Pesentations & Festivals
The Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District staff works with students, teachers and the general public to encourage conservation of our natural resources. Our education program includes classroom presentations, public presentations, grants, scholarships, water festivals and the Nebraska Envirothon. The “Wonderful World of Water” program is the only water quality event in Nebraska designed especially for high school students. It is a “hands on” learning event emphasizing the protection of our natural resources. It also gives students a chance to work with natural resources professionals and learn about careers in natural resources.
The Upper Elkhorn NRD also sponsors the Natural Resources Festival which is designed for students in the 5th grade to promote their awareness of water quality, water supply, and other related issues concerning the environment. The Upper Elkhorn NRD strives to educate the public of our natural resources and how to preserve, protect and enhance them for future generations.
The Nebraska Envirothon is a competition designed for high school students to test their knowledge regarding the environment. Five member teams compete on the regional and state level in six areas of environmental studies: soil, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, policy, range and a current environmental issue. The Nebraska Envirothon competition gives students the chance to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to life.
Students are given an opportunity to interact with resource professionals who can discuss the practical applications of what they are learning in school and how it applies to real life. The Nebraska Envirothon Study Guide is now available. You can receive a copy by calling the Upper Elkhorn NRD office at (402) 336-3867 or by visiting the State Envirothon Website.
Land & Range Judging Contests
The Upper Elkhorn NRD partners with other agencies to host Land and Range Judging Contests in the North Central Region of Nebraska. These contests provide students and adults with the opportunity to evaluate land and range conditions to better understand these resources. Participants in Land Judging evaluate soil profiles and the factors surrounding its make-up and land treatment practices. Range Judging participants identify plants, growth habits, forage value and other characteristics. For more information, visit the NARD Website.
The Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District has established a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors. There are three scholarships available amounting to $500 each for three seniors who are planning to further their education in a field relating to natural resources or agriculture. To be eligible for a scholarship the student must meet the following criteria:
- The student must be a graduating high school senior who resides or whose family owns land within the Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District.
- The student must have an overall grade point average of a “C” or 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale at the end of the first semester of his/her senior year in high school.
- The student must attend an accredited college, community college or vocational school the semester following graduation.
- The student must direct his/her course study towards curriculum related to natural resources or agriculture.
- The student must submit an application and cover letter to the Upper Elkhorn NRD before the annual deadline.
The Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District has set aside funding for various scholarships and other related natural resources camps and educator conferences. A scholarship provided for the Nebraska Youth Range Camp centers around rangeland management, conservation, ecology, and wildlife. Another scholarship for ACE, “Adventure Camp about the Environment,” helps youth learn more about aquatics, forestry, rangeland and grassland, wildlife and habitat, soils, and land.
All grants are on a first come first serve basis. Applicants for the grants must reside within the Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District and are required to submit a written report to the Board of Directors following the completion of their camp or conference. Grant monies are disbursed after the report, and proof of attendance is submitted to the Upper Elkhorn NRD Board of Directors.
$100 Range Camp Grants
The Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District sponsors two $100 range camp grants per county (Antelope, Holt, Rock, and Wheeler). However, if there is a county that does not use their grant, it may be used in a county which has a greater demand. The Nebraska Youth Range Camp grant applications are due by the end of May.
The Upper Elkhorn NRD has also set aside funding for environmental/natural resources related camps (ACE Camp). This funding is available on a first come first serve basis.
For Environmental Educators
The Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District has set aside funding amounting to $200 for Environmental Educators to attend environmental conferences. Applications should be submitted before the conference.