Summer 2017 

News and Updates

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

In This Issue
Efforts to introduce CREP to producers in the Delaware River Basin (DRB) are moving forward. Check the events page for information on workshops that are coming up soon.   

The CREP Associates Workshop is a good place for partner agencies and organizations to learn about CREP.  Click on the link in the "Events" section below to register.  

In September, two wokshops will conducted to introduce CREP to ag producers in the DRB.  Be sure to ask any farmers that you feel would benefit from CREP to attend.  
Be sure to pass this newsletter along to your colleagues or anyone else who works with CREP. 

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August 22, 2017 

Delaware River Basin, CREP Partners and Associates   Workshop:      
This workshop is primarily for staff from agencies and organizations in the Delaware River Basin (DRB) who work with CREP or who may promote or recommend CREP in the course of their other work duties   contact: Terry Fisher, (717) 238-7223 or

Click   HERE  for more information or to register. 
September 7, 2017:   
Montgomery County
September 19, 2017: 
Monroe County

CREP  Landowner and
  Producer Workshops 

This workshop is for landowners interested in learning about CREP and if it is a good fit for them and there land.  Choose the date and location that works best for you.  For more information or to register click on the link for Montgomery County or for Monroe County
Send your event information to  

Newsletter Submissions:


- Send to 

- Keep submissions short; no longer than three paragraphs.  

- For longer submissions provide a short introduction and the artiicle in pdf format that will 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.   


Training is coming for Partners and Producers in the Delaware River Basin

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has recently opened in Pennsylvania's Delaware River Basin (DRB). The U.S. Department of Agric ulture (USDA) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are partners in implementing this voluntary program to e nroll up to 20,000 acres of agricultural land in Pike, Monroe, Northampton, Lehigh, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware counties.

In the coming weeks, the CREP Outreach Program Office will be hosting workshops designed to inform CREP partners and landowners about the program.   
CREP Partners and Associates Workshop:   Conservation district, government agency staff and other CREP partners in and around the DRB are invited to attend a workshop on August 22, 2017 at the Penn State Lehigh Valley Campus.  This workshop will review CREP eligibility, approved conservation practices, enrollment procedures and other program related information.  Participants will leave with a good understanding of CREP and will be able to answer questions from the public about the program.  This workshop is not open to the public.  For more information and to register, go to The CREP Associates Workshop page.     
Producer / Landowner Workshops Planned: Start telling producers and landowners that two workshops are planned for them to learn about the benefits and responsibilities of CREP, eligibility requirements, how to apply and more.  Workshops are planned for Montgomery County on September 7, 2017 and Monroe County on September 19, 2017.

For more information click on the links or contact: 
Montgomery County: J essica Moldofsky, 610-489-4506 x14 or email

Monroe County: Matt Giambra, 570-629-3060 or email

CREP Outreach Program Office: Terry Fisher, 717-238-7223 x11 or email
Conservation Districts Educate Landowners through CREP  
Mini-grant Program

The 2016-17 round of Pennsylvania Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) mini-grants for conservation districts concluded in June.
Photo caption: Mike Kerr from the USDA Farm Service Agency explains the CREP program during a CREP workshop in Jefferson County. Photo provided by the Jefferson County Conservation District.

Some of the outcomes include:
  • 8 projects were conducted
  • 2,000 farmers and landowners were reached
  • 3 field days/walkabouts were held
  • 6 workshops were held
  • 31 one-on-one visits were held
  • 29 participants indicated they plan to enroll in CREP in the future
  • 31 participants indicated they plan to re-enroll in CREP when their contract expires
PACD has applied for grant funding to continue this program. If funding is granted, a new grant round will be opened. Questions about the mini-grant program should be directed to .

CREP Contacts at PaDEP   
DEP has announced that new staff will be taking the reigns of the CREP program at the department.  CREP has been assigned to staff in the Planning and Conservation Division, which is temporarily being managed by Jennifer Orr (Jen also manages the Compacts and Commissions Office).  Derrick McDonald, who has worked in the CREP program for DEP for a number of years, will be involved again and will be the technical lead.  Aaron Ward will be the management lead.  Jen acknowledges that they "obviously are undergoing a time of transition and change" and thanks everyone in advance for their cooperation and support. Please pass this information along to any other partners/supervisors who should know about these changes. 


TreeVitalize Grant Program  

TreePennsylvania administers the TreeVitalize Grant Program. Funding is provided to promote and develop sustainable urban forestry programs within the Commonwealth.  Applications for the 2018 calendar year are now available in three funding categories: tree planting grants, community forestry management grants, and urban riparian buffer grants.  The application deadline is August 15, 2017.  Go to the
TreePennsylvania website
 for more information and to apply.     
Websites Aim to Promote Planting, Protection of Trees in B ay Region

Webs ites created to help co mm uni t ies meet
forest buffer
and tree canopy goal s

Two new websites will help those working to plant and protect trees throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Network and Chesapeake Tree Canopy Network-both launched through partnerships between the Chesapeake Bay Program's Forestry Workgroup, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service-were created to help communities meet their forest buffer and tree canopy goals.
In recent years, the rate of streamside forest buffer plantings has been declining. But forest buffers are considered one of the most cost-effective practices for reducing pollution because of their ability to efficiently trap and filter pollutants carried by runoff. The Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Network website was developed as a resource for those who are working to increase the amount of riparian forest buffers in the Chesapeake region.
Trees in urban and suburban communities provide an array of benefits: cleaning the air, reducing polluted runoff, providing shade and enhancing quality of life. The Chesapeake Bay region is home to a hard-working network of champions for community trees, and the Chesapeake Tree Canopy Network was created to help them on their way toward reaching their tree canopy goals.
CRP In the News. 

U.S. Pays Farmers Billions To Save The Soil.
But It's Blowing Away 

Click  HERE to read an NPR story about CRP payments and a suggested alternative... 

The Environmental Working Group just released a report calling for big changes in how the Department of Agriculture spends billions of dollars in conservation money.  Environmentalist Craig Cox says, "One of the fundamental problems is that we're not making lasting change".   

According to Cox, when farmers decide to take land out of the CRP, it means that most of the money spent on environmental improvements on that land is wasted.  He says that instead of renting land for 10 years, the government should buy more easements - legal restrictions ensuring, for instance, that a farmer cannot plow a piece of land for the next 30 years ... or forever.
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