MCCD Awarded Grant for Urban Ag Conservation

Collegeville, July 22, 2016 – Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD) was awarded $26,400 to build technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture conservation projects on Sunday, July 17, by the National Association of Conservation Districts. NACD granted a total of $2 million to MCCD and 41 other districts across 25 states.

The initiative, in partnership with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, aims to increase and stabilize technical assistance capacity where the land is predominantly urban or urbanizing. The 2016 urban grants announced Sunday will allow districts to help urban farmers, community gardens, and other local agricultural partnerships implement conservation practices that support local food production, provide opportunities for education and stewardship, and protect natural resources.

MCCD will use the grant to establish the framework for an urban agriculture conservation initiative to be utilized and implemented in two target areas of Montgomery County within the first year; Norristown and Pottstown. The framework will include the creation of an electronic Urban Agricultural Conservation Resource Guide (eUACRG) to be utilized in the development, execution and sustainability of urban agricultural sites, the production of a documentary video to demonstrate and disseminate project results, as well as the creation of a partnership network to support and provide technical assistance for the expansion of urban agriculture into communities.

For more information on the program, contact Jessica Moldofsky, Ag Conservation Specialist, at the Montgomery County Conservation District, 610-489-4506 x14.

Read the full press release from NACD.

Student Art to Decorate Storm Drain in Norristown on July 29

Montgomery County Conservation District and the Schuylkill Action Network are partnering with the municipality of Norristown to install student artwork around a storm drain in downtown Norristown to raise awareness that these drains flow to the Schuylkill River and should be kept clean.

The installation will take place on July 29 at the corner of Main and Swede streets, with information to be presented during a food truck event from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

The artwork for the drain was designed by Kristin Olinger, an eighth-grade student at Phil-Mont Christian Academy in Springfield Township.  Kristin won first place in the Schuylkill Street Art Contest’s Montgomery County category, which had over a hundred entries.

All are invited to come see the new sidewalk art, and join us on July 29 to learn more about doing your part to protect the Schuylkill River.

Winning design by Kristin Olinger to be transformed into street art around a storm drain.

Winning design by Kristin Olinger to be transformed into street art around a storm drain.

Provide Your Input on the Delaware Basin

The Delaware River Basin (DRB) provides ecosystem services that support a wide array of commercial, recreational, and residential uses for more than 15 million people. With support from the William Penn Foundation, the Delaware River Basin (DRB) Project- Land Use Dynamics is developing a land cover mapping, modeling, and monitoring system for the DRB. The goal is to provide tools that promote regional planning in the watershed, so that our civic and business leaders can make decisions which produce lasting benefits for the regional economy and quality of life.

Over the past several months, workshops have been held throughout the watershed to collect input on drivers of land use change. The project partners are now extending that conversation so that citizens, business leaders, conservation professionals, and others can have the opportunity to weigh in. All of this information will be used to create land use scenarios that explore the range of possible futures for the Delaware River Basin in 2070.

Please take the survey to share your vision of the watershed, and encourage anyone who lives or works in the Delaware River Basin to do the same. DRB2070 is a collaborative effort, and generating land use scenarios for the entire DRB will require input from make stakeholders to create a shared vision. We need your help! Survey responses will be collected until August 1st. Contact Antonia Price with any questions.

Students Receive Recognition for Their Work on Community Rain Garden

Representative Ryan Costello recognized Perkiomen Valley High School Key Club students last week for their work on the Perkiomen Township rain garden project.  MCCD worked with the students to create the landscaping plan for the garden, and then to plant almost 800 native species during three volunteer workdays.

The students were presented with a Schuylkill Scholastic Drinking Water award by the EPA and Schuylkill Action Network.  Work is ongoing to make the rain garden an outdoor classroom space, which will include educational signage.

Tire Recycling Event on June 25

Montgomery County will be hosting its next tire recycling event on Saturday, June 25 from 9am-12pm at the Western Montgomery Career & Technology Center,
77 Graterford Road, Limerick, PA 19468.

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Mission Statement
To protect and improve the quality of life of the residents of Montgomery County and surrounding communities by providing, in cooperation with others, timely and efficient service, education, and technical guidance, for the wise use of our soil, water, and related resources.