Located in the Irish Creek Watershed (a Schuylkill River tributary), the Martin farm is a great example of what can be accomplished with an environmentally aware landowner and the help of cooperating agencies.
The Martin farm is home to a poultry operation and approximately 100 dairy cows. The landowner approached the Penn State Cooperative Extension about undergoing a certification for the Pennsylvania Environmental Agricultural Conservation Certification for Excellence (PEACCE) program. Thanks to funding from the Schuylkill Watershed Initiative Grant, the required assessments — one for each type of operation — were completed and the farm became PEACCE certified.
During the PEACCE certification evaluation, some additional improvements were identified that could further improve conditions at the Martin farm. Existing concrete areas lacked curbing to contain manure, and livestock had access to the stream. Funding from the Schuylkill Watershed Initiative Grant made it possible for the Berks County Conservation District to install curbing and redirect manure runoff into a managed vegetated area that acts as a natural filter.