A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Tess Flynn-Belles, Natural Resource Specialist, Bradford County Conservation District
Psst… hey you… yeah, you. The one wrapped up on the couch in that new blanket you got for Christmas from Grandma Tilly. It’s me, the pond out back. I know it’s cold out here, believe me! Have you looked at me lately? I have a giant sheet of ice and snow covering me. I KNOW cold! That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have a lot going on underneath it all. I’ve still got plants that are photosynthesizing, and fish are still swimming around doing their thing. There are also a lot of fun activities that you can use me for in the winter as well. Maybe you could layer up and come out and visit me for a little while? You’d be helping me and my friends out big time.
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.
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District