The 2008 Annual Report
Armstrong Conservation District
The 2008 Annual Report of District Manager, Dave Rupert ……
In 2008, the Goals and Objectives of the District were to create the “2008 Action Plan”. The
latest revisions to the Action Plan continue to be defined in four main areas -Capacity Building,
Technical Assistance, Resource Conservation, and Outreach and Education. New and specific
measurable objectives were then established by our Board and assigned to the appropriate
individuals or the Board as a whole to monitor our progress. My section of the annual report will
summarize how well those current objectives were attained or why they were not met.
As we continue to build the District Capacity, additional professional development
opportunities were made available to the staff, directors, and associate directors. Staff meetings
were held on a regularly scheduled monthly basis to keep the staff informed and to exchange
information amongst the District, FSA office and NRCS staffs. The District continued to expand
the Cooperator Assistance and Outreach Programs through updates to our website, informational
brochures and field days, and the use of our Dayton Fair and Crops Night displays. The District
continued to participate in the AmeriCorps program and welcomed new Corpsmember- Carly
Phelps and said goodbye to our previous member - Michael Basista. The District continued to
apply for Growing Greener Grants to help implement the District Program and worked hard to
administer and close out those currently awarded grants. The District continued to be represented
with delegates appointed to the PACD, WPCAMR, Penn’s Corner RC&D Council, and the Dirt
and Gravel Road QAB. The District hosted additional workshops and meetings for interested
non-profits and Municipalities interested in learning about the County Environmental Initiative
Growing Greener Grants administered through the Armstrong County Commissioners. District
staff member, Chris Pounds left the District early in 2008 to further his professional career. Late
in 2008, The District hired Greg Shustrick to replace Chris in the Erosion Control and Dirt and
Gravel Road Programs. Greg was a previous AmeriCorps member of the District in 2006. The
District needs to focus in 2009 by continuing to express our opinions at PACD meetings, and
continuing staff meetings regularly on a monthly basis.
Through the expansion of our level of Technical Assistance, the District has provided and
continues to provide high quality technical assistance to several County organizations as they
were attempting to attain their conservation goals. Our Watershed Specialist and AmeriCrops
members assisted numerous organizations with their Growing Greener projects. He has also been
active in the Natural Heritage Inventory being conducted by the County and in the development
of the Mahoning Creek Rivers Conservation Plan. The District Manager had been active in the
development of the County Recreation and Greenways Plan. The District needs to improve in
2009 by the successful completion ACRE initiative grant and Plumcreek Phase III grant. Another
area where the District staff will also work to expand participation by local elected municipal
officials is in the creation and maintenance of vital Agricultural Security Areas (ASA’s) within
For 2008, within the field of Resource Conservation, the District completed all Erosion and
Sediment Pollution Control Plan reviews and conducted required site inspections of active
earthmoving sites within timeframes established by the Commonwealth. District staff were
evaluated by the Commonwealth for their participation in the Erosion and Sediment Pollution
Control and NPDES permitting and administration. The conclusion reached by the evaluators
was that the District met all of the measurable objectives established by the Commonwealth for
the program. District staff participated in Southwest Project Grass, provided technical and
administrative assistance to the County Agricultural Lands Preservation Board, and continued to
provide Creekside Mushrooms the technical assistance they desire for Agricultural Best
Management Practice layout, design and evaluation in their soil recycling fields. The District did
sponsor well-attended workshops for the Farm Bureau and showcased District projects at the
National Land Trust Alliance Rally held in Pittsburgh. Items remaining to be addressed in 2009
will be the preparation and presentation of an earthmoving contractor’s workshop to keep area
practitioners abreast of the most recent developments in the Erosion Control field and another
engineers workshop to keep the local consulting community abreast of the most recent changes
to the Commonwealth’s Erosion Control and NPDES permitting programs. The Farmland
Preservation Coordinator will continue to conclude the purchase of developmental rights on
additional farms to grow the program within the County.
