“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” - Dr. Seuss
“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” - e.e. cummings
Annual Art and Essay Contest
2022 Theme - "Watersheds"
We saw over 200 participants in our last contest with 8 students awarded prizes for their great work! These winners put forth very thought-filled work, providing their thoughts on the subject and their outlook on the natural world. This year our theme is "watersheds". Check out our flyer for more information and contest rules. This contest is open to all K-12 students in Oconee County (public, private and home-school). Oconee Soil and Water Conservation District's 2022 Art and Essay Contest Flyer
George C. Grobusky Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is provided in memory of our long-serving board chairman, George C. Grobusky, continuing his legacy of working to protect the things precious in our natural world. Each year, the Oconee District provides a scholarship to a student from Oconee County, who is continuing their education in natural resource studies.
Learn more about our natural resources and conservation below.
Also, check out this booklet from the NRCS: Fun Facts about Farmers and Ranchers.
Conservation is the protection of things found in nature. It requires the sensible use of all Earth’s natural resources: water, soil, minerals, wildlife, and forests. People who care about conservation try to preserve natural resources so they will still be around in the future.
A natural resource is something that is found in nature and can be used by people. Earth’s natural resources include light, air, water, plants, animals, soil, stone, minerals, and fossil fuels. People need some natural resources to stay alive. They use others to make their lives better.
Water is one of the most important natural resources for life and good health. While it seems like we have an unlimited amount of water here in Oconee County, one in three people in the world do not have enough for their daily needs. Think of all the ways you use water every day.
Drinking—we need water to cook with and drink. Animals and plants also need water; it’s not just for humans.
Cleaning—we need water to wash our food, clothes, dishes and ourselves.
Utilities—we use water to generate electricity, mining fuels, and maintaining sanitary plumbing.
Having fun—we love having fun in the water, from fishing and swimming to snowballs and ice skating.
Think about it—If you had to go to a well or river and carry back the water you used each day, would you use water differently?
Around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.
Less than 1% of the Earth’s water can be used for drinking.
Nearly 70% of your body is made up of water.
A shower can use up to 50 gallons of water.
Water is recycled through the water cycle or hydrologic cycle.
You can help conserve the Earth’s water:
Wash your hands in cold water instead of waiting until it’s warm.
Collect rain water and use it to water your plants.
Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. Soil does all this by performing five essential functions:
- Regulating water - Soil helps control where rain, snowmelt, and irrigation water goes. Water flows over the land or into and through the soil.
- Sustaining plant and animal life - The diversity and productivity of living things depends on soil.
- Filtering potential pollutants - The minerals and microbes in soil are responsible for filtering material, including industrial and municipal by-products.
- Cycling nutrients - Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients are stored, transformed and cycled in the soil.
- -Physical stability and support - Soil structure provides a medium for plant roots. Soils also provide support for human structures and protection for archeological treasures.
Trees are important. They are a vital part of our daily lives. We love trees in Oconee County, but do you know why?
Air—Trees produce something we cannot live without—oxygen. Through photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2).
Water—Trees are natural water pumps . Trees help moderate the Earth’s rainfall as part of the hydrologic cycle. Trees also help regulate stormwater and help prevent flooding.
Climate—Trees are natural air conditioners. Trees cool the Earth by giving shade and absorbing the sun’s rays. Deciduous trees, where the leaves fall in the winter, let in the sun’s rays to warm the Earth in cooler weather.
Habitat—Trees are homemakers. From humans living in a house or apartment made of wood to animals who live in forests or smaller wooded areas—trees ensure we all have a place to call home. As a bonus, trees make it beautiful too.
Every day we use or eat something that comes from a tree.
School Supplies (paper, pencils, binders; art, athletic and musical supplies)
Buildings (your home and school) and Furniture (your chairs and tables)
Rubber (the soles of your shoes) and Cork (the core of your baseball)
Food (fruits and nuts, of course, but also maple syrup and cinnamon)
You can help conserve our trees:
Ask your parents if you can help plant a tree.
Remember Smokey the Bear, “Only you can prevent wildfires”.
Use a reusable lunchbox versus paper bags.
Use paper wisely, by using both sides of the paper, using scrap paper for doodling and notes and using recycled paper.