Newsletter & Updates




July Indiana County Conservation Newsletter


Area High School Students

Participate in the 20th Annual Envirothon

            Could you detect, identify or comment on impacts that climate change may have on the environment, specifically water quantity and quality?  Do you even know what climate change is? You would have to know that for the current issue station, and a lot more about the natural environment, to succeed in the Envirothon. 

            Sixty of Indiana County’s high school students took part in the 20th annual county Envirothon competition held at Blue Spruce Park on May 3rd.  They prepared by thumbing through field guides to identify a bird’s song and different tree species; by rubbing dampened soil between their fingers to determine its texture and consulting a soil survey for potential land uses; by identifying aquatic macro invertebrates to determine the quality of a stream; and by determining the potential impacts climate change may have on natural resources and the environment.  Students participating in the Envirothon are trained and tested in their knowledge of environmental and natural resource issues and are asked to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship between people and the environment.  They receive hands-on instruction from natural resource professionals including aquatic biologists, foresters, soil scientists, wildlife specialists and environmental technicians from county, state and federal agencies as well as other environmental organizations.

            Five-member teams competed by applying their knowledge and problem-solving skills in the traditional subject areas that include: Aquatic Ecology, Current Issues, Forestry, Soils and Land Use, and Wildlife.  Students from Indiana, Marion Center, Penns Manor, Purchase Line and United High Schools, as well as a team representing the Indiana Home Schooled Students Group participated in the 20th annual Indiana County Envirothon. 

            The team from the Indiana Home Schooled Students Group won the local event and advanced to the State Envirothon competition held May 22 and 23 at Penn State Mont Alto.  In addition to the traditional competition, teams also compete in an oral component which consists of the team being provided an environmental scenario based on the current issue theme from which they have one hour to create a presentation and visual aids.  The team then makes their presentation to a panel of judges and takes part in a question/answer session.  The Indiana County team placed 8th out of 67 teams.  A fantastic placement considering this was the team’s first Envirothon experience. 

            The Indiana County Conservation District sponsors the local event.  We would like to thank the Ken Sink Chapter of Trout Unlimited for their continued financial support of the program.  Others assisting with the Envirothon include the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Indiana County Parks and Trails,  PA Game Commission, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Turner Dairy. 




First place team members from Indiana County Home Schooled Students Group from left to right are: 1st row Ashley Kuntz, Faith Hipple 2nd row Ken Deemer, Hannah Barclay, Chad Barclay. Their advisor was Debbie Beisel.


Hop on the Bus

            A conservation bus tour is planned for September 21, 2006. Join us as  we travel through the County visiting some of the conservation projects sponsored by the Indiana County Conservation District. The bus will be leaving the Conservation District office at 9:00 a.m. and travel north as we make stops at stream restoration, dirt road and acid mine drainage projects. Lunch will be in the village of Smicksburg. The afternoon will be spent visiting different agricultural operations concluding at Brookside Dairy where we will tour their renewable energy project for converting manure into electricity. The bus will return to the Conservation District office by 3:30. Cost for the tour will be ten dollars with lunch included. Registration will be limited so sign up today.


Register by fax or US Mail. Get the form here


Attention Teachers

               The Indiana County Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will be sponsoring an Act 48 credit approved class titled “The Environmental Impacts of Coal Mining and Abandoned Mine Drainage and How Schools Can Participate in the Solutions”. It will be held August 8-10, 2006 at the Indiana Area High School.

            For more information or to register contact the Indiana County Conservation District at (724)463-8547 Ext. 4 or Cost for the workshop is $100.00, prepayment is required. Registration deadline is July 28, 2006.


Township News

Agricultural Security Areas (ASA)

            Does your township have an ASA? When was the last time you reviewed and updated your list of enrolled farms? Who are the members of your ASA Advisory Board? Are you aware of the benefits and limitations the ASA provides to townships and the farming community? What do you do if a farm wishes to be included in your ASA? To answer some of these questions I have included a list of Indiana County Townships with ASA’s and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is mailing the townships a handbook describing the ASA program and your responsibilities as township officials. Staying current with your ASA program is the first step in supporting agriculture in your community. As the county continues to work on a county wide comprehensive plan, accurate ASA data is critical in identifying important agricultural areas. If you did not receive your handbook or need more information go to  and type ASA in the search box.


Townships in Indiana County with ASA


East Mahoning



Brush Valley

North Mahoning







East Wheatfield

West Mahoning


Recreation, Park, and Open Space Grant Workshop

            The Indiana County Office of Planning and Development is sponsoring a meeting Thursday, July 27, 2006 at 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Blue Spruce Park Lakeside Center. They will be covering the DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Grant Program. Attendees will learn about the application process, program priorities and application requirements. This meeting would be beneficial to community park and recreation volunteers, elected officials, municipal staff, watershed groups, trail groups and land trust/conservancy organizations. To register to attend call (724) 463-3870 or email 


Farmers’ Market Celebrates Thirty Years

            The Downtown Indiana Farmers’ Market located at 8th and Church Street will be beginning its 30th year July 19th. The Market runs from July 19th to October 28th.  They are open Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:45-noon. 

            There are currently four farmers selling at this market and they are looking for at least six more. It is not too late to join in. vendors are asked to please come at least 30 minutes early to set up.  Dues for the season are $80 made payable to the Downtown Indiana Farmers Market. The money collected from dues is used in advertising the Market for the season. Applications and bylaws for interested vendors can be obtained by contacting:

Jane Dorr

1323 Kauffman Road

Indiana Pa. 15701

(724) 463-9170





Farmers’ Market Facts

Who benefits from farmers’ markets?

·       Small farm operators: Those with less than $250,000 in annual receipts who work and manage their own operations meet this definition (94 percent of all farms).

·       Farmers and consumers: Farmers have direct access to markets to supplement farm income. Consumers have access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce and the opportunity to personally interact with the farmer who grows the produce.

·       The Community: Many urban communities where fresh, nutritious foods are scarce gain easy access to food. Farmers’ markets also help to promote nutrition education, wholesome eating habits and better food preparation, as well as boosting the community’s economy.




            The 8th Annual Statewide Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) and Abandoned Mine Reclamation (AMR) Conference will be held August 24 to 26 at the Atherton Hotel in State College. This year's theme is "Back to Basics." The program will feature presentations on passive mine drainage treatment systems, evaluating water monitoring results, identification of funding sources for projects and much more!  Watershed groups, public agencies, consultants, local and state officials will all be in attendance to network and share their craft.

            Check the Statewide AMD and AMR Conference website:  

            The Conference is being coordinated by the Western and Eastern Pennsylvania Coalitions for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.  Visit their websites:


Century Farm

            In June the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recognized the Indiana County Century Farm belonging to the Frank E. Moore family. The Moore farm, located in Rochester Mills, was established in 1891. The Department recognizes Pennsylvania families who have been farming the same land for 100 and 200 years through the Century and Bicentennial Farm Programs. The information on century and bicentennial farms are filed in the Archives of the State Historical and Museum Commission. For more information on the Century and Bicentennial Farm Programs visit


Nutrient Management Field Day

            The Indiana County Conservation District is planning on holding a field day at the Wallace Dairy Farm in conjunction with Allegheny Farm Service during the month of October.  Cover cropping planting methods will be the primary focus of the day.  Further details will be available in the near future.   



Contact Us | ©2006 Indiana County Conservation District


News & Updates

Jr. Envirothon
Winners: 2008

Sr. Envirothon
Winners: 2009

Spring 2008 Newsletter

Fall 2008 Newsletter

July 2006 Newsletter

Annual Report
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