Notice:

The proposed 2020 General Fund budget is available HERE. The budget is available for public inspection and comment for a period of 20 days and is expected to be passed, as a final version, on December 19th at the regularly scheduled December Commissioners meeting. Questions or comments can be directed to Scott Kelley, Chief Financial Officer, at 724-852-5296 or Jeff Marshall, Chief Clerk and Chief Administrative Officer, at 724-852-5210. A copy of the budget is also available for inspection in the Chief Clerk's Office, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Conservation District

About the Conservation District

The District's mission is the protection, stewardship, and conservation of Greene County's natural resources and to ensure a wise balance between environmental protection and the needs and desires of county landowners. The District serves the public trust, promotes awareness of conservation practices, offers technical assistance to landowners and municipalities and offer a first-line assessment of environmental complaints.

District Board of Directors and staff work diligently and thoughtfully to promote and protect a diverse range of natural resources within the County. The core value of the District is that conservation works best when the people living and working in the area come together to collectively manage their natural resources. Partnerships created through this core value bring diversity to the conversation and decision-making process.

Contact Information

Ben Franklin Building
22 West High Street
Suite 204
Waynesburg, PA 15370

Department Contacts:

Lisa Snider
Director
Lindsay Kozlowski
Assistant Director
April Morris
Fiscal Officer
Zachary Basinger
Environmental Program Specialist 2
Ben Schweiger
Conservation Technician
Sara Hlatky
Conservation Technician
Jared Zinn
Watershed Specialist

Agricultural Programs and Services

Agricultural Programs and ServicesOur Agricultural Programs are a very important part of the Greene County Conservation District and our farmland communities. We offer various programs to assist farmers, landowners, and others interested in agricultural programs throughout Greene County. Descriptions of the programs that we offer are listed below.

Access the GRACE Brochure as a PDF Greene County's Reinvestment in Agriculture: Cost Share Enhancement Program (GRACE) is a conservation based program designed to enhance soil health within the agriculture community. Active farmers, farmers that rent or new farmers with animals may apply for livestock conservation fencing, lime, water development projects and fertilizer. The program also funds varios forestry practices, such as invasive species control.

The GRACE program provides guidance to new and existing farmers through technical assistance and cost share to help promote soil and water conservation practices that will improve pastures and soil health that lead to better animal production. When practices are implemented correctly value and profit will be added to the land.

"It is the goal of the district to offer a program that is easy to navigate and has a quick turnaround," Lisa Snider, district manager said. "Yes, there are a few hoops to jump through, but those hoops are beneficial in the long run to the operator."

Requirements such as becoming a cooperator with the District; registering with Farm Service Agency and completing conservation plans and manure management plans after an application only lead to further funding and a sound farming blueprint. Applicants for lime or fertilizer projects will also need to obtain a soil test kit from Penn State Extension that the Conservation District staff will administer during a farm visit. Applications must be submitted by August 31 to be considered for funding.

Funds for the program are a direct result of PA Act 13 that the district receives annually to foster conservation efforts within Greene County. Snider emphasized, "these funds are obtained through an 'impact' fee and the district believes that the money received should be used on the ground where the impacts were made."

Click image to access the GRACE brochure.

Click here to download an application for the GRACE program
Click here to download the Conservation District Cooperator Agreement

Picture of a Till Drill The Great Plains No-Till Drill is a 7-foot end wheel drill. A minimum of a 55hp tractor is required. The drill does not have a fertilizer box, and therefore, NO Fertilizer should be used in the box. The drill has 2 standard seed boxes and a native grass seed box. The User/Operator must be a Pennsylvania licensed driver and submit proof along with auto insurance documents. Each operator is responsible for pick-up and return of the drill to Frosty Springs Farm on Garards Fort Road, Greene County, PA. You will need your own hitch pin. NO INTERSTATE HAULING.

Click link below to download a rental agreement.

No-Till Drill Rental Agreement

An image of the 2 ton lime spreader Applying lime to pasture and hay fields is one of the simplest management decisions to make.  Increasing soil pH can increase forage yields and palatability, with relatively low cost to the producer.

The Conservation District offers two lime spreaders for rent. The 4½-ton spreader has a large capacity and is ideal for larger meadows where steep slopes are not as much of a concern. Its large capacity means that a farmer can spend more time spreading lime and less time loading lime. The District's 2-ton spreader is more nimble and is outfitted with surge brakes. This makes it ideal for small pastures and areas where steep slopes are a concern. Offering these two different spreaders gives farmers more options to manage their forage with lime.

