Our educational programs aim to help people of all ages to understand and appreciate our natural resources as well as learn to conserve and maintain those resources for future generations. These programs provide structured activities that can target different age groups. NRSWCD also aims to encourage its participants to use knowledge gained from its educational programs on a personal level and help them to use our natural resources wisely on their own. If you don't see a program below that you are interested in participating in, please leave a note on the Contact page.
NRSWCD will coordinate a natural resources field day for your school or classroom utilizing various resource professionals within the area. Any corresponding activities can be done either on-campus or off-site upon request.
Take a Field Trip to a local stream to evaluate water quality using the Izaak Walton League of America's Save Our Streams program.
Field Trip Topics Include:
I Watersheds I Lake Ecology I Forestry/Trees I Wildlife I
Maps (Topography) I Soils I
The following programs are geared towards classroom settings, but can be also done outside/off-site upon request.
Through the use of the EnviroScape tabeltop model, students will learn the impact that humans can have on our natural resources with a hands-on approach demonstration. Students will understand the concept of a watershed, where point-source and nonpoint-source pollution originates, and what management practices can be implemented to prevent pollution. The discussion and demonstration can be modified to meet the needs of grades 2-12.
A variety of activities that will help students know more about soil. Activities include run-off tables to show erosion, soil properties, soil's ability to support life, etc.
Project WET and Project WILD
These are both Curriculum and Activity Guides for grades K-12. WET is a collection of hands-on, water related activities. WILD is an interdisciplinary environmental education program emphasizing wildlife.
Project Learning Tree (PLT)
This program is a Curriculum and Activity Guide for grades K-8 and four high school modules. PLT uses the forest as a "window on the world" to increase students' understanding of our complex environment.
The Virginia Envirothon is a natural resources competition for high school students. Students who participate learn about stewardship and management concepts as well as work to solve real and hypothetical environmental problems. The program is field-oriented and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.
Teams compete at the local and regional level in the early spring to win a spot in the Virginia Envirothon. The top three teams from the region are eligible for a two-day state competition held in May. The winner of the state competition goes to the national Canon Envirothon in late July.
Teams are made up of five students in 9th through 12th grades. Throughout the school year students prepare for competition with a coach, usually a teacher or natural resource professional in the community. Students are tested on their knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatics, and the current environmental topic.
Students visit five "in-the-field" test stations where written and hands-on problem solving is required along with an oral presentation formulating a strategy for addressing an environmental issue. The event is competitive, but education is the bottom line.
Please contact us via the Contact page if you are an educator and would like to participate in the Envirothon program.
Local area second grade classes participate in the annual Earth Day Field Day event held at the Matthews Estate. The field days are sponsored by the New River SWCD, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and Walmart.
The activities are correlated with the Virginia second grade SOL's and cover topics from natural resource conservation to forestry, wildlife habitats, the Foodchain, the water cycle, plant life, and much more.
Please contact us via the Contact page if you are an educator and would like to participate in the Earth Day program.