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Front Page: Your Weekly News & Updates
Register for the All Bay Meeting, Ag Boot Camp, and Staff Conference, limited money available for manure mini-grants, Growing Greener, Leopold Award, high performance farm initiative, and two workshops available.
Register Now for the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting

The 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting will be held March 11, 2019, at the Degenstein Theater at Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. The target audience for this meeting is staff from PA state agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and conservation districts.
 
Topics include County WIP planning, PA Department of Environmental Protection program updates, conservation district project spotlights, the PA Ag Conservation Stewardship Program and more!
 
In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to the snow date (March 13, 2019). Registrants will be notified via email 24 hours in advance if the meeting is postponed.
Click here for the full agenda and to register. The deadline to register is February 25.
 
This meeting is sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection with administrative assistance from PACD.
 
Please contact Amy Brown with questions.
Agricultural Conservation Technical "Boot Camp" Training Application Period Opens

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training ("Boot Camp" Basic level and Level II). Conservation district staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.
If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted.  Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.
 
These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.
 
Photo by Holly Hunt.
Reminder: Only $18,000* Left in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts
 
Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), conservation districts are eligible for mini-grants (up to $1,500) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would help farmers understand requirements and lead to the development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion and sedimentation plan. Districts are encouraged to use these mini-grant funds to market to and train private consultants (including certified crop advisors, seed/fertilizer salespeople, etc.) to help their clients write manure management plans.
 
Please note that there is limited funding available for this round and mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This grant will pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis.
 
The mini-grant application and guidelines are available here. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019 (or until all funds are allocated). Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 28, 2019. No extensions will be granted. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants.

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Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).
 
*As of January 17, 2019.
Last Week to Register for the Conservation District Staff Conference

The January 27 deadline to register and reserve your room for the 2019 Building for Tomorrow Conservation District Staff Conference is quickly approaching!
 
Click here to see why we're so excited about this year's program and to register for the event.
Growing Greener Projects Funded for Cambria, Clarion, Lehigh, Tioga, and Union County Conservation Districts

The Wolf Administration has announced that projects submitted by Cambria, Clarion, Lehigh, Tioga, and Union Conservation Districts will be funded through Growing Greener.
 
Cambria County Conservation District will receive a total of $105,797 for three projects. The district will receive $52,499 to shore up 1,000 feet of stream reaches in the headwaters area of the West Branch Susquehanna River and $19,170 to stabilize stream banks on Laurel Lick Run to combat active erosion on 785 feet of stream. Both of these projects are in the Susquehanna River watershed. The district will also receive $34,128 to install 15 stream bank protection/fish habitat structures on approximately 1,250 feet of the North Branch of Blacklick Creek.
 
Clarion County Conservation District will receive $93,000 to rehabilitate an abandoned passive mine discharge treatment system. The improved system will treat up to 40 gallons per minute of polluted mine water. The water flows into the Clarion River, a popular destination for boaters and anglers, and the project will be adjacent to the Clarion County Park.
 
Lehigh County Conservation District will receive $78,659 to stabilize 980 feet of streambank along Leibert Creek, which flows into the primary water supply for the city of Allentown. The project is a combined effort between the conservation district, Wildlands Conservancy, and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Plans include planting buffers along a portion of the stream to decrease erosion and constructing 25 habitat structures in an unnamed tributary to the creek, which will improve aquatic life and help with the stabilization of the streambank.
 
Tioga County Conservation District will receive $25,430 to stabilize streams and reduce sediment pollution in the Canoe Camp Creek Watershed in Tioga County.
 
Union County Conservation District will receive $17,920 to fund the Eichhorn Middle School Habitat Restoration Project, owned by the Lewisburg Area School District. The project partners plan to enhance and expand existing wetlands on the middle school property to capture more stormwater runoff.
 
Click here to read more about Growing Greener.
Northampton County Family First to Receive PA Leopold Conservation Award

The DiFebo family's Harvest Home Farms of Northampton County has been selected as the first recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award.
 
Sand County Foundation, the nation's leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states.
 
On January 11, 2019, during the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA, the DiFebo family was presented with a $10,000 award and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold. The award is presented in Pennsylvania by Heinz Endowments, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and Sand County Foundation.
 
The Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to generous contributions from platinum sponsor Heinz Endowments, and the assistance and support of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Center for Dairy Excellence, and Dairymen's Association.
 
Photo caption: The DiFebo family receives the 2018 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh is pictured at left.
High Performance Farms Initiative Launched

On January 11, 2019, Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell joined six public and private partners in launching the High Performance Farms Initiative to help increase environmental sustainability, economic benefits, public health, and soil and water quality by promoting innovative farming practices in Pennsylvania's part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
 
Joining the Department of Agriculture and DEP in the High Performance Farms Initiative are the State Conservation Commission, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, the Rodale Institute, the Pennsylvania Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Bell and Evans Farms.
 
Photo caption: Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding (left) and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell announce the High Performance Farms Initiative during the Pennsylvania Farm Show on January 11, 2019. Photos by Brenda Shambaugh.
 
Click here to read the entire press release.
Two Events Available for PA Conservation Professionals: Riparian Buffer Training and Stream Corridor Restoration Workshop

Chesapeake Conservancy, Stroud Water Research Center, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will be hosting two forest riparian buffer trainings for conservation professionals.
 
Riparian Buffer Training
Thursday, February 7, 2019 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lock Haven University
Snow date for the event is Wednesday March 6, 2019.
Topics for this training will include: stream ecology, how to sell buffers with wildlife and pollinators, precision conservation and buffer program options, and Stroud research on buffer methods.
Click here to register by February 1. 
 
Stream Corridor Restoration Workshop
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Susquehanna University
Snow date for the event is Thursday March 7, 2019. 
Topics for this training will include: stream ecology and the role of trees in healthy streams, options and strategic priorities for stream restoration, sediment transport and fate, and stream morphology and large woody debris. 
Click here to register by February 19.

If you have previously attended a Stroud Water Research Center training, you can choose to come to the training at 11 a.m. and skip the "stream ecology" segment of the program. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Adrienne Gemberling at 570-372-4762.
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Conservation Districts in the News 

Allegheny & Fayette: 
Berks: 
Bradford: 

Clarion: 
Elk: 
Lehigh: 
McKean: 
Pike: 
Tioga:  
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Upcoming Events

January 30-31, 2019
Toftrees Golf Resort, State College, PA

February 27-28, 2019
Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA

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