Click links below to download a rental agreement.

2 Ton Lime Spreader Rental Agreement
4.5 Ton Lime Spreader Rental Agreement

Access the manure management workbook as a  PDF The Manure Management Program is regulated by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and requires Pennsylvania landowners that apply manure or agricultural wastewater, no matter the size, to have and implement a written manure management plan. This includes manure that is applied mechanically or manure that is directly applied by animals on pastures and in Animal Concentration Areas (ACA). So, farms that do not mechanically apply manure, but have pastures, do still need a written manure management plan. Uset the following resoruces or contact the Conservation District for assistance with writing your plan.

Pennsylvania DEP has developed a workbook (click image to access a PDF) and an instructional guide that allows farmers to write their own manure management plan
PAOneStop is an online farm mapping and Erosion & Sediment (E&S) Planning System developed by Penn State Extension. Farmers can use this system to generate farm maps and develop E&S plans.


 

Commonly known as Act 38, Pennsylvania's nutrient management law regulates land application of manure in order to control non-point source pollution as well as setting standards for defining Concentrated Animal Operations (high animal density operations) and regulating the import / export and hauling of manure.

Nutrient Management Plans are one requirement of the Nutrient Management Act. Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) are regulated under this act. CAOs are defined as operations where the animal density is greater than 2,000 lbs live animal weight per acre of land suitable for manure application. The State Conservation Commission (SCC) is the primary authority to develop and implement regulations

A Nutrient Management Plan needs to be developed by a certified nutrient management planner. Individuals can become certified to write their own plans as well. To locate a certified nutrient management planner, visit this page on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's web site and search for Greene County.

Full text of Act 38 of 2005
Regulations under Act 38

The Conservation District works cooperatively with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to design conservation plans, grazing plans and resource management systems that work for you and your farm. The District’s role in conservation planning is to conduct a site assessment to discuss the landowner’s goals, assess resource needs and to visually inspect the operation. By improving soil health, managing nutrients, reducing soil erosion, creating buffers, and treating barnyard runoff water, we improve the water quality of our local streams.

To get started with conservation planning, 
Additional information may be found on the USDA/NRCS website and the PA Department of Agriculture website.

Visit the Southwest Project Grass website Southwest Project Grass is a cooperative committee made up local farmers and County Conservation Districts that works to increase grassland productivity while minimizing environmental impacts of farming.

Click image to visit the Project Grass website.

Visit the REAP page on the PA Dept. of Agriculture's website The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program was created through Act 55 of 2007. It allows farmers and businesses to earn tax credits in exchange for planning, sponsoring or implementing best management practices (BMP) on agricultural operations that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources. Farmers can also receive tax credits for conversion or upgrading to a no-till cropping system.

Click image to visit the REAP website.

Farmland Preservation Program

Farmland Preservation ProgramThe Easement purchase program was developed in 1988 to help slow the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. The program enables state, county, and local governments to purchase conservation easements, sometimes called development rights, from owners of quality farmland.

Agricultural Security Area (ASA) protection strengthens and defends agricultural communities. Local farm landowners work together to protect their communities from non-agricultural development.

Greene County has a total of 83 landowners with 11,104.53 acres enrolled/approved in the ASA program, they include the following:
Cumberland Township — 908.23 acres enrolled with 6 landowners
Center Township — 1,691.4 acres enrolled with 7 landowners
Franklin Township – 803.76 acres enrolled with 5 landowners
Greene Township — 1,189.14 acres enrolled with 5 landowners
Jefferson Township — 429.63 acres enrolled with 4 landowners
Morgan Township — 1,604.66 acres enrolled with 8 landowners
Washington Township — 2,364.27 acres enrolled with 40 landowners
Wayne Township — 2,122.9 acres enrolled with 8 landowners

To join an existing ASA or petition your township to create a new ASA, use this Registration form.

Access landowner application package for farmland preservation as a PDF The Greene County Farmland Preservation Program is dedicated to protecting valuable farm acreage from development. The Farmland Preservation Board of Directors accepts all applications meeting the minimum requirements for inclusion in the county’s agricultural easement program. The minimum requirements are:
  • Landowners must be enrolled in an approved agricultural security area (ASA) consisting of at least 500 acres;
  • Have at least 50 contiguous acres;
  • Have at least 50 percent of the soils on the property in soil capability classes I-IV (as defined by the Web Soil Survey) and be available for agricultural production;
  • Contain the greater of 50 percent or 10 acres of harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land.
  • The landowner must own their surface mineral rights.
Each application will be scored using the approved Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) scoring system. The LESA system is used to rank the easement applications by evaluating soil and location factors for the property. Farms are then ranked according to their LESA score to be purchased in order as funds allow.

