2019 VASWCD Youth Conservation Camp

July 7-13, 2019

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

If you are currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 and are interested in learning more about our natural resources, and studying subjects such as aquatics, soils, forestry, watersheds and water quality, wildlife, and environmental problems, you should consider spending a week this summer at Youth Conservation Camp, July 8th – 14th. You will learn about natural resources through field trips and activities, make new friends with other high school students who share your interest in the environment, and enjoy many recreational activities in the area.

The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for two interested students in Loudoun County (must be residents of the County) who would like to participate. The fee for camp, $550 will cover the students meals, lodging, activities and transportation while at camp. Students are responsible for obtaining their own means of transportation to and from Virginia Tech for the beginning and end of camp, plus personal items. The District is offering two partial scholarships of $400 each.  For highlights and application form. For more information, please contact Charlotte DeMolay, Education Specialist, Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District at charlotte.demolay@lswcd.org or call (571) 918-4530, ext. 109. Applications are due to the District office by Friday, April 26, 2019.

2019 Soil and Water Stewardship Week Poster Contest

Posters are Due May 15, 2019

Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper

Click here for Entry Form

This year’s theme is “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper.” Soil is a dirty topic, but everyone needs to learn more about it! Soil is the
foundation for many of the items we use in our daily life, such as food, clothing, clean water, homes and more. Healthy soil equals
healthy food, which equals a healthy you. Don’t treat your soil like dirt!
Designing a poster and researching the theme can give you a voice in your community on important conservation issues!
Posters capture people’s attention and tell important stories in a language that everyone can understand. They
inspire, increase awareness, and encourage us to work together to protect our natural resources.
The Poster Contest is open to all Loudoun County public, private and homeschooled students in grades K—12.

CONTEST RULES

  • Any media may be used, including paint, crayon, colored pencil, charcoal, stickers, paper, or other materials.
  • Posters must be hand drawn but can be any size. Originals can digital entries (photographs or scanned copies of the
    hand drawn posters in a JPEG format) can be submitted.
  • All posters must be created by an individual student, rather than a team of students.
  • The 2019 theme “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper” must be included on the front side of each poster.
  • Each entry must be submitted with an entry form to be eligible for judging. The form must be completed and
    signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Although younger students will most likely receive help in planning from parents or teachers, NACD encourages
    each student to do their own work. (Note: Entries with student handwriting and coloring will score better than
    those designed, drawn, and colored by adult assistance.)
  • Only local contest sponsor (Loudoun SWCD) can submit entries to the state and only the state sponsor (VASWCD)
    can submit for the national contest.

POSTER EVALUATION

  • Conservation message (50 percent) (Poster uses correct theme)
  • Visual effectiveness (30 percent)
  • Originality (10 percent)
  • Universal appeal (10 percent)

PRIZES

Local awards and recognition will be given. Local winners in each category will be sent to the Virginia Association of Soil
and Water Conservation Districts. State winners will be eligible for NACD’s National Poster Contest and prizes.
All poster entries should be sent to Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District.

Posters are Due May 15, 2019

Click here for Entry Form

2019 VASWCD Educational Foundation Scholarship is Open

VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

College Scholarship

DEADLINE: March 1, 2019

Click here for application

Purpose: To promote the education of Virginia citizens in technical fields with natural resource conservation and environmental protection.

To give financial support to students majoring in or showing a strong desire to major in a course curriculum related to natural resource conservation and/or environmental studies.

Qualifications: Individual applicants must be full-time students enrolled in or who have applied to a college freshman level curriculum.  Applicants shall document a class ranking in the top 20% of his or her graduating class or a 3.0 or greater Grade Point Average or appropriate equivalent of individual scholastic achievement.  The applicant’s most recent official school transcript must accompany the application. A copy of a school transcript will not be accepted.  Applicants shall demonstrate active interest in conservation.

Students must reside or attend school within Loudoun County. Only 1 applicant can be submitted to the state. The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District Board will vote on the most qualified Loudoun applicant to submit.

Amount Awarded: Four $1,000 scholarships will be given to statewide winners. Two scholarships are awarded on behalf of the VASWCD Education Foundation and two scholarships are awarded on behalf of the Virginia Chapter of the Soil & Water Conservation Society. A check will be issued directly to the selected institution of higher education on behalf of the student.

2018-19 Mini-Grant Program is Accepting Applications

The Loudoun Soil & Water Conservation District is offering a limited number of mini-grants of up to $500 to Loudoun County teachers. The Mini-Grants are intended for projects that integrate soil & water conservation into any curriculum.