In 2008, the District expanded its Outreach and Education efforts. Those expanded efforts
included a retooled Environmental Awareness Youth Camp, a conservation bus tour of
completed practices and projects for the Board members and elected officials, the expansion of
the County Envirothon to include additional schools, the Arbor Day Program, the Fruit Tree and
Seedling sale, the Annual Combined Awards Banquet, the maintenance of the District webpage,
the publishing of the Annual Report, numerous articles and press releases for newsletters and
participation in local and regional workshops, and our use of multi-media presentations to area
groups about the natural resources of Armstrong County. To further our efforts in the upcoming
year, we will continue what we have done in the past and outreach to ATV owners and riders to
encourage respect for private landowners and their property rights. We developed a PowerPoint
presentation that shows how improper use of ATV’s can contribute to soil erosion and harm our
precious natural resources. In 2009 and for the foreseeable future, we will work with our County
Commissioners and ATV owners and riders to provide safe, environmentally friendly off road
places to ride by participating in efforts being undertaken by the County Commissioners for our
area ATV riders.
To this end, I am proud of what the District has accomplished in 2008 and look forward to
implementation of our 2009 Action Plan. The individual staff reports are also enclosed, so please
review them over at your pleasure and provide us with your feedback so that we may better serve
Erosion & Sediment Pollution Control Program (E&SPC)
Erosion & Sedimentation Technician I & Assistant District Manager
The Armstrong Conservation District (ACD) administers the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law,
Chapter 102, the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control (E&SPC) Program through a signed
delegation agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water
Quality Protection. The ACD has been a Level III District since 1988. Level III Districts review
E&S plans, perform field inspections on earth disturbance sites, investigate complaints, and take
enforcement action under the PA Clean Streams Law.
Under this program, all earth disturbance activities must develop, implement, and maintain a
plan to minimize accelerated erosion and sediment pollution. In addition, earth disturbance
activities in excess of five (5) acres must obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System (NPDES) permit for discharge of storm water from construction activities. In December
2002, Federal regulations mandated that all earth disturbance activities in excess of one (1) acre
to less than five (5) acres disturbance to acquire a permit if it has a point source discharge to a
surface water of the Commonwealth.
The Armstrong Conservation District had another busy year in 2008 with the E&SPC Program.
Some of the activities for the past year have been:
1. E&SPC plans were received for 287 new and revised plans for District review
and for public and informational purposes.
2. Reviews were completed on 119 E&S plans received in this office.
3. E&S plan reviews were conducted on a total of 5301 acres with a total of 1178 acres
of disturbed earth.
4. Assistance was given in the review of 17 prime farmland reviews.
5. Assistance was given in the review of 1 storm water management plan.
6. Environmental reviews were completed on 16 proposed projects.
7. NPDES permits were received, processed, and reviewed for 7 new and 1 renewed
8. New district cooperator agreements were received for 4 landowners.
9. Received and investigated 52 complaints relating to erosion and sedimentation.
10. Technical assistance was given to 546 persons during the year.
11. Conducted 35 inspections on earthmoving sites to make sure plans were
properly implemented, controls were installed, and sequences were being
followed according to submitted and approved plans.
Total review fees received during 2008 were $16,668.50. NPDES permit fees totaled $1,750.00.
There was 1 Civil Enforcement action and 4 criminal actions taken in 2008 that totaled
In May 2007, the State revised the NPDES permitting system for construction activities greater
than 1 acre with a point source discharge to surface waters of the Commonwealth. In order to
keep consulting engineers, surveyors, and others who prepare erosion and sedimentation
pollution control plans, and NPDES Construction activity permits updated on the newest
developments on the PA Stormwater Manual and Post Construction Stormwater Management
and Best Management Practices, the District conducts workshops. None was held in 2008 but
the Conservation District is in the process of planning one for 2009.
