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Local conservation projects granted up to $2,000

Six projects around the county are receiving grants of up to $2,000 for the first time from the Lycoming County Conservation District Mini Grants to bring attention to environmental education and offer conservation service to areas in the county that need it.

Mark Davidson, district manager, explained the grant program allocates up to $10,000 for these projects.

“We hope to continue the project in future years,” he said. “We are hoping to generate interest throughout the county, though there were many applications this year.”

The projects are chosen through an application process in which potential projects are reviewed and chosen by the board.

“I think we have to encourage some good conservation related projects for the county,” Davidson added.

The projects being funded this year are:

• Montoursville Area School District, establishing an East Mill Creek Watershed Association

• Jersey Shore Education Fund, establishing and maintaining nature trails in Lycoming County

• Glacier Pools Reserve, a pools trail expansion

• Cogan House Recreation Committee, upgrading a nature trail for handicap use

• Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, monitoring water quality for Wolf Run

• Montgomery High School Environmental Science Club, initiating a Cafeteria Food Waste Composting program

Dr. Melvin Zimmerman, director of the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, has been working on the water monitoring project with the district on four farms along Wolf Run to improve and maintain good water quality.

Interns and other staff from the school work to put structures into the streams and planting willows to stabilize the bank as well as using boulders to funnel the water to the center of the stream. This helps reinforce the bank and keep it from eroding.

The group samples the water before the structures are placed and after to measure the success of the project and to ensure good water quality to the farms.

“Our Clean Water Institute does educational outreach, service and research,” he said. “We are providing our staff and interns with real life experience and this was one of the projects that they worked on. It provides them experience and service to the county.”

Christopher Ulrich, technology education teacher at the Montgomery Junior/Senior High School, runs the environmental science and national Future Farmers of America club, which also was awarded a grant to purchase compost turners.

“One of the largest amounts of debris that goes into the landfill is food waste,” Ulrich said. “We can intercept it and use it for home use in gardens to cut down on the need to buy fertilizers.”

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