Joining over 60 other students from across the State, four Harnett County high school students attended the 59th annual Resource Conservation Workshop in Raleigh June 26 – July 1, 2022. Students were selected by their local Soil and Water Conservation District Boards based on their involvement and interest in natural resources conservation with hopes that the camp would further inspire them to pursue careers in conserving our farms, protecting forestland, wildlife and water resources. The weeklong camp based on the campus of North Carolina State University also allowed students to gain experience in college life as they were housed on campus in dorms and learned to navigate campus to utilize multiple classroom ands labs.
Students attending from Harnett included:
The Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District provided sponsorship for the students to attend. “Our farmland, forestland, wildlife and water resources are under great pressure due to the rapid rate of growth that Harnett County is experiencing, so the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District was excited to support our local students in building their knowledge to manage the natural resources challenges our County is certain to face now and into the future. These students are our future agriculture professionals and conservationists that can make a positive difference within our local communities,” said Gerald Temple, Chair of the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
During the course of the week both classroom and hands-on lab instruction, in addition to outdoor learning experiences were presented by resource professionals including conservationists, scientists, foresters, biologists, wetland specialists, wildlife experts and engineers. Each session was geared towards increasing the students’ knowledge of the science involved in natural resources management in addition to providing an insight into future educational and career paths related to natural resources conservation and agriculture.
“Attending Resource Conservation Workshop helped me to connect career opportunities with my own interests and helped me to better understand what path I need to take in college to reach my career goals” commented Matthew Lambert who is a rising senior at Harnett Central High School and the third generation in his family to attend the annual event.
Students were engaged in hands-on learning activities at multiple study sights including N.C. State University Campus and the University’s Lake Wheeler Road Research Farm, Clemmons Educational State Forest, and Falls Lake State Recreation Area where they gained first hand field experience in managing aquatic resources, forestry, soils, water quality, and wildlife.
“After participating in the Envirothon competition in eighth grade, also sponsored by our Soil and Water Conservation District, I realized I wanted to work towards an environmental related career. Visiting the different sites during Resource Conservation Workshop I now see several different potential career areas I would enjoy working in” said Matthew Tarpey who is a rising senior at Harnett Central High School.
The annual Resource Conservation Workshop is a 59 year old commitment by multiple organizations and agencies to ensure that today’s generation of learners see the connection between the health of our natural resources and the future success of our Nation. Hugh Hammond Bennett, the Father of Soil and Water Conservation, once said “take care of the land and the land will take care of you.” Instructors represented agencies including N.C. State University, N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, N.C. Forest Service, multiple Soil and Water Conservation Districts, U.S. Department of Agricultural Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The workshop is sponsored and organized by the N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation, the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Hugh Hammond Bennett Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society and N.C. State University’s Soil Science Department. Local sponsorships are also provided by Soil and Water Conservation District Boards.
For more information about the Resource Conservation Workshop or other conservation education opportunities conducted by the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District call 910-893-7584 or email Lynn Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org.