Lexington Soil & Water Conservation District
The 2022 SC Envirothon Competition
April 29, 2022
RSWCD Associate Commissioner Charles Weber(left), SCDNR Conservation Districts Program Manager Tyler Brown (right)
We had beautiful weather for this outdoor, environmental competition for high schoolers. We are so grateful to the SC Envirothon sponsors, volunteers, and coaches who make this program possible! Sponsors include Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, SCDNR-Conservation Districts, SC Conservation Districts Foundation, the SC Association of Conservation Districts, and several others. We had three Lexington Soil and Water Conservation District Representatives volunteer for this event including Commissioners Barbara Padget and Hugh Caldwell along with District Employee John Oxner.
1st place overall - Spartanburg High School A Team who will represent South Carolina at the NCF-Envirothon this summer in Ohio!
2nd Place Overall: Spartanburg Day School Carolina Team
3rd Place Overall: Pendleton High School FFA Team 1
New Team Award: Nation Ford FFA Team
Marc Cribb Exceptional Leader Award: Anna-Wallace Cheek from Spartanburg High School
Photos and information provided by RSWCD and Brooke Myres
2022 Herb Festival
March 26, 2022
The 10th Annual Herb Festival sponsored by Lexington Herb Bunch was held on Saturday, March 26, 2022 on the grounds of the Lexington Museum. It was sunny, but chilly day. The LSWCD had a booth where they displayed information about the district and provided materials for attendees to take home. Pens, recipe cards, and copies of South Carolina Wildlife were also handed out. Commissioners Caldwell, Gunter and Padget helped children make seed necklace to take home so they can start their own gardens. District Manager John Oxner also attended with a member of his family. We enjoyed meeting folks from the county and sharing our mission of promoting good conservation practices.
By Commissioner Barbara Padget
2022 Annual Recognition Banquet
May 5, 2022
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this year's banquet came back with a bang. Shealy's set out an amazing spread of green beans, corn, fried chicken, country fried steak, rice and gravy, pecan pie and banana pudding. With over 100 guests in attendance Shealy's made sure everyone had a full plate with a little left for some guests to take home.
Students of Lexington High School, River Bluff High School, White Knoll High School and Pleasant Hill Middle School were in attendance to receive their certificates and cash prizes as winners of the 2022 Photography Contest. This year had 7 winners for Division 1, 9th - 12th grade; 1 winner in Division 2, 6th - 8th grade; and 1 winner for the Poster Contest. This year we were also fortunate enough to be able to provide 4 scholarship to deserving high school seniors.
Other awards given were: Teacher of the year, Angela Kruger; Friend of Conservation, Bill Scott; and Conservation & Public Service, Sheri Armstrong. Robert Broyles gave a moving speech as he presented Dwight Davis with his Emeritus Award. Many special guests were in attendance such as Toya Rodgers of Twin City news, the Honorable Cal Forrest, Reginald Hall and Robyn Amie of NCRS, Tyler Brown of SCDNR and many more. With such lovely turn out we can't wait for next year's banquet.
Photos by Charlotte Jennings
Ag in the Classroom
Gilbert Elementary School
May 24, 2022
Commissioner Padget read to six classes at Gilbert Elementary from grades K-5. The 3rd – 5th graders were read Lincoln Clears a Path, and she kept them engaged by asking them how their lives related to the story they were read. Students were excited to share that they lived on farms and grew many of the same vegetables that Lincoln did. The K-2nd graders were read So You Want to Grow a Taco? and were greeted by the sight of different types of corn and tomatoes. Thankfully lunchtime was right around the corner.
Local Work Group Meeting
July 26, 2022
LSWCD and Melanie Schuller, of NRCS, hosted a Local Work Group meeting for Lexington County landowners to discuss the resource concerns they are facing. Local Work Groups are the intermediaries between Districts, USDA-NRCS, state/local partners, and producers. These groups asses the current natural resource concerns in Lexington County/District and identify opportunities and challenges that Local and State NRCS and partners can address through their conservation programs. Some of the programs that NRCS offers to help landowners address resource concerns and to implement good conservation practices are:
EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program) – an incentive program designed to encourage people to implement good conservation practices like stacking sheds and cover crops.
CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program) – 5-year contract to encourage stewardship. This programs enhances conservation practices that are already in place.
CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) – 10-15 year contract through FSA that assists agricultural producers in preventing environmentally sensitive agricultural land from being farmed or ranched.
ACEP (Conservation Easement Program) – has 2 components: agricultural land easements and wetland reserve easements.
NRCS separates resource concerns into four categories and this month's most recent of meeting of the LWG identified what they believe to be the most pressing issues facing Lexington County.
For more information about these programs please visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
Water quality/quantity/ irrigation efficiency
Waste collection and containment
SCACD - East Piedmont Area Meeting
September 22, 2022
LSWCD started the meeting traveling up a winding road, surrounded by lush trees, that lead up to a venue straight out of a fairytale. All five Commissioners were in attendance, and Commissioner Hensley even flew from DC to make the meeting.
Attendees socialized for about thirty minutes before Joe Ghent, Chairman of Lancaster SWCD, got the meeting underway. Sherry Walden, the owner, gave a brief history of Catawba Falls before the partnership reports from SCACD, NRCS, and DNR were given. Elliot Wicham from Drought Monitoring & Response gave a brief, but informative presentation.
After the reports, a hearty dinner of marinaded chicken, roast beef, squash, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and cheesecake was served. Following diner, Senator Mike Fanning spoke on the importance of remembering the history of the past and how it connects to our future. He talked about the future growth of Great Falls, and emphasized the importance of developing rural communities so they can advance towards the future instead of fading into the past.
Rounding up the night, Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, and York County all gave a brief report on how their districts were doing. With the district reports finished the meeting came to a close and the attendees were encouraged to take the extra food home.
Agricultural Teachers' Meeting September 28, 2022
A dinner meeting was held at Mediterranean Café with the agricultural teachers from all five school districts. After a light but tasty meal of hummus and pita bread, chicken, yellow rice and greek salad our Commissioners introduced themselves and gave a brief overview of LSWCD history and objectives.
Katherine Porth from FSA joined us and offered her expertise as we broke down the programs and assistance we offer to teachers. We hope to have similar meetings in the future so we can stay informed and help the teachers as best we can.
SCACD - Mid Year Meeting
October 6, 2022
The sun was shinning, a cool breeze was blowing and LSWCD was stuck inside at a meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the current policy positions and see if there was anything that needed to be changed.
After lunch NRCS, SCDNR, SCCDEA, NACD, and the SC Conservation Districts Foundation delivered their partnership updates. NRCS State Conservationist, Ann English, stated they are working towards urban agriculture projects and outreach to colleges and universities.
NRCS - National Resources Conservation Services, SCDNR - SC Department of Natural Resources, SCCDEA - SC Conservation Districts Employee Association, NACD - National Association Conservation Districts