SUNBURY - Attendees at the third annual legislative luncheon sponsored Thursday by the Northumberland County Conservation District (NCCD) were buoyed by the presentation of a $90,339 Growing Greener grant in and news of a 50 percent increase of Act 13 funds from $5 million to $7.5 million.

The Growing Greener grant money will be used to repair a vertical flow compost wetland passive treatment system at Site 42 located on Carbon Run, which is a sub-watershed of the Shamokin Creek. Carbon Run is listed on the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) list of impaired waterways due to high levels of metals.

David Crowl, NCCD board chairman, reiterated why the luncheon was initiated.

"Instead of just having a show-and-tell, we use this luncheon as a working tool for a two-way conversation," Crowl explained.

Following lunch, district manager Judy Becker presented the district's 2013 annual report and a short presentation detailing activities and projects for 2014.

Becker thanked state Sen. John Gordner (R-27) and state Reps. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108) and Kurt Masser (R-107) for their efforts on behalf of the NCCD. Masser was unable attend because of a prior commitment.

"We wouldn't be here if the legislators didn't find conservation important," Becker said.

She also thanked the Northumberland County commissioners. Rick Shoch was the only commissioner present.

Becker said the NCCD is trying to find ways to maximize funding for projects in the county through some type of mini-grant program.

The NCCD is informing county municipalities that additional transportation funding will be available. The district is also educating municipalities about the Act 167 storm water management plan. This may include the NCCD reviewing storm water management plans for municipalities that don't have engineers.

Both Gordner and Culver praised the NCCD for its efforts.

"You make our jobs easier by going after grants. I don't know if I fully appreciated what you did until last year," Gordner said.

Culver thanked the NCCD for the information they provided her over the past year, including an August kayak trip on the Susquehanna River.

"I have talked about that trip so many times. It made me appreciate the river more than I ever had before," she said.

The NCCD is again planning another kayak trip on the Susquehanna River this year.

Also speaking at the luncheon were Shoch and County Planning Director Pat Mack.

Mack spoke about the implementation of Act 167 for storm water management.

Gary Truckenmiller, of Dry Run Dairy, Wattsontown, was presented with a legislative citation luncheon from Gordner and Culver for being named a master farmer of the Mid-Atlantic Region.