The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District Board is scheduled to meet briefly on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 12:45 p.m. at the Horse Pasture Volunteer Fire Department, 18287 A. L. Philpott Hwy, Ridgeway, VA. Social distancing is recommended.
Do you need help planning your classroom activities? Check out the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District’s SOL Based Environmental Education flyer by cutting and pasting the following link: https://brswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/EE-Activity-Flyer-Spring-2022-3-2.pdf
What is it and how does it work?
What is Youth Conservation Leadership Institute and how does it work?
Youth Conservation Leadership Institute (YCLI) is a recognition program for students in 9th- 12th grade that focuses on volunteer service and environmental stewardship. 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 in 9th-12th grade may apply. Program participants are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service with a conservation focus. The hours may be done as part of a single project or a series of projects but all projects must be approved by the YCLI Program Coordinator. YCLI participants work with the YCLI Program Coordinator to come up with a project that the YCLI Participant wants to focus on. The YCLI Participants are paired with a mentor to help them with their project. Mentors can be Soil & Water Conservation Staff, Natural Resource Professional, 4-H Agent, etc.
There will be a zoom meeting at the beginning of the program to allow all participants a chance to meet and brainstorm for their projects.
The program will conclude with an awards and recognition ceremony to be held in Spring of 2022. The recognition program agenda will include time for participants to speak about their work and hear from key speakers in the conservation field.
YCLI is a unique opportunity for 9th-12th graders to receive experience and engage in networking opportunities to prepare them for future education and career paths.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Students in 9th-12th grade with a strong interest in natural resources conservation and related fields are encouraged to apply. YCLI is open to homeschool, private and public school students. Click here for the the 2021-2022 YCLI application. Deadline to apply is Friday Oct. 1st, 2021. Please contact Bonnie.email@example.com if you or your student has interest and would like to discuss.
Past YCLI Projects Include:
- Building birdhouses for Warblers
- Teaching elementary students about watersheds
- Developing and Installing Trail Signage
- Litter Clean Ups
- Clothing Drive
- Education Outreach about being an Intern with the Elizabeth River Project
- Conservation Education Outreach to Elementary Students
- Stormwater Education Outreach
- Pollinator Gardens
- Soil Compaction Education & Outreach to Homeowners
What past participants have said about YCLI:
- “My favorite part was teaching others and sharing my message.”- 2019-2020 YCLI Participant
- “Being able to help my community while having support.”-2019-2020 YCLI Participant
- “My favorite part was feeling like I was helping my community.”- 2019-2020 YCLI Participant
- “Being able to present about my project to my peers from across the state and compare similarities and differences.”-2017-2018 YCLI Participant
- “I liked being able to come up with my own project about something that was important to me, as well as the sense of accomplishment at the end.”-2017-2018 YCLI Participant
- “My favorite part of the program was implementing the project I helped plan and organize. I loved being able to see my ideas become a reality and I loved seeing how my project beneficially impacted students and adults in my community.”- 2016-2017 YCLI Participant
- “Getting to make a change in the community for the better.”-2017-2018 YCLI Participant
- “This is one of the only programs in our area that allows students a one-on-one experience with people working in conservation.”- 2016-2017 YCLI Participant
- “My favorite part of the program was meeting a mentor from the SWCD. This gave me insight into the filed of conservation and a way to stay involved. ” – 2016-2017 YCLI Participant
How does your garden grow? Learn how to develop compost that can be used as a soil amendment or as an amendment to grow plants by constructing your own tumbler-style composter. Please bring your own power drill, drill bits (1/4″, 1/2″ and a small drill bit to pre-drill holes for the wood screws) and a Phillips head drill bit for wood screws. Please have the proper transportation to take your completed composter(s) home as one measures 3.5′ deep x 31″ wide x 4.6′ high. It is recommended to bring a friend to assist you with your construction.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District will be conducting Tumbler-style Compost Workshop on the following dates at the Essig Center on Technology Drive, Rocky Mount, VA from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm:
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Thursday, August 18, 2022
For additional information, register on line (one week prior to the scheduled class) at https://www.playfranklincounty.com
Cost: $100/Tumbler- Style Composter
When: Thursday, July 1 – Friday, September 3, 2021
APPOINTMENT ONLY to schedule an appointment contact:
Michael Tabor, Sr. Conservation Specialist, (540) 352-3323 or
Allen Jackson, Conservation Technician, (540) 352-3329
NEW Planting Dates: Cover Crop planting dates extended by two weeks – Details provided during signup appointment.
