This blog post is part of a seven-part series highlighting technical assistance (TA) grant recipient participation at NACD’s Summer Conservation Forum and Tours in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This post’s author, Diana Olson of the Popo Agie Conservation District in WY, attended the meeting with a TA stipend.
From the tropical location of Puerto Rico, the business meetings, the educational breakout sessions, and the tour I was able to take, the NACD 2022 Summer Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico was life changing for me.
I have been on staff with my local conservation district for 12 years and this was the first national conference I’ve had the opportunity to attend. The stipend offered to NACD TA Grant recipients was the reason I was able to attend this summer’s meeting. I can’t thank NACD enough for providing me with such an incredible opportunity.
The most meaningful part of the meeting for me was the breakout session that discussed the National Conservation Foundation-Envirothon. I had never heard of the program and the testimonials given by people active with Envirothon was truly inspiring. I came away motivated to take our education program up a notch!
The tour provided to attendees to the El Yunque rain forest was the highlight of my time in Puerto Rico. The forest itself was spectacular, plus the people that facilitated our tour (from the bus driver to the forest service staff) surpassed my expectations. It was so interesting to listen to our guide talk about the Puerto Rican Parrot they have brought back from near extinction and what their natural resource concerns are on the island. A bonus was the lunch that was provided!
I am truly grateful for everyone involved that made the TA Grant stipend possible.