A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Kristin Pepper, Dirt & Gravel Road Specialist, BCCD
Bradford County Conservation District (BCCD) participates in the state-wide Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program (DGLVR) which provides funding for environmental improvements and reduced long-term maintenance of our network of dirt and gravel roads. Since its formation in 1997, the program has helped Bradford County municipalities improve approximately 73 miles of dirt and gravel roads. Each year BCCD recognizes a handful of those municipalities that stand out above the rest in various categories.
This year’s Outstanding Project of the Year, also known as Golden Shovel Award, goes to (drum roll, please…) Warren Township for an exceptional overall project on Reagan Hill Road! The road crew, office staff, and supervisors all have a can-do attitude, are easy to work with, work quickly and consistently, and take great pride in their work! The project was 2,800 feet in length and consisted of adding six cross pipes to reduce the volume of water in ditches which in turn reduces erosion and sediment reaching the stream; replacing one cross pipe, adding an access pipe; added approximately 3,400 tons of road fill to promote sheet flow and gain road width; installed 700’ of drain tile to maintain a dry road surface and prevent pot-holing; installed head walls and end walls on each pipe along with rock inlet and outlet protection to reduce erosion; crowned the road surface to keep water from concentrating on the road; created stable vegetated ditches to reduce scour and filter sediments and nutrients; installed 2,200 feet of Flexamat; replaced two undersized stream crossings; and worked with landowners to accomplish this project. By installing all the above-mentioned practices, road maintenance is greatly reduced, the road is more easily traveled by vehicles, and it’s better for the environment. Thanks to Warren Township for all their hard work and dedication to their roads and all they do to improve the DGLVR Program, the environment, and the community.
By Megan Brown, Ag Resource Specialist, BCCD
The new year has finally rolled around, and we all know what that means… snow, cold weather, and short, dreary days. This time of the year always seems to drag on for me. The main holidays are over, and the excitement of snow/winter activities has worn off. Now it is time to wait for spring to roll around. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year! The snow finally starts to melt, the days get a little longer, grass begins to grow, and the best part is when the flowers begin to bloom. I love flowers and the color and joy that they can bring to your home. My least favorite time of the year is when the cold weather rolls around and kills all the beautiful blooms that were once growing around my house. Sadly, this is the time of the year we are stuck in now. However, thanks to florists we can have these bright and beautiful blooms at any time during the year! Being able to bring a floral arrangement inside my home this time of the year seems to mean so much more to me. The flowers add color, hope, happiness, and joy to the space. Doesn’t this make you want to run right out to the flower shop and grab a whole bunch of flowers?!
By: Kevin Brown, Ag Team Leader, BCCD
Have you ever been told that, or maybe even thought that? Do you see places that aren’t immaculately manicured as “looking like crap”? Have you ever thought that maybe there was a higher purpose for that? One place I am talking about is pollinator habitat. Sure, some of these areas look beautiful in the summer when everything is blooming and when insects, birds, caterpillars and everything else is visiting the area. However, when it has used up its usefulness, we want to get rid of it as soon as possible. After all, “It looks like crap”. I have an area down here at the office that is right by the mailboxes for all the world to see. Sometimes, when I pass by it coming in to work, I even think that. It is old, dead, brown stalks of various flowers still standing 4-6’ tall. It takes me a minute to get past it, but I can because I know why it is there. We have another area at the end of the building which looks even “worse”. At least to us humans. Again, I know why it is there, so I leave it alone for the most part. Most people understand pollinator gardens for the summer. It is pretty easy to see with all the wildlife that visits them, and they are beautiful, so no one complains. However, most people don’t know that this is where a lot of insects overwinter. Because of the way we are trained, it is a lot harder to look at it for the 6 months of winter, standing there dead and all. But it is still serving a purpose.
By Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator
At first glance, coming up with the correct answer to this question might seem easier than Babe Ruth hitting a home run in the Little League World Series. Like many environmental questions though, this question is more complicated than it appears. For many Americans this Christmas, choosing to buy an artificial tree instead of a real tree, is in their minds, just one more way they can do their part in helping to use natural resources wisely. But is that decision better for the environment? The answer might surprise you.
.By MEGAN ROUGHT Ag Resource Specialist
Christmas is in the air and what better way to get into the holiday spirit then going out and getting yourself a fresh cut Christmas tree.
One of my favorite traditions to do during the Christmas season is go to a local U-cut Christmas tree farm and find the perfect tree. My family and I will scour the fields until we find the perfect tree.
We then cut it down, take it home, and decorate it with all our ornaments and lights. But then what do you do when Christmas is over, and the tree must come down? Many people don’t realize that there are multiple different environmentally friendly options. Your Christmas tree can be used as habitat/shelter, food, or even erosion control
By Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator, BCCD
Since big game rifle season for white-tailed deer opened on November 27th across Pennsylvania, nearly 900,000 PA hunters have taken to the woods to try and harvest a monster buck or replenish their freezer’s supply of organic, healthy, venison meat. Unfortunately, within the last few weeks or months, media reports have also surfaced claiming that hunters coming in close contact with wild white-tailed deer may also have an elevated risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus if the deer themselves are infected.
By: Megan Rought, Ag Resource Specialist, BCCD
Tulips are a very well-known flower and a springtime favorite. I am always so excited to see the first tulip pop up through the ground and blossom into its bright springtime color. When the tulips start to blossom, you know spring is on the way. As many of you probably know, tulips are perennial flowers. That means they come back year after year with little to no maintenance. For many people this is the main reason they love tulips so much. So, for those of us without tulips already planted what is the proper way to plant them? It is really very easy! Tulips come in bulb form and are planted directly into the ground. Tulips should be planted in the fall because they need at least 6 weeks of cold weather to flower in the spring. When planting the bulbs, you can plant them very close together. So close that they are almost touching. Dig a 6-inch-deep hole and place the tulip bulb pointy side up. Cover the bulbs back up with soil and you are done. Easy right?
By Chad Gadsby, Service Forester
By now most of you are aware that ash throughout the region are mostly dead or dying due to emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation. The US Forest Service has been working since 2018 to develop a process and begin breeding EAB resistant ash out of their Delaware, Ohio research lab. The goal is to breed a genetically diverse population of all ash species native to the US.
To accomplish this task, they developed a set of criteria to identify healthy and/or lingering ash that carry some form of resistance.
This excerpt is taken from Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) newsletter. To learn more about NPC or to sign up for their newsletter, visit https://npcweb.org/. Written by Allyson Muth, director, Center for Private Forests at Penn State.
Fall hunting seasons have begun in Pennsylvania. Which means for hunters and non-hunters alike, if you’re out in the woods, you should be wearing a significant amount
By DAN RHODES BCCD Education Coordinator
Please consider constructing or purchasing a bat house from the Game Commission to provide bats with places to live. If you turned on the TV this past month, you were likely to find no shortage of creepy horror movies with bats terrorizing the main characters. If you visited your local candy store to stock up on Halloween trick-or-treat supplies, you probably saw dozens of plastic bat decorations hanging from the ceilings to create the perfect Halloween atmosphere for shoppers. Bats, it seems, are consistently one of the most popular animals alive when it comes to adding scary effects to your favorite horror movie or getting people in the Halloween mood. For centuries, even before the invention of television, books such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula highlighted the bat as a sinister, bloodthirsty animal who was always out to get you.
Is this hatred and fear toward bats really justified?
What is the truth about bats and their relationship with humans?
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District