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Front Page: Your Weekly News & Updates
Nonpoint source mini-grants, streambank protection course, news from the PA Farm Show, news from Bradford and Lehigh Conservation Districts, farm vitality grant, app for aquatic invaders, and lake management conference. 
$60,000 Available for 2020-21 Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continuing to support conservation district educational projects, PACD is ready to open a new round of Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-grants!
 
Grants up to $2,000 are awarded to conservation districts for adult educational projects that offer strategies for reducing and preventing NPS Pollution. Projects should stimulate a local awareness of water quality issues, promote the theme "We All Live Downstream," and encourage citizen participation in activities to improve water quality in local watersheds.
 
The deadline for NPS mini-grant applications is March 2, 2020.  Click here for the online application and more information.  Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger

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Financial and other support for the NPS Mini-grant Program 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.
Save the Date for Streambank Protection Course

PACD is hosting a two-day short course on Fluvial Geomorphology and Natural Channel Design Indices and Stream Restoration/Rehabilitation and Streambank Protection. The course will be held on March 24 and 25 at the Clinton County Conservation District. Please add this meeting to your calendar.
 
Registration and a draft agenda will be shared soon. Questions? Contact Amy Brown at  abrown@pacd.org .
Thank You Farm Show Volunteers!

Thank you to all the volunteers who made the conservation district booth at the PA Farm Show a success! The 2020 show premiered the "Compost, recycle, or trash" corn hole game, which drew in visitors to the booth.
 
Thank you to the following conservation districts represented by volunteers:
Berks
Chester
Cumberland
Dauphin
Franklin
Indiana
Juniata
Lebanon
Perry
Schuylkill
Union
Venango
 
Photo caption: The "Compost, recycle, or trash" corn hole game made its debut at the conservation district booth during the 2020 PA Farm Show.
'Briefing on the Bay' Held during 2020 PA Farm Show

The state Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee and the state Chesapeake Bay Commission Delegation held a discussion on January 8, 2020, on Pennsylvania's efforts to curb Chesapeake Bay pollution. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the session which was held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
 
Individuals offering comments included: Ann P. Swanson, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission; Secretary Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Karl Brown, Executive Secretary, Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission; David Graybill, Board Member, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; and Bill Chain, Senior Agriculture Program Manager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
 
A recording of the hearing is posted on the Committee website at https://environmental.pasenategop.com/010820/ .
The Work-Free Zone (Garden)
By: Kevin Brown, Ag. Resource Specialist, Bradford County Conservation District

Yes, that's what I said, a garden that takes no work. This is a picture of our garden here at the office. I mulched it, planted it, spent maybe 15 minutes (total) weeding it at different times, and am now harvesting it. I know there are a lot of non-believers out there. My wife said it wouldn't work. My co-workers said it wouldn't work and wanted to know who was going to be the one spending the time needed to weed and water it. My response was, "If it works the way it's supposed to, no one." Even my mother said that when she read the first gardening article I wrote, "I couldn't believe your name was associated with it. You never wanted anything to do with a garden." And she's right. I still don't. But voilĂ ! Here we are. I can handle a garden if I don't have to do anything to make it a garden. Doesn't everyone like to have super fresh vegetables if all they have to do is pick them? Well, you can.
 
Click here to read the entire article  and here to read a news piece on the project.
 
This workshop is part of the Bradford County Education & Outreach Mini-grant Project.

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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.

Photo provided by BCCD.
Lehigh County Conservation District Awards Grant for Urban Heat Island Tree Planting 
Reprinted with permission from Lehigh County Conservation District's Winter 2019 newsletter.

According to a New York Times article written on August 9, 2019, temperatures in a city can span a range of as much as 20 degrees depending upon one's location. Students from Building 21 Public High School in Allentown have been working on finding solutions to this "hot topic" known as urban heat islands, for the last two years!
 
Student Maribel Rabio proposed planting three large groups of flowering trees to add shade and natural beauty to her school's parking areas. After volunteering to help students with the first phase of Maribel's tree plantings, several Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD) staff members encouraged the school to apply to the district's grant program for funding of phase two.
 
Upon LCCD board approval for a $2,000 grant, Building 21's Urban Agriculture Class, Allentown Department of Public Works, and City Arborist Rick Howell worked together in October to carry out stage two of the project. On this day, six native redbuds and five native dogwoods joined Building 21's ever-growing and greening landscape and brought Maribel's great idea one step closer to completion.
 
Click here to read the entire article.  and here to watch a local news clip about the project.
 
Photo caption: Photo provided by Lehigh County Conservation District.
Pennsylvania Farm Bill - Farm Vitality Grant Program

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program will enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania's farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and building a team of financial and technical experts as a resource for Pennsylvania's farmers. One million dollars is available, and all farmers and prospective farmers are eligible! More info: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Pages/Farm-Vitality-Planning-Program.aspx
Webinar to Focus on Urban Agriculture Conservation

The next National Association of Conservation Districts Urban and Community Conservation webinar is set for Noon-1:00 p.m. on January 16, 2020. The topic is "Reaching Out Through Urban Agriculture Conservation."
 
The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District in California will share its expansion efforts of their Community Support Agriculture Program. This program was developed to help low-income families access fresh, local produce at an affordable price while providing educational opportunities.
 
In 2019, The Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District in South Carolina began a Seed Library program in partnership with the Greenville County Library System. This program is a free community resource housed at a library branch in an underserved neighborhood.
 
To register, go online at https://nacdnet.z2systems.com/eventReg.jsp?event=118& . There is no cost to participate.
New App Aims to Stop Aquatic Invaders

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania's economy, freshwater resources, and native aquatic species. Pennsylvania Sea Grant announces, 'there's an app for that' with the launch of "PA AIS," a new, easy-to-use smartphone application. The PA AIS app is now available in the Apple App Store, with an Android version anticipated.
 
The PA AIS app can be used in airplane mode or areas outside of coverage, making it ideal for use in the field. Users can identify AIS and submit a report to the state AIS coordinator, including the location, severity, and photos of the suspected infestation. Illustrations help users learn more about each species to ensure accurate identification in the field. Prevention tips help educate freshwater enthusiasts such as anglers and boaters about the steps they can take to properly clean gear and ensure that AIS are not transported from one water body to another.
 
Click here for more information. 
Registration is Open for Pennsylvania Lake Management Society's 30th Annual Conference

The PA Lake Management Society (PALMS) will be held at the Wyndham Garden State College from March 4-5, 2020. This year's theme will be "Reflecting on our Past While Looking to the Future." The keynote speaker is Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of PA Fish & Boat Commission.
 
Early bird registration for the full conference is $175. Early bird rates expire on February 19. Click here to register. 
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Conservation Districts in the News 
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Upcoming Events

January 22-23, 2020
Wyndham Garden State College, Boalsburg, PA

February 12-13, 2020
Wyndham Garden State College, Boalsburg, PA

PA Association of Conservation Districts | 717.238.7223 | pacd@pacd.org | www.pacd.org
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