Participants construct rainbarrels during workshop

Participants construct rain barrels during workshop (Contact Lauriston, 434-975-0224, Ext. 107, if you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel.)

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.

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 and Outreach Coordinator Lauriston DaMitz at 434-975-0224 Ext. 107

Dominion Envirothon Program

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

  • 2019 Special Topic: Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and Technology to Feed the World
  • 2019 Local Competition: March 22, Camp Albemarle.
  • 2019 Area II Competition: April 30, James Long Park, Haymarket
  • 2019 State Competition: May 19-20, TBD.
  • 2019 National Competition: July 28-August 2, NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

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.


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 2018 Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District Scholarship Award Recipients —

  • Emma Bittle of Albemarle County, attending Western Albemarle High School receiving the Eddie Wood Memorial Scholarship in addition to a TJSWCD scholarship.
  • Griselda Vasquez-Ramirez of Nelson County, attending Nelson County High School receiving a TJSWCD scholarship.

Congratulations Emma and Griselda!  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.

2019 Scholarship Application deadline: 4:00 p.m. March 1, 2019
2019 TJSWCD Scholarship Announcement
2019 TJSWCD Scholarship Guidelines
2019 TJSWCD, 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.