The People’s Choice winner of the 2017 VASWCD Photo Contest was taken in Craig County by Ann Harrell who lives in Roanoke County. Ann’s winning picture is call “Seclusion for Man, Fish, Birds and Critters” and was taken at the pond at Fenwick Mines Recreation Area in Craig County. Ann’s photo of “Busy Bees”, which was taken in Roanoke County, was also chosen as an honorable mention. Over 100 photos were submitted for the 2017 contest. Ann will be receiving an annual State Park Pass for any Virginia State Park donated by the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation. More information about the contest can be found here-http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-and-education-materials/contests/. The deadline for submitting photos is December 1, 2017.
YCLI began as an expansion of Youth Conservation Camp in an effort to keep students engaged in the environmental topics introduced at camp.
YCLI offers high school students interested in environmental conservation and stewardship an opportunity to build leadership skills and connect with local mentors involved with environmental issues.
Students choose projects that they are interested in to carryout in their community.
As a participant in the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute, students will be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service with a focus in the natural resources conservation field. Students are encouraged to focus work with the local Soil & Water Conservation District but any work that contributes to pollution prevention, natural resources conservation, and promotion of environmental literacy will be accepted. All projects must have a confirmed mentor which may be a local SWCD, government agency, community leader, or similar local organization.
YCLI is open to any Virginia high school student committed to the entirety of the program including:
- Completion of at least 20 community service hours to be approved by the VASWCD staff.
- Submission of one interim and final report/presentation on the community work completed.
- Attendance at the final recognition program to be held March 2018.
- Read an assigned book on environmental leadership for a group discussion
Click to access the 2017 -2018 YCLI Application and applications are due to me by Aug 18th, 2017. For additional information visit http://vaswcd.org/ycli
You value your forest and/or farmland for multiple reasons such as wildlife, privacy, recreation, timber, hunting or the scenic qualities. Are you prepared to pass the environmental and heirloom values rooted in your forest to the next generation? Without breaking it up? Click here to access the Online Registration Form 2017 Radford Generation Next
While there is a price to planning an orderly transfer of land to the next generation, there is also a cost of not planning that may put your land’s future in jeopardy. If you don’t have a plan, your wishes for your land and legacy will be lost. By researching and planning ahead of time, you can ensure your wishes are met and minimize the financial costs and emotional challenges while securing your woodland legacy for generations to come.
Land may be your biggest asset. Make sure your actions support the family’s values. This award winning and nationally recognized program will get you started on the right path. Please join us for a hands-on workshop with free legal guidance from professionals experienced in intergenerational land transfer and landowner testimonials of estate planning steps and strategies they have used.
Speakers include legal and financial experts experienced in estate planning as well as natural resource professionals who work with landowners to conserve land and plan the future.
The program “Focusing on Forestland Transfer to Generation ‘NEXT’” is being offered in Radford this year from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on August 22 and 29 at the SELU Conservancy. Participants should attend both dates. Dinner will be included along with reading and workshop materials. A registration fee of $70 covers up to two participants from the same family.
To register online, visit http://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu and click the “Online Registration” tab at the top of the page. The deadline to register is August 8. For more information, contact Jennifer Gagnon at 540-231-6391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons with disabilities who desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity may also contact Jennifer during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations, no later than August 8. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.
The workshop receives financial support from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District located at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA is currently accepting applications for assistance with installation of agricultural best management practices that are designed to conserve soil and protect water quality.
July 1, 2017 began our new fiscal year and agriculture producers who are considering signing up for assistance this year are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Since funding is limited, all practices must be signed-up prior to implementation and are subject to prioritized ranking for approval. 2017-2018 Cost-Share applications will be accepted July 17, 2017 through close of business on Friday, August 4, 2017. If cost-share is still available after this first sign-up round, a second sign-up round of cost-share may be offered at a later date. The following is a list of some of the practices available for cost share, however, it is not an exhaustive list.
