Over 35 years ago, The NEED Project began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. In the same year, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation stressing the need for comprehensive energy education in our schools, a reduction of our dependence of fossil fuels, and increasing use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. Since its founding, NEED has kept its Kids Teaching Kids philosophy as a fundamental principle of NEED programming – encouraging students to explore, experiment, and engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students. NEED is expanding and evolving to best meet the needs of teachers and students – in the classroom and beyond… NEED students are the future of the energy workforce. Students interested in engineering, science, economics, environmental sciences, law, geology and a host of other disciplines have a role in the energy industry. We work hard to help teachers meet the requirements of state standards, Common Core, and the Next Generation Science Standards. As states adopt their new standards, NEED will continue working to provide state alignments to our entire curriculum portfolio. To learn more about NEED visit https://need.org.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District will be accepting bids through Monday, April 1, 2019 until 4:30 pm for herbicide and seed application on seven earthen watershed dams starting in 2019. The dams are located in Henry County (6 dams) and in Franklin County, VA (1 dam). Each dam shall have the sod portion treated with herbicide in the spring and late-summer and over-seeded in late summer. Insurance certification (liability and workers compensation) will be required as well as a category 5 and 6 pesticide license. Prior to beginning work, the contractor shall provide all certificates pertaining to proper Virginia Pesticide Applicator Licensure under Authority of the Virginia Pesticide Control Act pursuant to § 3.2-3930 Code of Virginia. A pre-bid meeting and dam tour is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Contract period is for one year, contingent upon approval by the Blue Ridge SWCD Board of Directors. Contact Michael L. Tabor, Sr. Conservation Specialist at (540) 483-5341 ext. 122 or Kathy Smith at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 to obtain copies of the bid documents. The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District is located at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District reserves the right to accept or reject, in whole or in part, any and all Bids or to waive any informalities in the bidding. Click on the icons below to download the spraying/seeding package and corresponding maps.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District will be accepting bids through Monday, April 1, 2019 until close of business (4:30 pm) for semi-annual bush-hogging/mowing. A total of ten watershed (all but one are earthen dams) are in need of bush-hogging (eight located in Henry County and two located in Franklin County, VA). Area of bush-hogging/mowing and removal of small woody vegetation shall include all of the earth fill portion of the dam, 25’ from the earth fill portion of the dam, and the bottom and side slopes of the earthen spillway. Each watershed earthen dam shall be bush-hogged/mowed once on or before June 15, 2020 (spring mowing) and September 30, 2020 (fall mowing) for each of the years of the contract and unless approval is extended in writing by the Blue Ridge SWCD Board of Directors. A nominal 3.5” to 4.” (inches) specified grass height is required. Woody vegetation less than 2” (inches) in diameter measure from 1.0’ (foot) from the ground shall be removed to less than 1” (inch) from ground. Insurance certification (liability and workers compensation) must be presented at the time of submission of the bid to be considered for this bid. A pre-bid inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, 2019. For more information, contact Michael L. Tabor, Senior Conservationist at (540) 483-5341 ext. 122 or Kathy Smith at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117. The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District is located at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District has the right to refuse any or all bids. Note: This is a correction to an earlier press release.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District Budget/Finance Committee will meet in the Conference Room of the USDA Service Center, 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, Virginia on Monday, January 28, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. The Nominating Committee will meet following the Budget Committee meeting at 4:45 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.
Envirothon is a hand-on environmental problem-solving competition for high school students. Teams are tested in five areas. #1 Environmental Issues: Students are tested on a current environmental issue with an in-field test and oral presentation. Students present their solutions , to be judged, to a panel of professionals. #2 Aquatics: Students work along marine and freshwater biologists to assess the quality of delicate aquatic ecosystems. Students learn to identify aquatic organisms, manage watershed and determine non-point source pollution. #3 Soils: Professional soil scientists help sutdetns learn about soil structure, interpret maps, evaluate land forms, and understand soil characteristics that affect both agriculture and urban development.
How to form a team:
Teams consist of at least 5 members and must be in grades 9-12. FFA, 4-H, home school and scout groups are also eligible. Coaches may be a teacher, coach, or enthusiastic adult willing to help.
Win Scholarships & Prizes
Winners compete at local, regional, and state competitions. First place state winners go on to the national level to compete for scholarship money and prizes.
Why Should You Participate?