Criteria for Mini-Grant:

  • Addresses soil and water conservation and environmental education objectives.
  • Increases awareness about natural resources.
  • Presents a specific, feasible plan of action to accomplish well defined, short term and long term results.
  • Develops new or expands use of existing educational resources.
  • Offers the potential to serve as a model for use in other schools or classrooms.

 

Funding Guidelines/Timeline:

The LSWCD Board of Directors will review mini-grant proposals and award funding to successful candidates.

Notification of grant awards will be made as soon as possible.

Grant recipients must complete the proposed project within the timeline stated in their grant proposal and recipients must submit a mid-year report by
April 30, 2019, and a final report outlining their project achievements by June 28, 2019.

Procedure to Apply:

Complete the Loudoun SWCD Mini-Grant Program application form. For program information and the application please click here.

ALL PROPOSALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY:
5:00 PM, FRIDAY, November 30, 2018

Send the completed application form to: Loudoun SWCD, Attn: Charlotte DeMolay, Education Specialist, 30 Catoctin Circle, SE., Suite H; Leesburg, VA 20175 or email: charlotte.demolay@lswcd.org.  Proposals can also be sent through the county inter-office mail system to: Loudoun SWCD, MSC#95.

 

Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP)

Project Funding Now Available to Homeowners!

Through the statewide Virginia Conservation Assistance Program, the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District provides financial incentives to Loudoun County homeowners and business owners to create more watershed-friendly landscapes.  Eligible practices include: conservation landscaping, rain gardens, impervious surface removal, porous pavement/pavers, cisterns, dry well, vegetated swales, bioretention, and infiltration trenches.  For more details about the program, visit the VASWCD website.

Applications for Stream Buffer Planting Project Now Being Accepted

The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Loudoun County government, is accepting applications for a unique Riparian Buffer Planting project through March 15, 2018.

Private residential, industrial, commercial, and Home Owner Association (HOA) landowners in Loudoun are all eligible to apply for funds to plant buffers along perennial (year-round) streams and water bodies. An effective technique for improving water quality, this program reimburses landowners up to $7,000 per acre for planting materials and labor costs.

For more information:  see our project fact sheet, application form, and plant list or contact Urban/Ag Conservationist, Chris Van Vlack at (571) 918-4530, ext. 107 or chris.vanvlack@lswcd.org.

Septic Tank Pump-Out Rebates Available

Governor McAuliffe has proclaimed September 18-22 to be SepticSmart Week throughout Virginia. https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/2017-septicsmart-week/. Proper septic system use and routine care are vital to protecting public health, preserving our groundwater, lakes, streams and waterways, and avoiding costly repairs that can result from neglect.

The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District thought this would be an appropriate time to announce our pilot “Septic Tank Pump-Out Rebate Program”. The program will provide a $50 rebate to Loudoun landowners towards the pump-out of their septic system. A limited number of rebates are available. The landowner must have an approved application form from the District, and the pump-out must be reported to Loudoun County Health Department by an approved hauler, before the rebate can be issued.  Septic pump-outs prior to September 21, 2017 are not eligible.

The funds used to start this pilot project come from the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program, or “VCAP”. VCAP is a program of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts which allows non-agricultural landowners the chance to receive cost share funds to install conservation practices.

For decades, Loudoun farmers have been able to take advantage of the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost Share Program to help protect soil and water resources, and now with VCAP, suburban, urban, and other residential and business property owners are able to install practices such as rainwater harvesting, conservation landscaping, and a host of other initiatives.
Through fiscal year 2017, ten VCAP practices have been signed up which have included meadow plantings, tree plantings, rainwater harvesting systems, and a vegetated stormwater swale. The project sites have included homeowners’ lawns, as well as HOA open space parcels, and a school property.

Districts that participate in VCAP, earn $500 in technical assistance money per VCAP practice completed. The funds can be used at the District’s discretion. The Loudoun SWCD Board felt strongly about using these funds to put more money for conservation into the community. At a recent District Board meeting, the Board voted to use these funds to assist in the launch of a local septic tank pump-out project. Loudoun SWCD is appreciative of being able to make those VCAP dollars go even further for conservation on the ground in Loudoun County.

LSWCD is here to help with your Conservation Farm Plan

If you are looking to build a barn, enter into open space or agricultural land use taxation, or just want to get some ideas managing your farm, LSWCD has a new revised Conservation Farm Plan which is now more tailored to specific different types of farming operations in Loudoun.  Farm plans are required by Loudoun County for the building of barns, entering the Land-Use Tax Program,  as well as for grazing livestock on parcels under five acres.  Small acreage grazing plans are developed by the District and Loudoun Cooperative Extension to help landowners manage livestock on small properties.  Contact LSWCD at (571) 918-4530 to schedule an appointment to create a farm plan for your operation.