Due to the changes in the NPDES permitting system and the reduced size of disturbed acreage
requiring a permit, the workload of the District Technician has increased greatly in the past
several years. Some of the larger projects during 2008 were:
Construction began in early 2007 to replace the one lane truss bridge that was constructed in1921
and carried PA-58 over the Allegheny River between Hovey Township, Armstrong County and
Foxburg, Clarion County. The 538 foot long, 15-foot wide bridge was built by Bethlehem Steel
Bridge Corporation and once carried trains on top between 1921 and 1964. This project included
construction of a new two-lane bridge and associated roadway work adjacent and within 4 feet of
the old structure that was necessary to tie PA-58 into both ends of the bridge. The permanent
closure of the historic Foxburg Bridge was on July 3, 2008 and demolition was done on July 24,
2008 to make way for construction of the replacement bridge’s sidewalk. Work will be
completed in 2009.
West Kittanning Bridge and 3R Congestion
This overall project included four, independently prepared projects: 1) West Kittanning
Congestion – 3R Project (resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation) along with widening the
existing lanes and adding an additional lane, signal improvements, realignment of Linde Road;
2) Surface Improvement Project from the Wal-Mart Plaza entrance to the SR 268/1038
intersection (milling and resurfacing); 3) Surface Improvement Project and transformation of
Pine Hill Road to a one-way road from the bridge to the West Kittanning Borough boundary near
Bluff Street; 4) West Kittanning Bridge Replacement (demolition of the existing bridge over the
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad along with construction of a new 3 lane bridge, reconstruction of
the bridge approaches and reconstruction of the Tarrtown Road/Allegheny Avenue intersection).
Construction began in February 2008, bridge demolition in April, and reopening in November
2008. Work will be completed by Walsh Construction by early 2009.
South Mahoning Slide Area - Templeton
This project began in 2007 and was completed in 2008. SR1003 was relocated to run parallel to
the existing bike trail and to avoid the landslide areas along the vertical unstable hillside. Due to
the hazardous conditions of SR1003, it was reduced to only one open lane and was considered an
emergency project. During the project, SR1003 was realigned with SR1031 with roadway
widening, minor alignment adjustments and shoulder work. SR1003 was reopened in late 2007
and final work was completed in early 2008.
Keystone Generating Station
The Keystone Generating Station is located in Plumcreek Township on approximately 1500
acres, which began operation in 1967. Keystone began its flue gas desulfurization scrubber
project that will improve air quality in the region. Plans were presented for the site preparation
for the chimney, absorber, replacement ammonia line installation, railroad tracks removal, tank
removal, existing ammonia line removal, warehouse demolition stockpile area, laydown areas,
railroad loading and unloading yard, 230-kilovolt electrical duct bank, pre-treatment building,
Plum Creek intake and associated underground pipeline, and wetland mitigations on
approximately 35 acres of the site. Most of the above work has been completed or near
completion as work continues through 2008.
Reliant Energy Northeast Management Company
This project started in early 2008 to include approximately 15 miles of underground pipeline that
begins at the proposed waste water treatment discharge pump house at the existing Keystone
Generating Station and travels northwest through Armstrong County along an existing power
transmission line right of way to the outlet point of the Allegheny River. When the scrubber
process is completed at Keystone and the gypsum is removed, the pipeline will transport the
remaining processed water through the Pig Catcher Station before entering the Allegheny River.
All the underground pipe was installed during the 2008 construction season and final work is
being conducted on the Pig Catcher Station. Final restoration was completed on the pipeline and
all work is scheduled to be completed by mid-2009.
Northpointe at Slatelick Industrial Park
This 910-acre project began in the year 2000 and is an ongoing project. Northpointe is adjacent to
Exit 18 of the Allegheny Valley Expressway and has easy access to SR 28. In 2008, Mellon Data
Center proposed a plan to expand the existing facility on their 38.25-acre parcel of land but later
changed the plan to address modifications of site grading, road construction and utility installation.
Matric South constructed a new building with 50 parking facilities on Lot 14, a 3.8-acre site
located on the western facing slope from the existing Armstrong Drive.
