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Conservation District Week celebrates conservation efforts across Pennsylvania

In Lancaster County, these conservation efforts range from tree sapling sales, to educational outreach, stream restoration, and more.

LANCASTER, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State House and Senate have declared this week “Conservation District Week."

It’s a week to celebrate the work of conservation efforts that take place in our communities.

Every county in Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, has a conservation district. Lancaster County's is the largest in the state. 

In part of their celebration of Conservation District Week and Earth Day, the Lancaster Conservation District hosted it's annual tree sapling sale. They sold over 25,000 tree saplings and other plant materials.

“We figured out the benefits of trees are just too numerous to name all of them," says Sallie Gregory, Education Coordinator for the Lancaster County Conservation District. "And so the conservation district got involved, actually, throughout the state to help residents see those benefits.”

Gregory hopes everyone who purchased from this sale enjoys watching their new plants grow and flourish at their homes. Proceeds from this sale will benefit even more education and watershed projects in the county. 

This annual sale is just one of many projects the Lancaster County Conservation District takes part in according to District Manager Chris Thompson. 

“Everything from stream restoration projects to educational projects with our local schools to building site management. Just a lot of good things going on," says Thompson.

One project the Conservation District is currently working on involves repairing the riparian buffer zone along a creek in East Lampeter Township that is often overrun during storm events.

“Storm water is a big issue and the more we can do to restore a stream to its proper health and that situation where it will manage the storm water itself, the less people downstream have to deal with flashy floods," Thompson tells FOX43. 

Thompson adds that their priority is to focus on local water quality, though that often means benefits that extend downstream into other communities as well.

He hopes this week encourages both political leaders and community members alike to help in protecting our environment with them. 

“It’s all about creating a legacy," Thompson says. "The more we can do today to protect the natural resources for tomorrow, the more sustainable that legacy is both in agriculture and in the environment.”

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