NEW Participant Cap: Raised to $150,000 per participant for FY22.
SIGN-UP PERIOD: Sign-up for BMP Cost Share or VA Tax Credits
SIGN-UP PERIOD: Sign-up for BMP Cost Share or VA Tax Credits prior to September 3rd for the first round of ranking. Many programs offered.
REMINDER: Current Nutrient Management Plan is required for all cover crop participants in the VACS (Virginia Cost Share) programs or to receive specified VA State Tax Credits. Sign-up for cost share by September 3rd.
VA State Tax Credits: VA State Tax Credits available. Details provided
during signup appointment. Increased credits for FY22.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District sets priorities and objectives that are defined in a strategic plan. An annual plan of work is completed by forming committees such as Budget, Soil Stewardship, Youth, Annual Report, Conservation Awards, Annual Tour, Newsletter, Scholarship, Personnel, and other committees as needed. The Board of Directors encourages land users to adopt Best Management Practices such as conservation tillage in their farm plans. This District works from a budget to effectively manage funds, facilities and equipment. The Blue Ridge SWCD supports the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the National Association of Conservation Districts. The directors attend area, state, and national meetings. The Commonwealth of Virginia supports the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District through financial and administrative assistance provided by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Funding for the programs outlined in this report comes from a variety of sources, namely: DCR, local county governments, corporate sponsorship and donations. Other funding comes from a variety of sources, mainly federal and state grants. All programs and services of the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or handicap.
If you would like to harvest rain water for your garden and landscaping needs then this is an opportunity for you to construct our very own rain barrel. This old idea is making a big splash! Please have the proper transportation to take the barrel(s) home as they are approximately 53 gallons measuring 42″ in height and 24″ in diameter.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District will be conducting Rain Barrel Workshops on the following dates at the Essig Center on Technology Drive Rocky Mount, VA from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm:
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Thursday, August 4, 2022
For additional information, register on line (one week prior to the scheduled class) at https://www.playfranklincounty.com
Cost: $60/Rain Barrel
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection . First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. Here are a list of resources you can visit to give you some ideas to share and celebrate Earth Day:
- March 24, 2022: Area V Envirothon Training
- March 28, 2022: Blue Ridge SWCD Monthly Board Meeting (refer to home page for location and time)
- April, May, June, July & August 2022: Rain Barrel Workshop- Registration through https://www.playfranklincounty.com
- April, May, June, July & August 2022: Tumbler-style Compost Workshop – Registration through https://www.playfranklincounty.com
The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District Board will meet on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. at Ippy’s Restaurant, (next to the Rocky Mount Service Center) North Main Street, Rocky Mount, Va.
VDOF & VCE MAKE LAND LEGACY PLANNING MORE ACCESSIBLE
The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) encourage landowners to make plans for passing on their land to the next generation – right now. The Generation NEXT program is a collaboration between VDOF and VCE that helps Virginia landowners keep forests intact, in forest, and in family.
Generation NEXT is hosting two low-cost virtual legacy planning series this year – in April and September – to help landowners take the first steps and clarify some of the misconceptions about the legacy planning process that might prevent people from getting started.
Many landowners are overwhelmed by the legacy planning process and assume that it primarily involves complicated work with attorneys and accountants. This assumption might cause landowners to delay thinking about what they want to happen to their land when they’re no longer around to manage it. The Generation NEXT program demonstrates how estate planning (working with lawyers and accountants) is just one part of the legacy planning process.
“One of the most important steps in legacy planning includes conversations between you and the people who will steward your land after you’re gone. Do they understand your stewardship goals for the property? Do they feel a connection to the land? Are there key pieces of information you need to share about the property? Having these conversations is critical,” says Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent.
If a landowner passes away without clearly established plans for their estate (including their land), things can quickly become complicated for the surviving family members. The Generation NEXT program provides families with resources and tools that make the process more manageable and accessible.
With the Generation NEXT workshops, families pay a single fee to participate, even if they are geographically separated. The workshops serve as designated opportunities for family members to ask difficult questions, receive useful information, and get on the same page about plans for the future. Typically, these sessions are in-person, so dispersed families are taking advantage of the virtual offerings.
As a companion to the workshop series, the Generation NEXT team created a publication, Legacy Planning: A Guide for Virginia Landowners that provides an overview of the nine major steps involved in developing a robust land legacy plan. It includes case studies from landowners throughout Virginia and guides landowners to tools and resources. The free publication is available online or in-print (by request). https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/CNRE/cnre-121/CNRE-121.pdf
Landowners should approach legacy planning as an on-going process. “Much like a forest changes over time, your legacy plans will evolve. As priorities change or family dynamics shift, so should plans for your land,” says Andrew Fotinos, Conservation Specialist with VDOF. “Having the Legacy Planning publication on-hand will help landowners as they periodically revisit the nine steps over time.”
