Earth Team 2013 Office/Partner Award Winners
2013 Office and Partner Award Winners
Volunteer Service Award-Chief's Cup-Arkansas
Arkansas’s outstanding management support for the Earth Team resulted in every NRCS office having volunteers, a 65 percent increase from the previous year. The Arkansas NRCS Business Plan requires district conservationists in every office to perform a ‘Volunteer Needs Assessment’ for their volunteer program. Arkansas has excellent support and cooperation from the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) management – especially through conservation education and a new statewide rain gauge measurement program. During a year of budget constraints, Arkansas increased its recruiting efforts at churches, universities, high schools, internet, community organizations, conservation partners and the public. A portion of their volunteers are specialists in their field. Volunteers helped perform the NRCS mission with tasks ranging from engineering work and language translations to editing a newspaper column and measuring rainfall.
NACD/NRCS Earth Team Award-Jackson County Conservation District-Kansas
The Jackson County Conservation District relies heavily on a strong partnership with NRCS and volunteers to serve in a multitude of capacities and events to accomplish the goals and objectives of NRCS and the District. Earth Team volunteers assisted in hosting the Regional Envirothon, planting vegetation on a stream bank stabilization project, setting up and developing the program for the Delaware River Watershed Tour, hosted field days on no-till and cover crops/pollinators and plant ID, prepared meals for the Eastern Kansas Grazing School, hosted Ag/Water Festival, set up a Women in Ag meeting and the Livestock Drought Workshop. Working together the Jackson County Conservation District, Earth Team Volunteers and NRCS staff in Holton, Kansas has built a strong education program and implemented a number of conservation projects.
Earth Team Partnership Award-Chesapeake Bay Foundation-Virginia
Seventy volunteers participated in a tree buffer program at the headwaters of Muddy Creek. This large scale community project created a stream side buffer to absorb a multitude of nutrients before any water runs off the pasture and into the stream. In Virginia, 60% of the state’s rivers and streams flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Earth Team volunteers work diligently to help restore the Chesapeake Bay’s fragile ecosystem to health by reestablishing native oysters and planting grasses and tress from the headwaters to the bay. One of the many positive outcomes of the Muddy Creek project has been the interest generated among other farmers with similar conservation concerns. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, NRCS and Earth Team volunteers are truly making a difference in Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.
Chief's Field Awards Winners
Jasper NRCS Field Office – Alabama
Due to assistance from Earth Team volunteers, the Jasper Field Office participated in the FFA Land judging, livestock, forestry and tractor driving contest; conducted a Forestry Land Owner Tour and a Wildlife Management Seminar; and gave every second grade student in Walker County a seedling to plant, while providing conservation education.
Longmont NRCS Field Office – Colorado
Volunteers assisted with education and outreach during rehabilitation efforts due to the many forest fires which have occurred over the last several years. Volunteers were also essential in implementing the “From Our Lands to Your Hands”program which offers hands on educational experience for youth in the urban setting.
Holdrege NRCS Field Office – Nebraska
Students from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Holdrege High School assisted with irrigation and water issue related projects. In this heavily irrigated area, the volunteers made tremendous impact in conserving water resources.
East Aurora Field Office – New York
Volunteers assisted the East Aurora Field Office staff with data development, analysis, management and map production in support of wetland determinations and worked with Geographic Information Systems. They assisted in the field with practice layout, surveying, design and inspection.