissions will be posted when received. Click HERE to go to the CREP PA Facebook page.  
  3. Pennsylvania CREP: News and Updates Newsletter is primarily for agencies, organizations and individuals working with CREP.  Stories, techniques, events and other things of interest are shared on a quarterly basis.  
  4. CREP Partner listserve is designed as a vehicle for anyone working with CREP to share ideas, ask questions, disseminate program information, etc.  It's simple to use and any member can post at anytime.  To join send a request with the email address you want added. 
To join the listserve, to submit content or to just make a comment -
send an email to