WASHINGTON – The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Second Vice President Kim LaFleur announced the 2021 recipients of the Friends of NACD District Grants program during NACD’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on February 9th.
The Friends of NACD program was established in 2009 to support the nation’s nearly 3,000 conservation districts through cash donations to NACD.
Now in its second round of funding, the Friends of NACD District Grants program is an initiative of the NACD District Operations and Member Services (DOMS) Committee that enables a portion of funds raised through individual donations in support of locally-led conservation to be awarded to four conservation district projects of up to $2,500 each.
“Last year, in our inaugural district grants program, we were able to help support conservation districts from across the country,” LaFleur said. “We’re excited to offer a second round of funding, knowing that our conservation districts thrive on this partnership.”
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District in Florida will begin a farming mentorship program to support new farmers by providing tours of diverse farm operations and onsite workshops about sustainable practices, including water conservation, composting and permaculture.
The Catoosa County Conservation District in Georgia will host a rain barrel workshop to encourage and promote residential water conservation.
In Connecticut, the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District will develop land owned by the conservation district into an outdoor conservation showcase and education center for area residents, schools, students, and conservation volunteers and professionals.
The Beaver County Conservation District in Oklahoma will commemorate the devastating March 7, 2020 wildfire with a one-day “block party”-style event, using speakers, vendors, demonstrations, games and entertainment to encourage community residents to participate in wildfire prevention and learn how to prepare themselves when wildfire strikes again.
“We have seen how these district grants help support locally-led conservation delivery in communities across the nation,” LaFleur said. “NACD is proud to support our members in expanding their reach and advancing their mission.”
Learn more about the district grants program on NACD’s website.
About the National Association of Conservation Districts:
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.
RE: Proposed Green Infrastructure Improvements at Moncrief Rd. and W. 13th St.
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District requests public comment on a proposed project on the west side of Jacksonville’s Urban Core. The project would be situated on half an acre of currently unused public land in Durkeeville near the S-Line and the Sugar Hill Mosaic at Moncrief Rd. and W. 13th St.
Regeneration Park is a proposed green infrastructure and community stewardship project which will create a safe space to demonstrate urban agriculture, cultivate environmental stewardship and empower residents to build with nature for social, economic and environmental health. Our network of conservation and community partners will work together to provide education, outreach, research, hands-on conservation, native seed collection, and technical assistance that results in a resilient and sustainable system supported by a thriving biodiverse habitat. In addition to planned educational workshops, establishing a bioswale and pollinator habitat, and installing signage that explains the functions of the green infrastructure within the park, the Duval SWCD will also host annual celebrations of Stewardship Week and quarterly community cleanups. While the first phase of this project would focus on green infrastructure, a potential second phase would incorporate grey infrastructure including a pavilion, ADA-compliant pathway, benches and solar lighting.
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District has been working with the City of Jacksonville’s Parks and Recreation department to develop an appropriate plan for the site which is less than a mile from the recently completed EPA cleanup activities which addressed soil and sediment contamination at the Fairfax Street Wood Treaters Superfund site. Additional improvements are underway through the City of Jacksonville’s decision to fund and approve the creation of Groundwork Jacksonville’s Emerald Trail system, which will be 30 miles of trails, greenways and parks that encircle the Urban Core. Regeneration Park would be situated along the Emerald Trail's Biodiversity Corridor.
We would like to invite individuals and neighborhood organizations to submit comments, questions and concerns by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback is important and will direct our efforts for an initial grant application to secure funding for the project. We will look forward to continued conversation in the months ahead!
Duval Soil and Water Conservation District
COJ Parks and Recreation
UF/IFAS Duval County Extension
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Jacksonville Youth Works, Inc.
NativeJax Permaculture Design
Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board
Press Release - Conservation District Awarded Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant
Now Hiring - Urban Agriculture Coordinator
Press Release - Conservation District to Break Ground at Regeneration Park
We are excited to again host the annual Speech and Poster Contest! This local contest allows students to compete in the state, and even national contest under the same topic. The winners of the Duval County Speech Contest receives a cash prize, plus one student will get an invite to compete regionally and statewide for grades 6-12th. The poster contest is an additional way to compete in the competition for grades K-12.
This year the Speech & Poster Contest will be 100% Virtual. Students must submit their entry online for judging.
The topic for both competitions is "HEALTHY FORESTS – HEALTHY COMMUNITIES?" and speeches are to be no more than 5-7 minutes. Independent research on the topic works to further educate students in conservation and natural resources, while public speaking provides a host of additional benefits. Artistic skills are called on for the poster contest, and all ages are encouraged to participate. Cash prizes for top winners.
We hope that you, a friend, a relative, or a student you know will consider entering in the 2021 annual Joe B. Forshee, Jr. Speech Contest and Poster Contest for Duval County.
UPDATE: Entry Deadline has been extended until May 3, 2021.
Please Download the ENTRY FORMS below.
To enter the Poster Contest, please email completed sign up form and good quality photos of your poster to show the front and back of your poster and ALL of its edges.
