The Venango Conservation District recently received grant funding to help us pay for the installation of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Venango County. The funding was awarded to the district through the Northwest Commission’s Greenways Block Grant program which includes funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The goal of the grant is to install agricultural BMPs at an operation in Venango County that will help control storm water runoff that carry potential contaminants to the nearest stream.
Agricultural BMPs that will be installed as a result of the grant award will include a stabilized Animal Heavy Use Area (AHUA) and roof runoff controls & diversion.
Pictured here is the AHUA before construction at the barn entrance.
A stabilized Animal Heavy Use Area (AHUA) is a practice that addresses areas where animals often travel or stand. These areas tend to be near barn entrances or feeding areas. These areas most often consist of torn-up sod that is muddy and erosive. Vegetation often cannot take hold.
Pictured here the AHUA has been excavated to remove soils that were to heavily broken down to be of use. The area was shaped for a slope that will encourage storm water into a controlled drainage system.
This is a shot of an excavated trench where a pipe and clean stone will be installed. This controlled drainage system will carry storm water to a Vegetated Treatment Area (VTA) where vegetation will collect pollutant particles and will allow storm water to infiltrate.
Once the site was excavated to the desired shape, geo-fabric was installed and larger rock was placed. The materials in this step encourage drainage.
This photo shows that a layer of smaller stone was then placed and rolled in to create the stabilized pad. The pad is designed to withstand heavier animal traffic.
Construction work on this project will be on-going this summer. We look forward to bringing you an update to this post including photos of the finished BMPs.