It doesn’t take much time driving around Lebanon County to arrive at the conclusion that the area is full of farmland as well as other natural features like woods and bodies of water.
If you enjoy the outdoors and the idea of keeping it as pristine as possible, then you should be aware of the work done by Lebanon County Conservation District.
LCCD is an independent agency that was created by the county under Pennsylvania’s Conservation District Law, and is administered by at least four farm directors, at least two public directors, and a county commissioner.
The agency has a multitude of programs that run the gamut from agricultural land preservation to erosion and sediment control to offering environmental education opportunities to the public.
The agricultural land preservation programs allow for land owners to sell or donate their agricultural easements as a way of keeping the land from being developed for purposes other than agriculture.
LCCD also works with construction sites, road crews, and land owners to minimize the amount of soil that is lost to erosion and making sure that water runoff is safely collected to limit flooding and allow the water to make its way back into streams.
Education is also a major component of the agency’s efforts. In fact, according to LCCD’s Agricultural Team Leader, Katie Doster, it may remedy the biggest problem facing conservation in Lebanon County: a lack of education in handling and understanding natural resources.
“I think that children are the best audience. They’ll be the ones taking car of our natural resources one day,” she says. “So, it’s important for them to be educated on the importance of protecting the environment.”
LCCD’s educational initiatives echo that sentiment by placing an emphasis on teaching children about the environment and conservational a young age so that they develop strong, environmentally conscious habits at a young age.
Envirothon is one of LCCD’s main educational programs. It’s a hands-on event that challenges local elementary, middle, and high school students to tackle some critical thinking activities that focus on the environment and environmental issues.
Right now, LCCD is in the midst of their annual tree and plant sale. Offerings include conifers, fruits, perennials, and hardwoods with the proceeds from the sale being used to purchase tree seedlings for local 4th graders. See the brochure and order form here (PDF).
LCCD has also combined some of these initiatives, a prime example of this being the Quittapahilla Educational Wetland Preserve. Located on the property of the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center. This preserved wetland environment gives local schools a conveniently located place to to study and explore.