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Stewardship Program

Education is a critical element of the conservation effort at the local, state and national levels. Educating young people about the benefits of conservation helps to ensure the next generation will be wise stewards of America’s natural resources.

In 1955, the National Association of Conservation Districts began a national program to encourage Americans to focus on stewardship. Stewardship Week is officially celebrated from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May. It is one of the world’s largest conservation-related observances.

The program relies on conservation districts sharing and promoting stewardship and conservation through field days, educational programming, and workshops to educate citizens about the need to care for our natural resources. Many district activities extend beyond the one-week observance to include an entire year of outreach. Stewardship Week helps to remind us all of the power each person has to conserve natural resources and improve the world. When everyone works together with their local conservation district, that power continuously grows.

For more information about NACD’s Stewardship Program, email stewardship[at]nacdnet.org.

Stewardship Themes

The Stewardship and Education Committee has developed a five-year rotation for stewardship topics – water, soil, habitat, forestry, and a topic of interest – and determines the theme each year. The 2021 Poster Contest theme is “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.” The 2021 Stewardship week will be celebrated Apr. 25 – May 2, 2021 with the same theme.

Trees are important and is it necessary to protect existing trees and plant new ones as well as to advocate and educate about trees and forest conservation within your community.

The 2021 Poster Contest and Stewardship week theme is “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.”

The 2021 Stewardship and Education materials, rules, entry forms and other resources for the 2021 NACD Poster Contest are available for download through NACD Conservation Education Hub. The 2021 Stewardship Week took place April 25 – May 2, 2021.

The NACD Stewardship and Education Committee is excited to announce the 2022 Poster Contest and Stewardship Week theme: “Healthy Soils: Healthy Life.” 

Healthy soils are the foundation for all life on Earth. Soil is an important resource for everything from human health to agriculture to water filtration. The imperative benefit of healthy soil is food production. Healthy soils also give us clean air and water, plentiful crops and forests, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. It is important that each of us recognize where our food comes and the farmers and ranchers who are dedicated to using responsible land-management practices to ensure a sustainable food supply and healthy land and soil for future generations.

The “Healthy Soils: Healthy Life” curriculum, rules, entry forms and other resources for the 2022 NACD Poster Contest will be available by the end of the September.

The 67th Annual Stewardship Week will take place from April 22-May 1, 2022. For more information, visit our Stewardship Program webpage.


Click on the logos below to view and download resources from previous years’ stewardship themes.

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