Workshop Director, Dennis Brooks said, “This is an excellent opportunity for high school students interested in our environment and natural resources. Students learn the importance of conserving our natural resources and the vital role these resources play in our daily life and for generations to come. Many students make decisions toward a career or area of study in college because of their involvement in this workshop.” Instruction and hands-on activities were led by professionals from Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and the Georgia Mining Association. Twelve different core subjects were covered: Wildlife Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, Soil Conservation, Backyard Conservation, Georgia Coastal Resources, Fisheries Management, Conservation Engineering, Understanding Soils, Rediscovering Georgia's Water Resources, Forest Protection, Forest Management, and Mining/Conservation.
The tuition of most students was sponsored locally by businesses and organizations through the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Hunter Pruitt, Sarah Barfield and Gregory Howard attended this year’s Workshop and were sponsored by Southern States &Gordon Co Farm Bureau through the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District. Local Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors in Gordon County are Milton Stewart and Sam Payne.
Quizzes were given on the last day of the workshop that covered the core subjects. Thirteen college scholarships worth $16,950 along with $425 cash and plaques were given to students with the highest scores. Scholarships were provided by the following organizations: Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Workshop Scholarship Funds, the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Chapter American Public Works Association, Georgia Mining Association, the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, Georgia Chapter NOPBNRCSE, and the Blue Ridge SWCD/Young Harris College.
Next year, NRCW will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The executive committee will celebrate the workshop’s long legacy of conservation education by gathering success stories from former participating students. Alumni of the workshop and are welcomed to share how the NRCW influenced their lives or career paths. Contact 229-391-5072 or find NRCW on Facebook by searching for the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop group.