- Reforestation of Erodible Crop Land & Pasture Land
- Grazing Land Protection (stream exclusion, water fountains, well, pipeline and fencing)
- Harvestable Cover Crop
- Non-Harvestable Cover Crop
- Continuous No-Till
- Animal Waste Control Facility
- Nutrient management Plan Writing
- Split Application of Nitrogen on Corn using Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test
- Late Winter Split Application of Nitrogen on Small Grains
- Riparian Vegetative or Forested Buffers
For more information regarding water quality and erosion control best management practices, please contact Michael Tabor (Conservation Technician) at (540) 483-5341 ext. 122.
June 5, 2017
The Blue Ridge SWCD’s Personnel Committee is scheduled to meet on June 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in the U.S.D.A. Service Center Conference Room.
2017 Youth Conservation Camp-Apply Now!
The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District is offering scholarship(s) to a limited number of qualified applicant(s) within Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke to attend an expense paid, week-long conservation camp at Virginia Tech. Camp dates are Sunday, July 9 through Saturday, July 15, 2017. Soil and Water Conservation officials from the local, state and federal levels and Virginia Tech faculty members work together to conduct the camp.
Applicants must be in grades 9 through 12 of the 2016-2017 academic school year. Twelfth graders who graduate from high school in May, June, July or August 2017 are eligible to attend. Previous youth conservation campers cannot attend. Please contact Kathy Smith, Program Manager/Education Coordinator at email@example.com or at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 for a 2017 Youth Conservation Camp application along with a list of the 2017 “Camp Highlights”. The 2017 Youth Conservation Camp applications are to be received by the Blue Ridge District office no later than by Friday, April 14, 2017 at the close of business at 4:30 p.m.
The scholarship winner(s) will be notified by the district as soon as possible.
Submitted applications will be reviewed and screened by the Blue Ridge SWCD Scholarship Committee. Upon notification, the winner(s) will be required to send $75.00 to the Blue Ridge SWCD. This $75 will be fully refunded upon completion of the camp and a brief report to the directors about their camp adventures. Travel to and from the camp is the responsibility of the student.
All applications and information contained therein shall remain confidential. All programs and services of the Blue Ridge SWCD and the Virginia Association of Soil & Water conservation District’s Educational Foundation, Inc. are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability.
Pictured above, Ciera Mulcahy from the City of Roanoke was the 2015 Youth Conservation Camp scholarship recipient. 2016 Youth Conservation Camp recipients (not pictured) included: Logan Smith and Jacob Hodges both from Franklin County High School and Josh Pritchett from Magna Vista High School.
Benjamin Franklin Middle School’s MWEE “face lift” along Powder Mill Creek is credited to the Pathfinders for Greenways under the direction of Greenways Coordinator Liz Belcher and Mid-Week Crew Director, Bill Gordge. Since August 2016 the Mid-Week Crew has been diligently working to install best management practices designed to reduce erosion and sediment build-up along Powder Mill Creek located next to Benjamin Franklin Middle School. The strategic design includes a switch back reinforced with crusher run and stone, board walk, wooden bridge access, and relocating certain sections of the newly incorporated circular path. Additional necessities of this MWEE project include an outdoor classroom complete with instructor podium and observation tables along the section of creek where the approximately 600 6th graders eagerly test the water quality and enjoy the natural beauty of Powder Mill Creek.
To read more about the Benjamin Franklin Middle School’s MWEE Program click on this link:2016-bfms-creek-week-franklin-news-post-review-oct-7th
High sediment loadings led to violations of the general standard for aquatic life use in Franklin County’s Blackwater River. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) added two segments of the Lower Blackwater River to the 2008 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters. Landowners installed agricultural best management practices (BMPs); these decreased edge-of-field sediment loading and helped improve water quality. Because of this improvement, DEQ removed two segments of the Blackwater River from Virginia’s 2014 list of impaired waters for biological impairment. To read more click on this link 2014-delisted-blackwater
High bacteria loadings led to violations of Virginia’s Water Quality Standard (WQS) for designated recreation (swimming) use in Big Chestnut Creek. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) added the creek to its 2004 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters. From 2007 through 2012, stakeholders installed various agricultural and residential practices in the Big Chestnut Creek watershed that decreased nonpoint source runoff. As a result, Virginia DEQ removed Big Chestnut Creek from its 2014 list of impaired waters based on attainment of the bacteria WQS. To read more click on this link 2014-delisted-bigchestnut