Click the image for a Landowner Application Package.

Erosion & Sediment Control Program

Erosion & Sediment Control ProgramThe Erosion & Sediment Control Program is delegated to the Conservation District by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Program helps landowners conducting earth disturbance and/or stream encroachment activities remain in compliance with Pennsylvania Clean Stream Laws by developing, implementing, and maintaining Best Management Practices (BMP) that minimize the potential for accelerated erosion and sedimentation during construction as well as managing post construction storm water.

Conservation District Permit Fee Schedule and Policy
Conservation District Project Review Application
 

Earthmoving Poster from the Conservation District Activities involving moving earth are regulated under the Pennsylvania Code, Title 25, Chapter 102.

Visit the Department of Environmental Protection's eLibrary to access permit information.
Clean Water Program-Chapter 102-NPDES PAG02 Permit Applications
Oil and Gas-ESCGP-3 Permit Applications

Streams & Wetlands Poster from the Conservation District Activities involving encroachment in streams & wetlands are regulated under the Pennsylvania Code, Title 25, Chapter 105.

Visit the Department of Environmental Protection's eLibrary to access permit information.
Waterways Engineering and Wetlands - Chapter 105 General Permit Applications

Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads Program

Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads ProgramDirt and gravel roads are important links in Pennsylvania's overall transportation network. Covering more than 27,000 miles throughout the commonwealth, dirt and gravel roads provide vital access for Pennsylvania's major industries — agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism - while weaving the fabric of rural community life for over 3.6 million residents. Local municipalities and state agencies — with jurisdiction over more than 90% of the state's dirt and gravel roads — can ill afford to pave dirt roads and then adequately maintain them. Dirt and gravel roads programs assist with road repairs and pollution problems in environmentally safe ways.

Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies
Greene County's dirt, gravel and Low-volume roads program

Watershed Management & Education Program

Watershed Management & Education ProgramThe Watershed Management & Education Program exists to help landowners make wise decisions that protect and improve water quality in Greene County. This is accomplished through activities that increase awareness of water quality issues, promote practices that protect these resources and through technical and/or financial assistance in implementing such practices.

Link to the Environmental Protection Agency's web page on watersheds A watershed is a geographic area through which water moves toward a common water body. A lot of things come together to deterimine a watershed what a watershed looks like. These includie the unique geography and topography of an area, networks of streams, rivers and groundwater aquifers, and the land use decisions of individual property owners.

Click image for more information on watersheds from the Environmental Protection Agency.
 

A link to the 2016 PA DEP Integrated Water Quality and Assessment Report Monitoring water quality in our streams is an important part of protecting and improving Greene County's water resources.

Click image to download the most recent Water Quality and Assessment Report from Pennsylvania DEP.

Link to DEP's Sourcewater Assessment and Protection Program We all need clean water for drinking, cooking and sanitation. We need to work together at protecting our source waters, both above and below the ground.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers resources for users of public drinking water utilities and private wells and springs.

Click image for information about DEP's Sourcewater Assessment and Protection program.

A guide to manage stormwater geared to homeowners Increased runoff from urban areas, roadways and other development are a major source of water pollution that can only be controlled by effective stormwater management. The biggest problems are sediment and nutrient polluted runoff.

The Environmental Protection Agency offers a very good explanation of the issues related to polluted runoff, or non-point source pollution.

Click image for a guide to managing stormwater at home.

DEP Stream Maintenance Poster Streams are a wonderful and valuable resource for a landowner but require periodic maintenance. Two of the most common maintenance needs are gravel bar removal and debris removal.

Coarse woody debris from fallen trees and branches is actually a good thing for streams and the species that live in them. It provides habitat complexity that fish and other creatures need as well as a source of valuable nutrients as it breaks down. To learn more about stream habitats and how they can be improved, check out the guide and assistance program from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) below. Like anything, though, too much of a good thing can be troublesome. Logjams and stream blockages can cause flooding and increased streambank erosion.

Gravel bars are large deposits of rock and sand that form in streams because of upstream erosion. They can change the course of streams and cut away at streambanks. Landowners can remove gravel bars as part of their stream maintenance, although in some cases, permits are required for these activities. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides good information for landowners on their stream maintenance web page.

