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Stewardship Week

NACD's 68th Stewardship Week will be held April 30 - May 7, 2023.

What is Stewardship Week?

NACD Stewardship Week is one of the largest national programs to promote natural resource conservation. Celebrated annually since 1955 between the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in May, NACD Stewardship Week reminds us of our individual responsibilities to care for natural resources.

NACD’s 68th Stewardship Week will be held April 30 – May 7. In 2023, NACD’s Stewardship Week will be focused on watersheds and the theme of “One Water.” 

But what is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers,  eventually leading to outflow points such as reservoirs, bays, and the ocean. Those bodies of water are all connected, so every drop that falls becomes part of one water.

Watersheds can be any size and usually have some high points of land like hills, mountains, or ridges. When rain, sleet, or snow falls to the ground, the precipitation runs from those higher points to the lower points. Gravity pulls the water downhill until it reaches a body of water. If the land in the watershed is steep, the water usually runs off into rivers or streams. If the land in the watershed is level, the water will slowly flow into lakes or ponds, or seep into the soil and add to  groundwater. If the watershed  is close to the ocean, then tidal marshes, estuaries, and wetlands will be part of the watershed. From the top of the mountain all the way to the coast, it is all one water.

Have you ever watched it rain? The raindrops fall on the ground and flow through the soil. Water soaks through the soil until it reaches groundwater, which is water that moves through spaces in soil and rock underground. A lot of the water we use and drink every day comes from water in the ground. As it rains and the water runs off, it collects in rivers, lakes, and oceans and then returns to the atmosphere to fall as rain somewhere else. All land across the entire earth is made up of watersheds. We all live in a watershed. We share the water in our watershed with other people, with animals, and with plants because… it is all one water.

Look for downloadable “One Water” Stewardship Week materials later this fall!






Why Stewardship Week?

Each spring, NACD and thousands of dedicated conservationists organize a multitude of outreach events and educational learning experiences for students and adults in order to increase awareness about the importance of natural resource conservation. During Stewardship Week, local conservation districts and their state associations educate the public on the importance of soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat and other conservation topics. Different classroom activities, field visits and community events are hosted to honor and recognize efforts in conservation at the local level.

How can you celebrate Stewardship Week?

To support a memorable celebration of this year’s Stewardship Week, below are some examples of methods to engage your community in Stewardship Week:

  • Deliver PowerPoint presentations to school students and encourage participation in NACD’s annual poster contest.
  • Organize a natural resource festival for elementary school students.
  • Produce public service announcements for Stewardship Week and play them on local radio stations. See our template here.
  • Team up with a local grocery store to provide paper grocery bags for middle school students to design posters.
  • Conduct workshops for gardeners, homeowners, schools, farmers and landowners interested in improving soil health.
  • Set up a Conservation Station (a mobile learning center) that you can travel with across the state and teach local communities how they can improve water quality and soil health.
  • Host a soil health “Lunch and Learn” and a conservation tour for local officials from the Department of Agriculture or Natural Resources.

2022 Stewardship Week

NACD’s 67th Stewardship Week was celebrated Apr. 24 – May 1, 2022 with the theme “Healthy Soil: Healthy Life.”

Resources:


Each conservation district has an inspiring story to tell. Let us know about your plans and successes by emailing stewardship[at]nacdnet.org.

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