With spring and summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to engage with Step Eight: “Provide opportunities for your family to learn about and enjoy your woodlands.” Explore your property with future generations to instill in them the importance of good land stewardship.
Spring dates for the Generation NEXT workshops are April 7, 8, 14 & 15. Those interested in attending the spring workshop should register by March 31 to guarantee their spot and receive a print copy of the Legacy Planning publication before courses begin. Fall workshops will take place on September 8, 9, 15 & 16. Families or individuals can register for either the spring or fall dates, or they may elect to attend both series for a comprehensive experience. Content may overlap in the two series, but they are not identical.
Registration can be completed online: https://ext.vt.edu/natural-resources/legacy-planning/training.html
About the Virginia Department of Forestry
The Virginia Department of Forestry protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians. With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 108,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries, Virginia forests provide an overall economic output of more than $21 Billion annually.
Headquartered in Charlottesville, the Agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide citizen service and public safety protection across the Commonwealth, which it’s been doing now for more than 100 years. VDOF is an equal opportunity provider.
About the Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. We are a dynamic organization that stimulates positive personal and societal change, leading to more productive lives, families, farms, and forests as well as a better environment.
Understanding that knowledge is power, we place that power in the hands of Virginians and help them learn how to use it to improve the quality of their lives. Our Extension agents and specialists form a network of educators whose classrooms are the communities, homes, and businesses of Virginia, where they bring research-based solutions to the problems facing Virginians today. Extension programs are delivered through a network of faculty at two universities, 108 county and city offices, 11 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers.
VCE and VDOF programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
2022 VASWCD Photo Contest Submission is OPEN!
The VASWCD is committed to conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs and we want to see it through your eyes. the theme this year is “Conservation through the local lens”. Capture those vibrant moments and express what conservation looks like through your lens! The contest is open from February 1 – July 30, 2022. To learn more about the contest please click here Rules & Judging. You can submit up to 10 photos and to do so you click on the submit your photos button below. All photographs must be taken within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Photographs taken outside the state of Virginia will be disqualified.
2020 VASWCD Photo Contest Winners
Congratulations to Bob Diller for his 2020 photo named “Behold!” taken in the Tidewater Shore Soil & Water Conservation District that was chosen as overall winner for the 2020 Photo Contest.
The Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) Photo Contest is open only to legal residents of the United States. Panel Judges (of the VASWCD Photo Contest), as well as immediate family (spouse partners, siblings, and children) and household members of those judges, are not eligible to enter.
The VASWCD Photo Contest begins February 1, 2022 and ends on July 30, 2022. Entries submitted before or after the entry period will not be eligible. Winners will be announced September 2022.
What to Enter
The VASWCD is committed to conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2022 Photo Contest, we’d like you to take photos that showcase” Conservation Through the Local Lens”. Capture those vibrant moments and express what conservation looks like to you!
All photographs must be taken within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Photographs taken outside the state of Virginia will be disqualified.
Entries should include the following information.
- Age (as of July 30, 2022)
- Photo Title
- City or County where photo was taken
- Caption that describes photo and answers “Conservation Through the Local Lens” (Limit to one paragraph)
By submitting your entry, you
(parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor in his/her state of residence)
agree that the photograph(s) conforms to the guidelines and content restrictions.
By entering, entrants (parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor in his/her state of residence) represent and warrant that the photograph(s) that they submit: are their own original creations; do not infringe any other person’s or entity’s rights; including trespassing on private land.
Entries must be submitted by the original creator. Photograph(s) created by someone other than you but submitted by you will be disqualified. You must be the sole owner of the copyright of any photograph(s) submitted. Incomplete entries will not be accepted and will be automatically rejected.
To ensure eligibility for the contest, please submit files at least 3 MB at the time of entry. Higher resolution files of at least 300 dpi/ppi will be requested should an entry be preselected to be awarded a prize or an honorable mention. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (red eye removal, removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified, which is left to the Panel’s discretion.
Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .JPEG .jpg, or.png form. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single “High Dynamic Range” image are acceptable.
Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see “Your Rights” below). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to VASWCD upon request.
If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to VASWCD upon request.
The following submissions are ineligible:
- Images of captive animals photographed in zoos and commercial game farms.
- Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright.
- Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent, or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
- Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, or damage to the environment by the photographer or photo subjects.
- Images that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.
- Images taken more than three years prior to the beginning date of the Contest (February 1, 2022).
The VASWCD shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.
How to Enter
You may enter up to ten (10) images during the entry period, however only one winning photo per person. The VASWCD reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and VASWCD’s decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.
Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as with a paragraph about their photo or the highest resolution version of their photo).
Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to conservation, except that the People’s Choice award will be determined based on which of the honorable mentions receives the most votes. Judging will be conducted by a panel of VASWCD and or SWCD employees/officials (the “Panel”). The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and pick winners in the following categories:
- Overall Winner (1 winner): Illustrates how people interact with their environment and care for the natural resources around them.
- People’s Choice (1 winner): Overall winner selected from among the 10 honorable mentions based on the highest number of votes received during public voting to be held on the VASWCD Facebook page in August 2020.
- Young Photographer (1 winner): Best vibrant moment of conservation, taken by a photographer under 18 years of age.
The honorable mentions will be notified and will appear on the VASWCD website. At that time, the public can vote for one People’s Choice winner from the honorable mentions. All potential winners will be revealed online by September 30, 2022.
All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging. The VASWCD will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry.
No alteration or manipulation of photographs is permitted except for standard optimization (red eye removal, removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.). However, photographic techniques such as HDR, light-painting and long exposures are allowed. Photographs with watermarks, writing or symbols of any kind will be rejected.
Photograph(s) depicting anything that does not adhere to the rules of the VASWCD Photo Contest, contain unsafe acts, present resource or public use management concerns or photographs that are inappropriate, indecent or obscene, as determined by VASWCD in their sole discretion, shall be disqualified.
Potential Winner Requirements
Except where prohibited, a potential winner may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including proof of age, and liability/publicity release within 14 days. If a potential winner is a minor, his/her parent or legal guardian will be required to sign the documents on his/her behalf. If a potential winner fails to return these documents on time, an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.
Prizes will be determined by the VASWCD. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. A winner may not request cash or a substitute prize.
You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit — including joint ownership with the VASWCD and participating districts.
If you submit a photograph to enter the Photo Contest, you grant the VASWCD a royalty-free, nonexclusive right during the Photo Contest and in perpetuity to:
- Display the photograph on the Photo Contest submission website
- Allow third-parties to share the photograph on the following social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and district websites.
- Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of our mission.
- Use the photograph in the VASWCD’s internal and external communications materials including but not limited to web sites and web publications, fact sheets, fund raising publications, advertising, multimedia, presentation, annual report and VASWCD District Directory.
- Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for VASWCD- related use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, videos, and the like.
- Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, and state of residence in promotions and other publications.
o Retain a digital copy of your photograph that will be archived in the VASWCD photo library and accessible to VASWCD & SWCD staff. The VASWCD will endeavor to credit all photographs with the caption “Person’s Name” when the full name is available.
By entering, entrants (parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor in his/her state of residence) grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual license to the VASWCD to edit, adapt, make derivative works from, broadcast, publish and otherwise use any or all of the descriptions and/or photograph(s) submitted, and may use them for advertising, promotional and/or any other purpose in any and all media now or hereafter devised worldwide in perpetuity without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. By entering this Contest, entrants (parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor in his/her state of residence) agree to have their submitted photograph(s) used and displayed, either singularly or in combination with others and in any size, on the official VASWCD website and social media platforms and on the websites, social media, and print materials of the VASWCD as well as their SWCDs without any fee or other form of compensation due at any time for so long as desired by the VASWCD. Credits, descriptions or titles, if any, used with the photograph(s) are in the VASWCD’s sole discretion. In the event that ownership of any photograph(s) submitted is challenged in any manner by any person, the VASWCD may disqualify that photograph(s) and will discontinue use of the photograph(s).
In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, VASWCD may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment.
VASWCD reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. VASWCD’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to VASWCD by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by VASWCD. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.
Release and Limitations of Liability
By entering, you (parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor in his/her state of residence) agree to release and hold harmless VASWCD, Facebook, their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and SWCD agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Photo Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property. You waive the right to claim any attorney’s fees and any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
Privacy and Publicity
You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the VASWCD in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Virginia.
Please contact the VASWCD.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District has cost share available to install Agricultural and Forestry best management practices and is prioritizing lands impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). these may include grazing management, tree plantings, agricultural waste management and more. If interested, please contact the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District at (540) 352-3312 to find out more and determine eligibility.