Learn about important environmental issues*Gain hands-on experience in solving real-world problems*Great for college and job applications*Spend time with teammates and friends*Possibly travel across the country to the North American Envirothon for a chance to win scholarships and prizes!
For More Information
on forming an Envirothon Team within the Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and City of Roanoke areas contact Kathy Smith at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 * Ksmith@brswcd.org or Bonnie Mahl at Bonnie.email@example.com (804) 559-0324 at the VASWCD office. Click below to download the upcoming 2019 Area V Envirothon Workshop and this year’s Envirothon Oral Presentation Question:
The Blue Ridge SWCD is offering high school seniors and college freshmen (attending school in the areas of Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke) who are planning a career in natural resource conservation or a related field the opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 Leo Painter College Scholarship. The award winning application of this scholarship (Leo Painter Scholarship) will be submitted to the 2019 VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Awards Program for an opportunity to be awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship out of the a total of four $1,000 scholarships available state wide (through the VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc.). To apply for this college scholarship opportunity, promoting the education of Virginia citizens in technical fields with natural resource conservation and environmental protection or related field, contact Kathy B. Smith (Program Manager/Education Coordinator) at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 or at KSmith@brswcd.org for a copy of the 2019 Scholarship-Guidelines-Application form. Each qualified student is asked to complete VASWCD Educational Foundation 2019 Scholarship application (http://vaswcd.org/student-scholarships) and submit it to the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 no later than Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. (close of business). Submitted applications will be reviewed and screened by the Blue Ridge SWCD Scholarship Committee. All applications and information contained therein shall remain confidential. Nominations from the Committee will be submitted to the VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors for final approval. 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. All submitted paperwork is confidential and becomes the property of the VASWCDEF Inc. Download the 2019 Scholarship application below:
Streamside Trees in the Classroom (STIC) is an environmental education program that allows students to learn about water quality and the importance of streamside vegetation. The program was created in 2012 as a partnership between Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at Philpott Lake. The program serves Martinsville City, Franklin county, Henry County (Magna Vista High School), and Patrick County Public Schools, specifically targeting 4th grade students. This aligns with the Every Kid in a Park Initiative that USACE also works with.
The program has been funded through grants, but most recently supported through donations. The Army Corps of Engineers covers the cost of the trees. Therefore, no cost to the schools aside from mileage/bus costs to get to the planting location.
In the STIC program students root native Black Willow cuttings in the classroom for about three to four weeks and then take a field trip to Philpott Lake, or an approved location, and plant the trees along a creek or area that is in need of streamside restoration. Trees along streams help keep water clean by buffering out pollution like chemicals and litter, and help keep the streams at cooler temperatures during the summer. The trees also provide habitat for wildlife seeking food or water, and shelter.
The trees are delivered to the classrooms late August or early September and are typically planted in the fall on specific “Planting Days”. When the trees are delivered to the schools, USACE or DRBA typically provides a 20-30 minute presentation for the students. And, we usually have five Planting Days for the program – one for Patrick County schools, one for Martinsville City schools, and three for Franklin County schools.
Any materials needed for the program such as cost of trees, jars, and tubs to hold the trees will be covered through donations. Jars and tubs are used to transport the trees to the designated Planting Day locations and then returned to USACE to be used for the following school year.
Planting Days usually last from 9:45 am – 1:30 pm, but some schools may need to leave early in the afternoon to return to school for dismissal. We usually have partner organization that are natural resource focused like Reynolds Homestead, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency take part in providing activities and/or educational booths for the students during their Planting Days. During October 2018 Planting Days, 500 students participated by planting approximately 200 trees.
Reynolds Homestead – https://photos.app.goo.gl/VHs82gNhrLRXRCno9
Booker T Washington – https://photos.app.goo.gl/PtjvRsnAU49yA9Lu6
Martinsville Dick & Willie – https://photos.app.goo.gl/CJmGg4qm4r2Wsrdw7
Salthouse Branch – https://photos.app.goo.gl/2esV2u5yXRxmERF16
On behalf of the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts Marketing Committee and the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District we would like to Congratulate Sarah Baumgardner on her photo “Springtime Snow Dance”as being chosen as Honorable Mentioned in the 2018 VASWCD photo contest. Over 180 photos were submitted for the 2018 contest. “Springtime Snow Dance” was photographed by Sarah Baumgardner within the Mountain Castle SWCD area.
