Education is a big part of what soil and water conservation districts are all about. We offer several educational opportunities to learners of all ages in Haywood County. Check out these opportunities below.

Classroom Programs

Our office offers free, in-house environmental education programs that are aligned to state standards. A NC licensed teacher conducts these programs which increases students’ understanding of natural resources and conservation through hands-on activities. Check out a list of our current programs here.

Custom classroom programs are also available by request. Email our Education Coordinator for more information about classroom programs.

Conservation Contests

We are not accepting submissions for the 2021-2022 Conservation Contests at this time. The theme for this year’s Conservation Contests is "Soil & Water.. Yours for Life". Contests available to students throughout the county include:

  • 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade: Poster
  • 6th Grade: Essay, Poster, Slideshow
  • 7th and 8th Grade: Speech/Public Speaking
  • 9th Grade: Computer-designed poster

Submissions are due December 23, 2021. Click here for more information and contest rules.

Professional Development for Teachers

We offer high-quality professional development for educators wishing to build their environmental education toolkit. Our PD opportunities, which qualify for CEUs, include various curricula such as Food, Land and People and Project WET. 

Custom professional development is available.

Conservation Field Days

Conservation Field Days are held annually for all fifth graders in the county. The event is hosted at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC in the fall. Students rotate through 10 learning stations, where they engage in hands-on activities. Students learn about the water cycle, minerals, agriculture, wildlife and more!

YES Camp

Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Camp is a summer day camp opportunity for rising 8th and 9th graders in Haywood County who have a passion for the environment. Campers take field trips throughout the region to learn about forestry, water quality, wildlife, air quality, soils, agriculture and natural resource management. For more information about YES Camp, click here


Envirothon is an exciting, fun outdoor competition for middle and high school teams made up of five students. Prior to the event, teams study with their advisor, usually a teacher, in the subject areas of:

  • Aquatics
  • Current Environmental Issues
  • Forestry
  • Soils
  • Wildlife

At the Area 1 Envirothon, middle and high school teams rotate between 5 stations and learn from resource experts, and then following lunch take an exam as a group at each station. The top scoring 7 middle and top 7 high school teams qualify for competition at the North Carolina Envirothon at Cedar Rock Park in Burlington. The North Carolina Envirothon is sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts with assistance from the Division of Soil and Water Conservation (NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services).

To learn more about Envirothon, rules and the educational materials visit the North Carolina Envirothon website. Advisors and students wishing to form an Envirothon team and participate in the 2019 competition should contact our Education Coordinator.

Resource Conservation Workshop

Each June, the District sponsors 2 high school students from Haywood County at the Resource Conservation Workshop. Participants are selected based on their interest in natural resources. They join approximately 90 other students from across the state, spending an intense week crammed with outdoor study and classroom instruction on a variety of topics in the field of environmental science. During the workshop students from across the state are housed in dorms at NC State University. Days are spent learning from scientists, foresters, biologists, wetland specialists, wildlife experts and engineers during classroom instruction and outdoor study. 

The Resource Conservation Workshop is sponsored by the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in conjunction with the NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation, NC State University Crop and Soil Science Department, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society Hugh Hammond Bennett Chapter.

If you are interested in attending the 2020 Resource Conservation Workshop, please email the Education Coordinator. Priority will be given to students who have participated in other environmental education programs such as Envirothon, Conservation Contests, YES Camp and FFA. 

Area 1 Scholarship

The Area 1 Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts offer a $500 scholarship for high school students interested in pursuing a college major in the studies of agriculture, field science, conservation, energy, natural resources, environmental science or a related field.

Applications are due March 15, 2022. Apply here.

Careers in Conservation Scholarship

The NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation is pleased to announce the Careers in Conservation Scholarship is open for applications.  

This exciting opportunity is for students that are currently studying or plan to seek a degree in natural resource management (or closely related field of study) at a NC college, university, or community college. Applications will be accepted from November 5, 2021 until February 1, 2022 at 5 p.m. Scholarship funds will be awarded for the 2022-2023 school year. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, follow this link.

Partner Projects

Haywood SWCD is pleased to join other agencies and organizations in the following projects:

  • Ag Career Days for agriculture students
  • Hay Field Day: Sponsored by the Mountain Research Station, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service and Haywood SWCD
  • Kids in the Creek: Sponsored by Haywood Waterways