Participants construct rainbarrels during workshop

Participants construct rain barrels during workshop

Students discover how insects are used to determine water quality

Students discover how insects are used to determine water quality during a MWEE event

Storm drain labeled to inform public that it drains to waterways

RSEP labeled storm drains to inform public that they drain to waterways

The TJSWCD provides a variety of natural resource-related educational services.

Education Resources

During this COVID-19 time, TJSWCD will be providing opportunities to continue to discover your local watershed independently in your own backyard, your home, at the kitchen table, or in your garage with a variety of links to videos, activities and articles for students and teachers to engage in.  We will periodically add new activities and links as the days go by.

Presentations, Workshops, Field Days

Local officials, schools, community organizations and the general public rely on the TJSWCD for workshops, “field days”, presentations, school events, and technical information. Classroom presentations are available to support grade-specific Standards of Learning (SOLs), and presentations on a variety of topics are available for community organizations. Call the TJSWCD to request a presentation or technical workshop.

If you are interested in TJSWCD providing an educational event for your organization, please contact Education Coordinator Lauriston DaMitz at 434-975-0224 Ext. 107

Dominion Envirothon Program

The TJSWCD coordinates the Envirothon Program on the local level. The deadline to register for our local Envirothon is March 1st. For registration information, contact Lauriston DaMitz, 434-975-0224, Ext. 107.

UPDATE:  2020 Envirothon competition events have been canceled due to COVID-19.

  • 2020 Special Topic:  Water Resources Management:  Local Control and Local Solutions
  • 2020 Local Competition:  April 1, Camp Albemarle, Charlottesville, VA.
  • 2020 Area II Competition:  April 29, Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria, VA.
  • 2020 State Competition:  May 17-18, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.
  • 2020 National Competition:  July 26-August 1, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.

VASWCD Youth Conservation Camp

Each year, the TJSWCD provides funding to send two students to a weeklong Conservation Camp held at Virginia Tech each summer.

UPDATE:  The 2020 Youth Conservation Camp has been canceled due to COVID-19.


The TJSWCD provides an annual Scholarships for individuals wanting to pursue a degree in a natural resource-related field.

We are pleased to announce the 2019 Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District Scholarship Award Recipients:

  • Evie Sackett of Albemarle County, attending Monticello High School, receiving a TJSWCD scholarship.
  • Sarina Cooper of Albemarle County, attending Western Albemarle High School, receiving a TJSWCD scholarship.
  • Henry Chin of Albemarle County, attending Monticello High School, receiving a TJSWCD scholarship.
  • Tori Sanborn of Albemarle County, attending Western Albemarle High School, receiving the Eddie Wood Memorial Scholarship.

Congratulations!  TJSWCD wishes you the best in your collegiate studies and conservation endeavors.

Each year, TJSWCD offers up to three scholarships to students who demonstrate a sincere interest in conservation. One scholarship, the Eddie Wood Memorial Scholarship, is dedicated to applicants who most embody the conservation ethic of Eddie Wood.

To be eligible for all scholarships, applicants must have a permanent address within the boundaries of the TJSWCD, which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson Counties and the City of Charlottesville. Individual applicants must be full-time students enrolled in, or who have applied to, a college level curriculum. Applicants shall document a class ranking in the top 20% of his or her graduating class or a 3.0 or greater GPA or appropriate equivalent of individual scholastic achievement.

In addition to the TJSWCD scholarships, one chosen application will be forwarded to the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) for consideration in their statewide scholarship program. Only one application form is necessary to apply for both the TJSWCD and VASWCD scholarships.

Scholarship applications are typically due in March of each year and winners are notified in May. Applications (including form, official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, and essay) must be mailed or delivered as one packet to the TJSWCD office.

2020 Scholarship Application deadline: 4:00 p.m. March 1, 2020
2020 TJSWCD Scholarship Announcement
2020 TJSWCD and VASWCD Scholarship Guidelines
2020 TJSWCD and VASWCD Scholarship Application

Chesapeake Bay “Meaningful Watershed Education Experience” (MWEE)

The multistate “2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement” and the “Chesapeake Watershed Education Agreement: Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship” established educational goals related to watersheds and associated educational programming in schools.  The TJSWCD provides “Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences” (MWEE events) to assist local schools in meeting these goals.

MWEE stands for Meaningful Watershed Education Experience. As defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program, a MWEE is an investigative or experimental project that engages students in thinking critically about the Bay watershed. MWEEs are not intended to be quick, one-day activities; rather, they are extensive projects that allow students to gain a deep understanding of the issue or topic being presented. Students participate in background research, hands-on activities and reflection periods that are appropriate for their ages and grade levels. These experiences

… are investigative or project oriented.
… are richly structured and based on high-quality instructional design.
… are an integral part of the instructional program.
… are part of a sustained activity.
… consider the watershed as a system.
… involve external sharing and communication.
… are enhanced by natural resources personnel.
… are for all students.

The District provides MWEE educational support to all fourth grade classes within Albemarle County and Charlottesville public schools. Similar watershed education programs are available for other grades and schools as our schedule allows, so please feel free to inquire with the TJSWCD.

These MWEE events include three “stations” facilitated by TJSWCD education staff and Rivanna Master Naturalist volunteers:

Rivanna Stormwater Education Partnership (RSEP)

RSEP is a collaborative effort among the local entities that hold stormwater permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. The TJSWCD facilitates and coordinates this partnership.