At 8:00 AM Wednesday September 26, voting will begin on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Virginia-Association-of-Soil-Water-Conservation-Districts-VASWCD-184156224952486/, to choose the People’s Choice award. “Springtime Snow Dance” along with 9 others is in the running for this award so please ask all your friends and family to like our page and vote for your favorite photo!
We encourage you to submit your 2019 winning photo to the National Association of Conservation Districts Photo Contest. 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 Dec. 1st, 2018.
The annual Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual NACD Stewardship theme.
Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our online SWCD Directory or contact the VASWCD. District winners advance to the state level. Local SWCDs should forward their local winning poster entries to the VASWCD office for consideration at the state level. Blue Ridge SWCD (serving Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke) will need to submit these poster winners to the VASWCD for consideration by October 19, 2019. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.
The deadline to submit your 2019 NACD/VASWCD post contest entry to the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District (1297 State Street*Rocky Mount*VA*24151 – (540) 483-5341 ext. 117) no later than Monday, September 9, 2019 at the close of business (4:30 pm)
Any Girl Scout or Boy Scout who creates a poster and submits it to their local SWCD for judging can earn the VASWCD Poster Contest Patch. When submitting a poster to earn the Poster Contest Patch, be sure to check the box on the entry form. For more information about the VASWCD Poster Contest Patch check out our click on the patch or check out our Scout Patch Program
2019 Contest Theme
Life In The Soil: Dig Deeper
Poster Categories by Grade:
The contest is open to public, private or home school students, girl scout/boy scout troops, etc.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT (official rules, recommended tips for a successful poster, etc. go to http://vaswcd.org/poster-contest
Water is a natural resource that we all need every day. Less than 1% of the water on Earth is fresh useable water for our daily needs. So, it is important that each of us does our part to keep it clean. Join members of your community when there is a roadside, stream or river clean- up day. Each citizen can take responsibility for keeping our water bodies and our roadways clean. We would have zero litter if people would take the extra step of disposing of trash properly. Take a look at a parking lot in your community; do you see oil and litter? Where do you think it will go when it rains? It could be a nearby river or stream. Help educate your community to stop littering and to properly maintain their automobiles. This is just one of the many easy steps you can take to protect the James, Roanoke, Blackwater, Pigg River and Smith River watersheds in Roanoke, Franklin and Henry counties and City of Roanoke. For more tips, visit Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation at: www.dcr.virginia.gov.
America’s network of 3,000 conservation districts across the country are working on the ground every day with local farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect our water, soil and air for future generations. Conservation districts have been involved in delivering locally-driven conservation across America for more than 70 years.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District has worked on several local projects such as conservation planning for the installation of Grazing Land Management Systems, Long term Vegetative Cover on Cropland, Extension of CREP Watering Systems, Permanent Vegetative Cover on Critical Areas, Continuous High Residue No-Till, Sediment Retention, Havestable and Non-harvestable Cover Crops, Winter Feeding Facilities, Erosion or Water Control Structures, Sod Waterways, Animal Waste Control Facility, Dairy Loafing Lot Management System, Grass Filter Strips, Residential Septic Repair and Replacements for Smith River and Blackberry Creek watersheds, Rain Water Harvesting and Tumbler-Style Compost Workshops, Environmental Education Outreach, Meaningful Watershed Environmental Education, etc. The Department of Conservation & Recreation and the Virginia Soil & Water Board were responsible for providing funding for the Blue Ridge SWCD to implement these best management practices.
2019 marks the 64th year of the National Association of Conservation Districts Stewardship Week. Help us celebrate National Soil and Water Stewardship Week— Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home — April 28 through May 5, 2019.
Contact Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District or visit www.nacdnet.org for more information. Brought to you by Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District 1297 State Street Rocky Mount, VA 24151 – (540) 483-5341 ext. 117.
For more information about this year’s Stewardship Week theme – Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home – go to NACD’s website: http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-and-education-materials/2018-watersheds-water-home/.
Click on the links to access NACD 2018 “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home” resources: 2018 watershed_poster_2018 2018 Watershed_poster_30x24_HR (2) 2018 Watershed_placemat_13x9_dft1_lr (2) 2018 Watershed Bookmark-NACD 2018_Educators_Guide (2) 2018 Watershed_K-1Booklet_pgs_dft4_lr (2)