JMSWCD Offices John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation
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Education Programs


July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

The John Marshall SWCD conducted conservation education programs for over 3,400 individuals in FY 2014. District employees worked with elementary through high school age students, and adult audiences, providing information on a variety of conservation topics such as point and nonpoint source pollution, water quality, stream monitoring, soils, erosion and sediment control, and best management practices.  Programs are customized to meet the needs of the groups requesting the programs.  Participating students represented public, private, and home schooled youth.  Adult participants included teachers, parents, chaperones, farmers and other interested citizens.

During FY 2014, the JMSWCD educational programs included:

Cedar Run Monitoring - Students from Alonzo Batson’s Fauquier High School Ecology classes conducted water quality tests at Cedar Run for students to monitor stream velocity, width, depth, pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and dissolved oxygen, as well as collecting macroinvertebrates.

South Run Monitoring Project - Students from Kaitlyn Smoot’s Kettle Run High School Ecology classes conducted monitoring on South Run in Vint Hill Park.  Like with the Cedar Run Monitoring, students conduct tests for stream velocity, width, depth, pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and dissolved oxygen, as well as collecting macroinvertebrates on a monthly basis.

Conservation Field Days - 180 seventh-grade students, teachers, and chaperones from Taylor Middle School participated in a conservation field day at Messick’s Dairy Farm in October.  Guest instructors presented talks on milking, newborn calves, nutrient management, water quality, macroinvertebrates, soils, forestry, insects, and composting.

Farm Tours - JMSWCD personnel coordinated Farm Tours for over 700 third grade students, teachers, and chaperones at local farms in April.  However, due to very heavy rains, these events had to be cancelled for this year.  Students would have rotated through beef, dairy, horse, nutrient management, farm life cycle, forestry, insects, soil, and water quality stations.  Locust Hill Farm in Middleburg and Choice Longhorns in Bealeton were to be the hosts for the events.

Conservation Day - JMSWCD personnel assisted with a conservation day at Marriott Ranch for Wakefield School sixth-grade students.  Talks included wetlands, conservation, water quality, and macroinvertebrates.

Educational Displays - JMSWCD personnel set up and staffed educational displays at several events, including  the Fauquier County Fair, Fauquier Public Schools Benefits Fair, Science and Sustainable Energy Festival, and the Crockett Park Children’s and Earth Day Festivals.

Point and Non-Point Source Pollution - The Enviroscape model was used to demonstrate the impact of everyday rural and urban events on watershed health to over 600 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade students.

Soil Studies - 530 third grade youth received hands-on instruction in soil studies, learning about structure and texture, the soil profile, and soil testing.  All students made and took home soil tubes.

Soil Tunnel - Over 600 youth crawled through John Marshall’s soil tunnel at school events and the Fauquier County Fair.

Leaf Pack Project - The District helped the Environmental Clubs at Brumfield and P.B. Smith Elementary Schools conduct the Leaf Pack project which studied macroinvertebrates from Cedar Run and Great Run.

Upper Rappahannock Monitoring - JMSWCD staff and volunteers continued monitoring of 7 sites for macroinvertebrates using the Modified Virginia SOS method. Streams are monitored quarterly and data entered on the SOS website.

E. coli Monitoring - Ten sites on Thumb Run, nine on Great Run, and eight on Marsh Run were tested on a monthly basis for E. coli in cooperation with DEQ.  Bacterial colonies were grown in the office using the Coliscan Easygel method, and results entered on the DEQ website.

Presentations - District personnel made numerous presentations to Master Gardeners, 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other business and civic groups.

Trout In The Classroom - The District delivered eggs to 4 schools to raise Brook Trout and release them in local streams.  120 students participated in a trout release event at Thompson Wildlife Management Area.

Warrenton Garden Club Nature Camp - The John Marshall SWCD staff assisted over 30 youth campers with macroinvertebrate monitoring and chemical testing on the Rappahannock River near Orlean.

TMDL Monitoring - JMSWCD continued monitoring streams for nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, dissolved oxygen, and E. coli to serve as baseline data before new conservation practices are established. The streams included Deep Run, Great Run, Carter’s Run, and Thumb Run which are TMDL streams.

Rain Barrels - The John Marshall SWCD purchased and sold over two dozen EarthMinded rain barrels to local citizens.

Fauquier Education Farm - Staff members assisted with the Fauquier Farm Tour and served on the board of the Fauquier Education Farm.

Other Events - Staff members assisted with PEC’s Sustainable Landscaping Workshop, the Culpeper SWCD Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, staffed the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts’ display at the State Fair of Virginia, and assisted the Town of Warrenton with Arbor Day activities.

Date Last Modified: 08/25/2014


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