To enter the Speech Contest, please email completed sign up form and Video of you reciting your speech via an attached file or YouTube.com link to email@example.com
2021 Speech Contest:
First place - $ 50.00
Second place - $ 30.00
Third place - $ 20.00
2021 Poster contest:
Categories - K-1; 2-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12
First place - $ 40.00 for each Category
Second place - $ 20.00 for each Category
Third place - $ 10.00 for each Category
Speech Contest Form
Poster Contest Form
For our January Volunteer of the Month, we would like to recognize Joshua Rosenberg for his outstanding service as an Affiliate Member of the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District board. Josh has assisted with our annual Local Working Group meeting and the Fred B. Miller, Jr. Regional Envirothon. His current efforts include serving on the planning committee for our 4th annual Start Farming Panel Discussion and Virtual Market and developing an urban permaculture demonstration project for Duval County. In addition, Josh provides the District subject matter expertise on permaculture, soil quality and water conservation issues.
More about Josh:
For our December Volunteer of the Month, we would like to recognize Tiffany Bess for her service to the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District! For the past two years, Tiffany has been an Affiliate Member of our board currently serving as Community Liaison. Her current efforts include designing our annual reports and planning our yearly Stewardship Week events. Tiffany also provides the District subject matter expertise on composting and community engagement.
More about Tiffany:
For our November Volunteer of the Month, we would like to recognize John Barnes for his service to the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District! John is our longest-serving Affiliate Member, having just completed 4 years of service on our board. Over the years he he has been instrumental in the growth of our educational programs including our Joe B. Forshee, Jr. Speech and Poster Contest and the Fred B. Miller, Jr. Regional Envirothon. John has also been effective in outreach, soliciting donations and sponsorships and strengthening partnerships with local businesses for Duval Soil and Water Conservation District events.
More about John:
Two local school will receive Blue School Grant funding from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) for hands-on projects to enhance student development in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related topics and increase understanding of Florida’s water resources.
The Blue School Grant Program offers a total of $20,000 in financial support to teachers working to promote water resource protection through hands-on learning opportunities. The Blue School Grant Program has funded 61 projects since its beginning five years ago. A total of $87,500 has been awarded to 49 schools throughout the District.
Grants of up to $2,000 per teacher are awarded for a range of 6–12th grade educational programs to enhance student knowledge of Florida’s water resources. Projects may include water conservation garden projects, water conservation classroom/community awareness projects and freshwater resources educational programs.
Congratulations to the two Duval County schools receiving 2020–21 Blue School Grant funds:
• A. Philip Randolph, for a water-conserving landscape project
• Oak Hill Academy, for a water resources school awareness project.
For information about Blue School Grants, visit the SJRWMD website.
On Wednesday, October 14th, the candidates for the Duval Soil & Water Conservation District participated in a virtual candidate forum. Learn about the position and the candidates running!
You can read candidate statements HERE and watch the forum HERE.
John R. Barnes
John J. Nooney
Arthur R. Bides*
*Candidates who have confirmed participation in the Duval Soil & Water Conservation District 2020 Virtual Candidate Forum
Calling all shutterbugs! The Duval Soil & Water Conservation District is excited to participate in the 2020 National Association of Conservation Districts Photo Contest. Our local contest is open to all Duval County residents. Winners are eligible for a cash prize and will go on to the national contest in December. Winners from the National competition will be announced in February. Contestants may enter as many as five photos each year that each fit into one of the following four categories: Conservation Practices, Close-up Conservation, Conservation in Action, Agriculture and Conservation Across America. The deadline to enter our local competition is December 1st, 2020.
To enter please fill out the two forms below. You can submit your photo submission in two ways. 1. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the required forms. 2. Print your photo and two forms and submit it to our office location at 260 US-301 Baldwin, FL 32234.
Photo Contest Categories
Photo Contest Entry & Release Forms
Photos must be in a JPEG or TIFF file format. If you are submitting a photo in which a subject or model’s face is recognizable, you must also complete and attach this subject and model release with your photos.
Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters and corrective functions are permitted; however, an image judged to be significantly altered may be disqualified. Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures or copyright images onto photos. Previously published photos are not eligible for the contest.
We look forward to seeing all of your great submissions!
Questions? Please feel free to email email@example.com with any questions you may have about the competition!
Join us for our 4th Annual Start Farming event! Talk with your First Coast farmers, ask questions, buy local goods and find money to start farming today!
Caria Hawkins, Abundant Harvests Farm
Punita Patel, Backyard Buffalo
Jessi Fiske, Juicy Roots Farm & Homestead
Amie Keslar, Front Porch Pickings
Find Money for Farming - Paul Gleason, NRCS & Stacey Simmons, FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Sustainability - Ashantae Green, USGBC North Florida
Composting 101 - Tiffany Bess, Apple Rabbit Compost
Urban Permaculture - Joshua Rosenberg, NativeJax
Equity in Farming - Mallory Schott, White Harvest Farms & Farmers Market
Building Healthy Communities - Veronica Pasciuto, Celestial Farms
Value-Added Agriculture - Brentley Stead, Bee Friends Farm & Natasha Parks, UF/IFAS Extension Duval County
Duval Soil and Water Conservation District
Clay County FL Soil and Water Conservation District
This workshop is offered as a free service to our citizens and our agricultural community on the First Coast. There is no charge for eco-vendors and agriculture-related organizations to participate in the Virtual Market. Contact us to learn more and reserve your space.