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April 15, 2024

Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Basic Level Training Concludes

Thirty-seven individuals attended the Agricultural Conservation Technical Boot Camp Training – Basic Level April 8-11, 2024, at the Union County Government Center in Lewisburg, PA. Attendees included staff from conservation districts, PACD, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and affiliates, the PA State Conservation Commission, and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.


The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, Penn State Extension, and PACD coordinate the event.


Photo caption: Participants in the Basic Level of Agricultural Conservation Technical Training pose for a group photo on the first training day.

PACD Conservation Awards Deadline is April 30

Nominations are now being accepted for the PACD Conservation Awards. New for 2024, the award nominations have been simplified and streamlined with an online nomination form. Nominations must be received by April 30, 2024.


The awards are:

·        Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director or Associate Director Excellence Award

·        Conservation District Employee Excellence Award

·        Legislator Leadership Award

·        Maurice K. Goddard Award for Excellence in Environmental Recreation

Contact Roxanne Dohner at or 717-794-6108 with any questions.

Leadership Development Program Holds Spring Training

The Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program offered two workshop series for directors and staff this spring.


Sixty-eight attendees representing 31 districts and the PA Department of Environmental Protection participated in the 2024 Regional Director Workshop Series on Strategic Board Development. Attendees discussed strategic aspects of board culture and performance, the processes of director nomination and nominating organization approval, and the importance of intentional outreach for district boards.


Follow-up webinars for those who missed the workshops are scheduled for Wednesdays, May 29 and June 12. They will focus on the development needs of new directors and associate directors. Visit Building for Tomorrow to register.


The 2024 Staff Training Initiative included five regional workshops on Emotional Intelligence facilitated by Sarah Colantonio of Lancaster-based Work Wisdom LLC. Attendees discussed aspects of emotional intelligence in the workplace and methods to reduce stress and improve well-being. A total of 95 staff from 30 districts attended the workshops.


Photo caption: Conservation District staff attended a March 27, 2024, Emotional Intelligence workshop at Wanango Country Club, Reno, PA.

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.

Westmoreland Conservation District Holds Annual Engineers’ Workshop 

The Westmoreland Conservation District (WCD) recently held its annual Engineers' Workshop. It attracted nearly 400 attendees from 18 counties and three states! Participants heard program updates from PA Department of Environmental Protection staff. They also learned about erosion and sediment control, riparian buffers, stream crossings, and other topics from WCD staff and guest speakers.


Click here for presentations from the event.


Photo caption: Photo provided by WCD.

Pike County Conservation District Releases New Podcast Episode

Check out Season 2 Episode 3 of The Conservation Podcast by Pike County Conservation District, “The Dirt on Clean Fill.” What’s the difference between dirty dirt and clean fill? Kristina Heaney, District Manager at the Monroe County Conservation District, visits the podcast to discuss this issue.


The ⁠Form FP-001 Certification of Clean Fill⁠ referenced by Kristina can be found here on the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s website.


Click here to listen.

USDA Makes $1.5 Billion Available to Help Farmers Advance Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the availability of a historic $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2024 to invest in partner-driven conservation and climate solutions through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) as part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting project proposals through July 2, 2024, that will help farmers and forest landowners adopt and expand conservation strategies to enhance natural resources while tackling the climate crisis. These projects, in turn, can save farmers money, create new revenue streams, and increase productivity.


Click here to read more.

Conservation Districts in the News


Ready to Start Gardening? First Get Your Free Test for Lead in Your Soil


Area Women in Agriculture Congregate in Troy

CONSERVATION CORNER: Earth Day Celebration


Outside Education and Experiences: Scovens Sisters Spark Students’ Stewardship of Nature

Lehigh & Northampton:

‘Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future’: Students to Square Off in Environmental Contests


Family-owned Farm Gets Forever Agricultural Protection

LDF Holdings Farm in Black Creek Twp. Preserved


Legacy of a Headwater Hero: Dr. Pete Ryan and a Case for Environmental Volunteerism


Outdoors | Trout Anglers have More Waters and New Resources for Saturday Opener

Other News:

EPA Chief and Region 3 Administrator Talk Biofuels and Farm Visits

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