Soil Stewardship Program
Since the early 1960s, through the Soil Stewardship Program, the ACD has offered educational
materials to the county churches, schools, libraries, and interested groups to aid them in
celebrating the weeklong event in soil and water conservation. In 2008, the ACD filled requests
for 15 churches and 22 schools and/or classrooms. These church requests were for 1135 bulletin
covers, 1435 bulletin inserts, 980 litanies, 327 children’s activity sheets, and 800 bookmarks.
School requests were for 545 booklets for K-1, 968 for grades 2-4, 762 for grades 5-8, 2233
bookmarks, and 105 Leader and Educator Booklets.
Topographic Map Sales
The Armstrong Conservation District has been a dealer for topographic quadrangle maps since
1981. The District currently stocks all Armstrong County 7.5 minute quadrangle maps at a cost
of $6.00 each and county topographic maps at $8.00 each with prices to increase in early 2009.
Other maps can be ordered upon request.
Agricultural Conservation Technician / Nutrient Management Specialist
In 2008, I coordinated the Armstrong County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, reviewed
Nutrient Management Plans, educated the public on the benefits of Biosolids, and performed
fieldwork as an ACT Technician. I also coordinated the Armstrong County Envirothon and
acted as the Livestock Coordinator for the Armstrong County Animal Response Team. I can be
contacted by phone at 724-545-3628 or email me at email@example.com
To date, Armstrong County has 27 agricultural operations that have approved Nutrient
Management Plans. All of the nutrient management plans are voluntary, for a total of 7,262.3
Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Act went into effect in 1997 as Act 6. Act 6 was replaced
with the new Act 38 as part of the Agriculture, Communities, and Rural Environment (ACRE)
initiative. All the language included in Act 6 was transposed in Act 38 with some additional
language concerning the following items – Odor management, additional manure application
setback criteria and conflicting issues between local ordinances and farmers. Under Act 38, the
Attorney General may bring an action against the local government unit to invalidate the
unauthorized local ordinance. The new regulations, now falling under the new Act 38, went into
effect October 2006.
A significant change in the regulations requires horse and other non-production animal
operations to now comply with the law if they are a concentrated animal operation (CAO).
CAOs are defined as operations where the animal density exceeds two animal units per acre on
an annualized basis (AEU). An AU is defined as 1,000 pounds of animal live weight. However,
farms with less than 8AEUs are not required under this law to have an approved nutrient
management plan regardless of the animal density on the farm.
As directed by Pennsylvania’s Facility Odor Management Regulations in Act 38 of 2005,
beginning Feb. 27, 2009, any concentrated animal operation or concentrated animal feeding
operation that builds or expands an animal barn or manure storage facility is required to develop
an odor management plan. CAOs and CAFOs are agricultural facilities that house and feed a
large number of animals in a confined area.
Each plan should list best odor management practices if the on-site evaluation or the odor site
index indicates there is a medium or high potential for affecting the facility’s neighbors. The
odor site index takes into account issues such as the scope and type of operation, as well as the
number and location of farm neighbors. The on-site evaluation is conducted using the odor site
assessment tool developed by the State Conservation Commission and Penn State University.
The regulations do not affect existing animal housing or manure storage facilities, nor are there
any requirements relating to land applications of manure. However, any agricultural operation
may volunteer to address new or existing facilities in an odor management plan developed under
this program. For more information on the odor management program, visit
www.agriculture.state.pa.us/scc and click on “Odor Management Program”.
What are biosolids? They are nutrient rich organic materials that are produced from the
treatment of sewage sludge and residential septage. Biosolids to be land applied only when they
meet strict quality standards specified by the DEP. Farmers can save money on commercial
fertilizers when they use the rich organic biosolid material as a supplemental fertilizer. The
organic matter and nutrients in biosolids can improve crop growth and the quality and structure
of the soil.
During the past year biosolids/septage have been land applied with DEP permits on 5 farms in
Plumcreek and Sugarcreek Townships. Local septage (liquid or dry material removed from a
septic tank or portable toilet) haulers can spread this stabilized product only on land that they
own. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of biosolids, please contact me at
the District Office or visit the DEP website at www.dep.state.pa.us .
