WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017 – The National Association of Conservation Districts established Stewardship Week more than 60 years ago to educate the public on the importance of soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat, and other conservation topics. This week, many of the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts and state associations are celebrating the 2017 Stewardship Week theme “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life!” by holding community events, distributing educational materials, and even producing public service announcements for local radio stations on the benefits of healthy soils.
“Stewardship Week has grown to be one of the world’s largest conservation-related observances – and for good reason,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Every year, from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May, America’s conservation districts have found new and innovative ways to engage their local communities around aspects of conservation that matter most to them.”
“This year’s theme highlights productive soils as the foundation of any healthy ecosystem,” Van Dyke continued. “As the world’s population grows and demand for food production increases, it’s essential that we work together to protect and enhance our soils.”
Stewardship Week celebrations will be held across the country this week. In Texas, the Atascosa County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) held an educational luncheon for local ministers where they distributed soil stewardship materials for the county congregations and their county judge signed a soil stewardship proclamation. Noble SWCD in Caldwell, Ohio, produced public service announcements for Stewardship Week that are being played on local radio stations. Boone County CD in Arkansas will be distributing pine tree seedlings to third graders and sunflower seeds to second graders in every school in the county.
On Wednesday, NACD Stewardship and Education Coordinator Diana Blackwood traveled with NACD Northeast Region Representative and Policy Specialist Eric Hansen to Delaware for the state association’s Soil Stewardship Awards where Governor John C. Carney Jr. honored a local winner of the NACD national poster contest.
NACD will hold its own celebration of Stewardship Week tomorrow – Friday, May 5 – at the USDA People’s Garden. NACD’s tent will be situated between the National Mall and opening day activities at the USDA’s Farmers Market. All are invited to stop by NACD’s booth to test their knowledge of soil health and to take a photo with Natural Resources Conservation Service’s mascot Sammy Soil.
For more information on Stewardship Week and how your organization or conservation district can join this year’s festivities, visit www.nacdnet.org.