DEP Guide to Stream Maintenance
PFBC Guide to Stream Habitat Improvement
PFBC Technical Assistance Program

Picture of a Pond Ponds can be a useful and beautiful addition to a farm or other property; providing recreation, a water source and other benefits.

 

Download an application for the water quality mini-grant as a PDF The Greene County Conservation District has established a Water Quality Mini-grant Program to provide full or partial funding, up to $5000, to projects that address water quality improvement through implementation/installation of best management practices (BMP). 

Exact awards are based on funds expended by the applicant, up to the maximum award. Up to 5 grant awards may be given in one year at the discretion of the Conservation District Board of Directors (The Board) any undisbursed grants will remain with the Conservation District to be used at its discretion. Funds will not roll over to the next year. Funds allocated to this program are non-tax dollar funds.

Click image to download an application for the Water Quality Mini-grant.

Cooperating Agencies

Cooperating Agencies

Link to the Natural Resource Conservation Service's website NRCS is an agency committed to “helping people help the land”—our mission is to provide resources to farmers and landowners to aid them with conservation. Ensuring productive lands in harmony with a healthy environment is our priority.

Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:

Phil Evans 
Lamont Furnace Service Center
1359 Connellsville Road, Suite 10
Lamont Furnace, PA 15456
724-437-7971 ext 101
Phil.Evans@pa.usda.gov 

Link to the Farm Service Agency's website Our mission is to deliver timely, effective programs and services to America’s farmers and ranchers to support them in
sustaining our Nation’s vibrant agricultural economy, as well as provide first-rate support for domestic and international
food aid efforts.

Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:

Michal E. Roup
County Executive Director
Washington/Greene County 
Farm Service Agency
50 Old Hickory Ridge Road
Washington, PA  15301
Phone:  724-705-8127 or
  724-222-3060 ext. 2
Fax:  855-847-3602
michal.roup@pa.usda.gov

 

Visit the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation District's website To be responsive to conservation districts so they can conserve natural resources for our future.

Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:
Brenda Shambaugh
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts
5925 Stevenson Avenue, Suite A
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Telephone: 717-238-PACD (7223)
Fax: 717-238-7201
bshambaugh@pacd.org

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's website The Department of Environmental Protection's mission is to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment.

Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:
DEP Southwest Regional Office 
400 Waterfront Drive 
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 
Telephone 412-442-4000

Link to the State Conservation Commission page on the PA Dept. of Agriculture's website The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) is a 14-member commission that has a primary mission to ensure the wise use of Pennsylvania's natural resources and to protect and restore the natural environment through the conservation of its soil water and related resources.


Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:
Karl Brown
Executive Secretary
Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-787-8821

Link to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website The mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is: To manage and protect wildlife. To manage wildlife habitat. To inform and educate the public on wildlife and safe hunting practices.




Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:

Steve Leiendecker
SW Regional Field Office
4820 Route 711
Bolivar, PA 15923
Bus: (724) 238-9523
sleiendeck@pa.gov 

Link to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's website The mission of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is: to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.




Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:

Eric Davis
236 Lake Road 
Somerset, PA 15501-1644
Bus: (814) 445-8974
erdavis@state.pa.us 

Link to the DCNR Bureau of Forestry web page The DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s mission is to ensure the long-term health, viability, and productivity of the commonwealth’s forests and to conserve native wild plants.



Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:

Russell Gibbs, Service Forester
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Bureau of Forestry, Forbes State Forest
10 Nickman Plaza
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
Bus: (724) 437-7983
rugibbs@pa.gov 
 

Penn State Cooperative Extension Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization dedicated to delivering science-based information to people, businesses, and communities.

Click image to visit agency website.

Contact:
Tom Beresnyak 
Client Relationship Manager
Penn State Extension
26 West High Street, Room 1
Waynesburg, PA 15370-1324
814-409-7976
teb119@psu.edu

History

HistoryThe Greene County Conservation District was formed and declared a District by the Greene County Board of Commissioners on July 18, 1956, in accordance with the "Soil Conservation Law" of 1945, Act 217, of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and began operations on Sept. 16, 1956. The district was organized at the request of county citizens to provide for the conservation of soil and water, flood protection, preservation of woodland and wildlife, protection of public lands, preservation of the tax base and the protection and promotion of the health, safety and general welfare of the people.

How Can the Conservation District Help You Today?

The Conservtion District exists as a resource for Greene County landowners. Perhaps you'd like to:

  • Request technical assistance for your farm, forest or backyard
  • Learn more about a conservation issue or best management practice
  • Take advantage of financial assistance opportunities like the GRACE program or the Water Quality Mini-grant

Contact the Conservation District