I work with the NRCS staff at the Conservation District to assist producers and landowners with
implementing Best Management Practices on their land. Funds from the PA Growing Greener
Program, Project Grass, REAP, and other federal programs have provided cost-share incentives
to farmers wishing to install Best Management Practices.
The Armstrong Conservation District helped 6 farmers fill out REAP applications. The Resource
Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program allows farmers and businesses to earn tax credits
in exchange for “Best Management Practices” (BMPs) on agricultural operations that will
enhance farm production and protect natural resources. Eligible applicants may receive between
50% and 75% of project cost as state tax credits for up to $150,000 per agricultural operation.
The amount of tax credit available is dependent on the type of BMP implemented. In order to be
eligible for REAP, agricultural operation must have a current conservation plan and a nutrient
management plan (required for CAO or CAFO). More information on the program can be found
at Applications for the REAP Program are available at www.agriculture.state.pa.us/REAP .
Armstrong County Agricultural Land Preservation Program
Good news for interested farm owners in Armstrong County. On December 18th, 2003
Armstrong County became the 54th county in the Commonwealth to adopt the Farmland
Preservation Program. The Armstrong County Agricultural Land Preservation (ACALP) Board
consists of seven board members that reside in Armstrong County. The ACALP Board Meetings
are the first Wednesday of every month at the Armsdale Administration Building.
The purpose of the program is to protect viable agricultural lands by obtaining agricultural
conservation easements, which prohibit the development or improvement of the land for any use
other than agricultural production. This program provides up to $2,000/acre compensation to
landowners in exchange for them to voluntarily give up the right to develop their private
property. In order to apply, the landowner must be located in an agricultural security area
consisting of 500 acres or more and have at least 50 acres that are continuous. The farm
property must be part of a farm operation with a minimum of one year of ownership and must
demonstrate an ability to generate equal or greater to $10,000.
The ACALP Board and the County Commissioners purchased an easement from Suzanne and
Edgar Bruce for their crop farm of 68.074 acres in 2007. The Bruce’s farm is located in Burrell
Township. Their farm has received bicentennial status from the Department of Agriculture.
A second easement was purchased from Ray & Meredith Patterson for their beef operation of
59.975 acres in 2008. The Patterson Farm is a century farm located in Kiskiminetas Township.
The ACALP Board and the County Commissioners are working on preserving a third farm in
2009. Martha Morrison has a 130.5-acre beef operation located in South Buffalo Township. The
Morrison farm is a century farm.
Armstrong County Animal Response Team
The Armstrong Conservation District is working with the Armstrong County Emergency
Management Agency and the PA State Animal Response Team (SART) to develop a County
Animal Response Team in Armstrong County. The Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team
(PA SART) was created through a private-public partnership to serve as a unifying network of
organizations, businesses, federal and state government agencies, and individuals that supports
the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery for emergencies affecting animals.
Because disaster response needs to happen at a local level, PASART builds County Animal
Response Teams (CARTs) across the state.
The goals of the CART program are to facilitate a rapid, coordinated and effective response to
any emergency affecting animals and to minimize the economic impact of emergencies affecting
animals. One example of the role of a CART would be in the event of a large scale evacuation
where homeowners would not be permitted to keep their pets with them at temporary shelters.
CART would coordinate with local emergency managers to activate holding areas to temporarily
house pets during the evacuation. CART would also be called out to help rescue livestock in an
emergency such as a flood, barn fire, or a livestock trailer that overturned on the highway.
In order to succeed, we need volunteers who are willing to donate their time and services to help
animals at the local level. Participation in the program is completely voluntary and training is
available through PASART. If you are interested in volunteering your time or resources, please
contact me at 724-545-3628 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on
PA SART, please visit www.pasart.us.
The Environmental Learning Center
The Armstrong Conservation District regularly assists with programs and events held at The
Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center. The ELC is a multi-use facility originally built
and operated by the United States Army Corp of Engineers. The Armstrong County Educational
Trust now operates the ELC with guidance from the ELC Steering Committee, of which the
Armstrong Conservation District is a member.
