Education Programs

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.

Conservation Contests

The theme for the 2023-2024 Conservation Contests is "The Living Soil". Contests available to students throughout the county include:

  • 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade: Poster
  • 6th, 7th and 8th Grade: Essay, Slideshow, and/or Public Speaking/Speech
  • 9th-12th Grade: Essay, Slideshow, and/or Public Speaking/Speech

Click here for more information and contest rules.

Awards Night

The 2024 Awards Night will be held on February 27, 2024 at 5:30 pm at the USDA Service Center. 

For more information about these contests please send an email to:


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.

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 were due February 1, 2023 at 5pm for the 2023-2024 school year. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, follow this link.

Summer Programs

YES Camp

Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Camp is a summer day camp opportunity for rising 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

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.

School Year Programs


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 should contact the District office.

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!

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