By Charles Lancaster, Treasurer, Catoosa County Conservation District
In 2021, the Catoosa County Conservation District in Georgia was awarded a Friends of NACD District Grant. With the grant, our district conducted several activities to promote and encourage the importance of water quality and residential water conservation in the community.
In February 2021, with COVID-19 still a concern for participants and partners, our first educational efforts were two Zoom meetings entitled, “Saving for a rainy day?” and “How ‘bout saving rain?” Both meetings outlined the benefits of water conservation and rainwater harvesting. These Zoom meetings were held to educate and promote our upcoming rain barrel workshop.
On Saturday, March 20, 2021, in celebration of World Water Day, the Catoosa County Conservation District hosted a Water-Wise Rain Barrel Workshop. The workshop was hosted in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension, and the City of Ringgold.
The workshop featured information presented by NRCS District Conservationist Nick Mooneyham and Wade Hutcheson with the UGA Cooperative Extension. Educational topics included wise water use, irrigation basics, and the benefits of rainwater diversion and capture. Workshop participants were taught proper rain barrel installation, things to avoid during installation, and examples of uses for harvested rainwater. There was also a make-and-take portion of the workshop where registered participants assembled their own rain barrels for $45 each to take home.
Following our Zoom meetings and workshop, the Catoosa County Conservation District identified long-term opportunities to make educational materials and training available to our local educators. We purchased an Enviroscape® Watershed/Nonpoint Source Model for schools and interested groups to use. This 3-D model provides an interactive demonstration of the sources and effects of water pollution. The model demonstrates how stormwater runoff carries pollutants through the watershed to a pond, lake, or river. We have also purchased a variety of water test kits to provide students with hands-on experiences as they test the water of local creeks and streams. Some of these test kits come with their own curriculum for teachers and volunteers to use.
These training materials will be promoted through our local public school system, home school organizations, and local youth organizations such as 4-H, Girl Scouts, and Boy
Scouts. We will also work to make training available for the use of these resources.
With this grant, the Catoosa County Conservation District is striving to lay the foundation for a greater appreciation of water quality and conservation throughout our community. We have already secured more supplies for future rain barrel workshops. These conservation efforts are made possible with help from the Friends of NACD District Grant Program.
Help provide grant opportunities like this to conservation districts around the country. Become a Friend of NACD today!
Districts interested in purchasing EnviroScape® hands-on models, including the Watershed/Nonpoint Source Model, can receive discounts with the following promotional codes.
- 10 percent off one or more EnviroScape® models with the code NACD10
- 15 percent off 5 or more EnviroScape® models with the code NACD15
- 20 percent off 10 or more EnviroScape® models with the code NACD20
Enter codes when ordering online.