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A staff report 

In a remarkable initiative to foster environmental awareness and conservation among the youth, the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District has once again highlighted its commitment to nurturing future stewards of our planet. Through a series of engaging contests sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, students from third to twelfth grades have been given a platform to express their concerns and ideas for soil and water conservation.

This year, the District is proud to announce the winners of its local competitions, who have showcased their understanding and commitment to the environment through poster, essay, public speaking, and computer slide show contests. Following is the list of the Bladen County Schools’ spotlighted students. 

The theme for this year’s contests, “The Living Soil,” inspired students to delve deep into the importance of soil as a living ecosystem and its pivotal role in sustaining life. With enthusiastic participation across various grade levels, the contests have unearthed a wealth of creativity and insight among the students of Bladen County. Notable among the winners are students from Bladen Lakes Primary School, Bladenboro Primary School, Elizabethtown Christian Academy, Clarkton School of Discovery, Emereau Bladen, Tar Heel School, and Elizabethtown Middle School. These young environmentalists have not only earned accolades at the District level but also the opportunity to compete at the Area 7 and potentially at the State Competition.

The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District extends its gratitude to this year’s judges – Hackney Deans of Quail Forever, Greg Elkins, the Bladen County Planning Director, and Jane Jones from the Farm Service Agency – for their invaluable contribution to the success of these contests. In addition to recognizing the efforts of the students, the District also appreciates the role of teachers and parents in guiding and supporting the participants.

Further cementing its role in environmental education, the District announced Jackson Bridgers, a rising junior from East Bladen High School, as this year’s representative at the annual Resource Conservation Workshop. This intensive program, hosted on the campus of North Carolina State University, is aimed at deepening students’ understanding of natural resources and their management in today’s world. Jackson’s selection underscores the District’s dedication to investing in young individuals passionate about conservation and the environment.

The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District’s efforts in organizing these contests and educational programs underscore a vital investment in the environmental guardians of tomorrow. By providing a platform for young voices to be heard and fostering a deep respect for the natural world, the District is not only celebrating the achievements of its youth but is also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future. Congratulations to all the students who participated, and here’s to their continued success in making a difference for the planet.

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