Montgomery County Conservation District has completed several agricultural conservation projects to protect waterways while improving the farm operation. Many best management practices, either structural or non-structural, can be implemented on farms to prevent loss of soil and nutrients and protect streams from potential sources of pollution.
Manure Stacking Pad
Livestock Stream Crossing
Streamside Buffer: Before and After
Barn Roof Gutters
Vegetated Filter for Heavy Use Area
Pasture and Vegetated Filter Area
Yoder Dairy Farm (2007-2009)
This project, funded through a DEP Growing Greener grant, sought to improve stormwater management and manure management to protect a wetland and the headwaters of Middle Creek. A 2,000-gallon liquid manure storage tank with a spray irrigation system was installed, and a solid manure stacking pad was constructed to alleviate the need of daily hauling manure. A concrete barnyard was also constructed to serve as a proper heavy use area to protect the adjacent wetland and headwater stream.
Spring Valley Farm (2005-2007)
This project on a preserved dairy farm in Douglass Township installed practices to improve water quality, with funding from DEP’s Growing Greener grant program and TreeVitalize Watersheds. The installed practices include: two livestock stream crossings, 3,600 feet of high tensile fencing, 300 trees and shrubs along Schlegel Run, a sediment control basin and berm, and a grassed waterway. Fencing the cows out of the stream and establishing a vegetated buffer reduces the nutrient and sediment inputs to Schlegel Run, improves the stream channel, and allows the cows to access all pastures for grazing.
Jenkintown Creek Watershed Improvement (2013-2015)
This project at a horse operation in Jenkintown represented a more urban stormwater management approach to agriculture conservation. The project involved the installation of best management practices in the horse pasture and barnyard, as well as improved manure management on the operation. The main goal was to adequately convey stormwater around the pastures and heavy use area to avoid nutrient and sediment pollution to the adjacent Jenkintown Creek. The practices installed included: infiltration trenches and a small catch basin to alleviate stormwater flow through the pasture, barnyard roof gutters to divert clean water away from the heavy use area and manure pile, and the implementation and maintenance of a vegetated filter area downslope of the heavy use area. Funding was provided through the DEP Growing Greener grant program.
Sebastian Riding Associates (2001-2003)
A Growing Greener grant on a CAO (concentrated animal operation) horse farm in Skippack Township implemented conservation practices and stormwater management to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution on the farm to protect the Skippack Creek.
- A stream crossing and streambank fencing installed along a tributary to the Skippack Creek to prevent horse access to the stream
- A concrete manure storage facility with 6-month storage capacity to allow for improved manure handling
- Spring developments for watering facilities to improve pasture management and rotational grazing
- Roof gutters, diversion swales and infiltration trenches to divert clean water away from manure and barnyard areas
- Restoration of a riparian buffer along 650 feet of stream and wetland to protect Skippack Creek