The ELC works closely with schools to provide Environmental Education. The overnight
accommodations attract scouts, church groups, and clubs for weekend retreats and workshops.
Groups like the Armstrong County Master Gardeners and 4H Homeschoolers use the facilities
for meetings and classes. Businesses and are welcome to use the ELC as well for meetings and
workforce development. The ELC is available year round to any organized groups or businesses.
For more information, visit the ELC website at www.crookedcreekelc.org or contact Program
Coordinator Dennis Hawley by phone at 724-763-6316 or by email at email@example.com.
Armstrong County Envirothon
The Armstrong Conservation District held their Envirothon at the Environmental Learning
Center in Crooked Creek on April 24, 2008. Nine teams representing three school districts
participated in the Envirothon. Ford City High School took first place, second Freeport Area
Senior High School, and Kittanning Senior High School third. Ford City High School
participated at the State Envirothon at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park May
19 and 20. Thanks to all who participated to make the 2007 Armstrong County Envirothon a
Ford City High School Winning Team
Left to right: Angela Wolfe, Will Armentrout, Sara Klingensmith, Nick Craven, Justin Stuebgen and Mike Cooper.
The next Armstrong County Envirothon will be held on April 23, 2009 at the Environmental
Learning Center. Competitors must be enrolled in grade levels 9 through 12 or equivalent home
education program ranking. Teams comprising of five students are tested in the five subject
areas including aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current issue. A new current issue subject
is chosen each year. This year's 2009 current issue is "Biodiversity in a Changing World”. Any
interested teachers may contact me at 724-545-3628 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For
more information about the Envirothon, please visit www.envirothonpa.org.
David E. Beale
2008 saw the award of 11 grants for stream stabilization and fish habitat work for the partner
organizations and the Armstrong Conservation District through the Growing Greener Program.
Submitting the required documents for these projects took up a considerable amount of
watershed specialist time.
The first major project for the year was construction of the Booker Mine Discharge Wetland in
Parks Township. Construction for this project was started in February and completed in early
April. This project involved construction of a wetland to treat a 75-gpm discharge having an
iron load of 25 PPM. After treatment the wetland the concentration at the discharge to Carnahan
Run is about 4 PPM. Paul Atkinson and Son Excavating did an excellent job as the earthmoving
contractor on this site.
Natural Heritage Inventory
Watershed Specialist Beale provided data and site locations to the Western Pennsylvania
Conservancy biologists charged with completing this project for Armstrong County.
Buffalo Creek Watershed Conservation Plan
CDWS Beale continued to serve on the steering committee providing data for this project which
was completed early in 2008 with the Audubon Society of Western PA serving as the lead
Roaring Run Watershed Association 25th Anniversary
In March the District Manager Rupert and CDWS Beale attended the banquet marking this
milestone for one of our partners. We were asked to make some comments concerning our
experiences with the history of RRWA. Also in attendance was former District Conservationist
Ron Donlan now retired. Congratulations Roaring Run.
Patterson Run Ag BMP Grant
CDWS Beale provided water quality data for the monitoring of this project directed by ACT
Tech Jessica Schaub.
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Buffalo Creek DHALO IV
CDWS Beale completed the construction of four Rosgen Structures for this on going project.
Funding was primarily through Growing Greener. Monitoring funds came through a grant from
Reliant Energy. McGaughey Excavating did the construction for this unique design.
West Shamokin FGM
CDWS Beale assisted the Cowanshannock Watershed Association with planting riparian shrubs
on this on-going project.
Keystone Fish habitat Structures
Armstrong CD AmeriCorps member Kelly Barrett and CDWS Beale assisted the Crooked Creek
Watershed Association with the construction of 26 cribs for fish cover in Keystone Lake. This is
the firth year for this project, which has placed about 125 such structures in the lake.
