For more information, contact:
Dona Rhea, SWCD Conservation Educator
Email: "dona-rhea @ delawareswcd.org" (remove spaces when typing address)
Delaware SWCD/Dick O'Keefe Scholarship
Lacy Receives Ag Scholarship
Margaret Lacy, Westerville, OH was recently selected to receive the Dick O’Keefe Memorial Scholarship from the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the 2012-2013 school year. Lacy is a senior at Big Walnut High School and will be graduating next month with a 3.94 GPA. She plans to attend The Ohio State University Marion majoring in Agricultural Industries (equine).
Lacy has been a member of the Big Walnut FFA Chapter and a 4-H member during her four years of high school. She has also be a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, school choir, Spanish Club, and the Big Walnut Equine Team (4 years) where she finish 5th out of 660 competitors at the 2013 State Competition.
Jeni Reely, Big Walnut FFA Advisor said about Lacy, “Margaret’s desire to succeed is evident not only by her academic success, but also can be seen in her school and after-school activities.” After reviewing Lacy’s varied activities, Reely also stated, “For most students, this would not be an easy task, but for Margaret this is all part of her career goal majoring in Animal Science.”
The Dick O’Keefe Memorial Scholarship was established in 1998 to honor Mr. O’Keefe who passed away in 1997. He was born and reared in Delaware County, had a passion for agriculture, and wanted to make sure that future generations could continue to engage in this rural lifestyle. His scholarship continues to “plant those seeds.” The $500 scholarship is available annually to a Delaware County resident graduating from a Delaware County high school with a minimum of 2.5 grade average and pursuing a college degree in agriculture.
Two Delaware Co. Teams Win Area Competion - Move on to State
The ENVIROTHON is designed to stimulate, reinforce and enhance interest in the environment and natural resources among high school students.
The Envirothon tests students' knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology and current environmental issues. In addition, the Envirothon encourages cooperative decision-making and team building. While each student on an Envirothon team is challenged to contribute his or her personal best, the score that counts at the end of an Envirothon is the team score.
A team consists of five students, all from the same high school. An adult advisor (or advisors) must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition.
Five "Area Envirothons" are conducted around Ohio late each spring. The top four teams from each of these Area competitions progress to the Ohio Envirothon in June. The state level Ohio Envirothon is held in a different part of Ohio each year. The top-scoring team in the Ohio Envirothon is eligible to compete in the North American Envirothon, hosted by a different state or Canadian province every year.
Delaware County had two winning teams in this year’s Area 5 Envirothon -- the Delaware Area Career Center and Big Walnut High School. The DCAA1 team placed second and the Big Walnut team placed 4th out of 47 team.s They will both compete at the State Envirothon on June 10 & 11 at the Deer Creek State Park. They will compete against 18 other teams from around the state.
In Ohio, the Envirothon is sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Natural resource and environmental specialists from many agencies, organizations, colleges, universities, park districts and businesses devise the Envirothon questions and staff the various test stations.
The Ohio Envirothon is financed by grants, donations from businesses and through contributions to the Don Rehl Memorial Envirothon Fund. Many local businesses also provide services and products in support of Area and Ohio Envirothons.
Delaware Area Career Center Team 1 will advance to the Ohio Envirothon state competition next month at Deer Creek State Park.
Big Walnut High School Team will also compete in Ohio Envirothon state competition next month. Best wishes to both teams representing Delaware County!
Delaware Area Career Center Team 2 finished in the top ten in Area 5 competition (out of 47 teams) but not high enough to qualify for the state competition.
The latest issue of the SWCD's Environmental Education Newsletter, SCENTS (Soil Conservation & Environmental News for Teachers and Students) is now available. Included in this issue is workshop information, classroom ideas, important dates, and much, much more.
Soil Tunnel Arrives!
The Delaware SWCD purchased an inflatable soil tunnel, a tool that helps teach about soil layers, drainage, organisms that live in the soil, soil variance among different land uses, and conservation. It is very portable and available to schools for teachers to use. Included with the soil tunnel is a trailer to store and haul the soil tunnel. Soil tunnel rental information for outside Delaware County will be posted when available. All schools inside Delaware County are welcome to use the soil tunnel free of charge. Educational activities and talking points are included in the soil tunnel lending trailer. Please contact Dona Rhea at the SWCD office at 740-368-1291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natural Resources Park - Delaware County Fairgrounds
Adjacent to the Pig & Lamb Barn, on the Delaware County Fairgrounds, is Delaware SWCD's Conservation Area. It illustrates conservation-minded landscaping homeowners can do in their own yards. With a water garden, edible garden, native prairie garden, and a rain garden, it offers a host site for many educational events. The garden gazebo and conservation education building on the site offer shelter and shade while you stroll the walkway.
A big thank you goes to the sponsors who donated a grand total of over $100,000 for the site. The major sponsors donating $5,000 or more include:
The SWCD provides presentations to school classes, home school, and after school, scouts, and 4-H groups. All of the presentations have been correlated with the current State Science Content Standard Grade Level Indicators for Earth and Space Sciences and for Life Sciences. Topics included are ecosystems, biodiversity and adaptations, natural resources, conservation, and human impact on the environment. For more information, SEE HERE.
The Envirothon is a high school environmental competition in which students compete in teams of five, answering questions about wildlife, forestry, soils, and aquatics. Delaware County teams compete the last week of April in the Area competition. This competition is held in the southern/central part of Ohio with the exact location changing each year. The top 4 teams at the Area competition advance to the Ohio Envirothon which is held in early June. Teams at the Ohio Envirothon compete for prize money and a trip to the international Envirothon competition. A more detailed description of the Envirothon can be seen HERE.
For copies of old Envirothon tests, resource lists, study materials, field guides, Envirothon presentations, or more information on the Envirothon competition, contact Dona Rhea at the SWCD Office.
Stream Quality Monitoring
Join the Stream Team and become a stream steward helping to protect our flowing surface water resources. The general health of streams can be determined by taking their "pulse" by using Stream Quality Monitoring (SQM) techniques to monitor the kinds and numbers of macroinvertebrate animals which live in them. The kinds of macroinvertebrates are used to assess the stream quality. The data you gather will help local and state agencies decide if further investigation of the health of our streams is necessary.
After being trained in habitat assessment, seining procedure, critter identification and recording, volunteers may adopt a section of a stream to monitor periodically using materials provided by the SWCD. SQM can be done by any small group (family, school, social, civic) that would like to participate in this program designed to develop a greater sensitivity to and stewardship of our precious stream system. Currently the Delaware SWCD works with Genoa and Orange Townships to monitor 7 selected sites.
Map of Genoa & Orange Township SQM Sites
Community Environmental Stewardship Action - Storm Drain Labeling
Many people don't realize that what does down strom drains sometimes does not go to a water treatment plant. Instead, it may flow directly into our stream bypassing treatment. This direct storm sewer link between where we live, work, and play and the stream into which it drains makes everyone in the watershed potential contributors to water pollution.
By labeling storm drains, you can help protect our landscapes and our waterscapes. After training, volunteers may use materials provided by the SWCD to apply labels to storm drains, and hang information encouraging watershed stewardship on doorknobs.
Storm drain labeling may be done by any individual or small group (family, school, social, civic). This program, like the Stream Quality Monitoring program, is designed to help develop sesitivity to and stewardship of our soil and water resources. Currently the Delaware SWCD is labeling storm drains in the City of Powell. Contact Dona Rhea for more information.