The Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program began in 1997 from an initiative by Trout Unlimited in conjunction with Penn State University’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads, the State Conservation Commission and local Conservation Districts.
The goal of the program is to reduce pollution to nearby streams while improving the rural road network.
Schuylkill River Trial, Birdsboro
One of the qualification requirements of the Program is to direct funding to “worksites” where road runoff is affecting water quality of the nearby stream. As a result of Act 89 (PA Gas Tax), additional funding has been allocated to the program which will now include Low Volume Roads (<500 vehicles per day).
Technical Assistance is available and provided by the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road studies and the BCCD.
Program Monetary Assistance
Each Conservation District will receive funding from the State Conservation Commission through the PADEP.
- If a municipality is interested in applying to the program to receive funding for a project, applicants are to prepare and submit a grant application to the BCCD requesting the amount of funding required and any “in-kind” contributions to be allocated towards the project.
- Up to 50% of the contact amount may be advanced to grant recipients once a contract is signed.
- Projects greater than $25,000 are subject to provisions of Pennsylvania's Prevailing Wage Act (1961, August 15, P. L. 987, No. 442), 43 P. S. Section 165-1 et seq. A Contract Amendment must be completed and signed by both entities if project cost overruns totaling 20% or less of the initial contract amount.
Grant Application Process
Applicants (i.e. – townships, boroughs, or a gov’t agency like the PA Game Commission) must have a representative attend Environmental Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) training and acquire the certification. The ESM certification is good for 5 years.
Projects must have an impact on improving water quality.
The road must be a public road (if applying for Low Volume Road Program, less than 500 vehicles per day are to be on the road)
2. “Pre-Application” Submission Site Visit
It is recommended that BCCD and Municipal representatives meet to discuss the project Scope of Work prior to submitting the application.
3. Application Cycle
The BCCD has an open application period and applicants may submit for a grant at any time during the calendar year.
Application forms are available at the BCCD office or by downloading the forms electronically below:
4. Project Ranking
The Conservation District’s Quality Assurance Board (QAB) has developed a written ranking criteria to determine project funding priorities.
5. Project Management and Grant Reporting
If your Municipality is awarded a grant, you will be expected to enter into an agreement with the Berks County Conservation District. The following documents will aid you in your project. Specific guidance will be given to you upon award announcement.
- Application for Replenishment of Advance Working Capital (PDF fillable form)
- Project Completion Report (PDF fillable form)
The applicant must notify the Conservation District in advance as to when the project will start.