Emmerling Park Stream Improvement Workshop
CDWS Beale in cooperation with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, DEP, and Allegheny
County Conservation District conducted a three-day class on stream improvement structures at
this park along Deer Creek in Allegheny County. The workshop targeted agency and municipal
officials. About 35 people attended this workshop.
Buffalo Valley Sportsmen Stream Improvement
In September the conservation District in cooperation with the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen's Club
completed three fish habitat structures at the Children and Handicap fishing section of Buffalo
Creek near the village of Shadyside. This club hosts a children's fishing program on the opening
day of trout season which attracts upwards of 300 kids each year at this site.
During the year tours of various projects were conducted at follows:
March Quarterly Regional Watershed Specialists Meeting SW and NW Pa area combined
meeting. We toured the Arrowhead Chapter of TU trout nursery at a mine discharge near Rural
PA Farm Bureau / Legislative Tour – South Scenic Drive Buffalo Creek Project and Buffalo
Valley Sportsmen Project.
Land Trust Alliance National Conference – tour of it sites as above. We hosted guests from
Nature hikes were conducted for the Crooked Creek Watershed Association Winter Hike;
Cowanshannock Creek Watershed Spring Wild Flower Hike; Roaring Run Watershed
Association Fall Foliage Hike.
CDWS Beale continued to serve on Armstrong CD representative to the Crooked Creek
Environmental Learning Center; Penn's Corner RC & D; and WPCMR.
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The Watershed Conservation Plan for Lower Mahoning Creek was started in cooperation with
the Western PA Conservancy in the summer of 2008.
We also continued to support and assist the Allegheny Valley Land Trust and the Armstrong
County Conservancy. The conservancy completed the acquisition and permanent protection of
267 acres during 2008.
I am currently serving a one-year term at the Conservation District through the Pennsylvania
Mountain Service Corps (PMSC). The PMSC is a branch of the national service program
AmeriCorps, and consists of over 100 members in 12 Pennsylvania counties.
I began my term as the Armstrong Conservation District’s AmeriCorps member in August 2008.
I have been working in the SPRINGS center in Crooked Creek Park, with the bulk of my work
relating to watershed monitoring and management. I have also attended conferences and
trainings, including the National Land Trust Alliance Conference, DEP watershed management
training, and meetings for the Environmental Learning Center, Crooked Creek Watershed, and
the Armstrong County GIS committee.
Crooked Creek Agricultural Assessment
My primary responsibility since starting with the Conservation District has been to work on the
Crooked Creek Watershed Non-Point Source Pollution Assessment, which aims to determine the
effects of agriculture on the Crooked Creek Watershed. The assessment is being conducted at the
request of the Crooked Creek Watershed Association, and the Armstrong Conservation District
is responsible for assessing the portion of the watershed in Armstrong County (approximately
130.6 square miles).
In order to complete the assessment, I have been collecting data in the form of water samples,
photos, field measurements, and notes from the tributaries of Crooked Creek in Armstrong
County. I have also been analyzing and compiling data for the upcoming assessment report.
This assessment will be completed in cooperation with the Indiana Conservation District, which
is conducting the assessment for the portion of Crooked Creek Watershed in Indiana County.
In October, I performed an inventory of the vegetation in the two deer exclosures near the
I assisted with sampling on the McElroy farm as part of the Patterson Run ACRE grant project.
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I helped Dave Beale with the grant for the Pine Creek Sportsmen’s Club fish habitat and bank
MLK Day Food Drive
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 19th), I participated in a food drive, organized by
AmeriCorps VISTA Adam Cotchen and sponsored by the Crooked Creek Watershed Association
and the Environmental Learning Center. The group of volunteers, including local AmeriCorps
members and members of the Crooked Creek Watershed Association, collected over 400 food
items for local food banks, and also distributed reusable shopping bags to people who donated.
Upcoming Events for 2009
In 2009, I plan to finish the Crooked Creek Agricultural Assessment, and begin another
assessment of unassessed tributaries to the Allegheny River. In April, I will be helping with the
county Envirothon. Finally, in the spring and summer, I will be helping with programs and
summer camps at the Environmental Learning Center.
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