Award Program

Dora Chaffin SWCD Employee/Dependent Scholarships – Foundation Board will determine if the program will be advertised by July 1, 2024. If scholarships are to be awarded based on Investment Committee recommendations, applications are due Aug. 19, 2024.

The Dora Chaffin SWCD Employee/Dependent Scholarships (the “Dora Chaffin Scholarships”) are offered by the Educational Foundation of the VASWCD in honor and memory of Dora Crute Chaffin, wife of Wilkie Chaffin, former president of the VASWCD and the Educational Foundation.  The Dora Chaffin Scholarships are designed to help provide financial support to Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees pursuing college degrees to enhance their district job skills or to members of the employees’ families.

Watershed Connections AwardDue Sept. 6, 2024

The Watershed Connections Award will recognize an outstanding SWCD director in each of Virginia’s major river basins for encouraging SWCDs to work on a watershed basis. The watersheds include: Shenandoah/Potomac, Rappahannock, York, James, Chowan, Roanoke, New, Holston/Clinch/Powell, Tennessee/Big Sandy, and the Bay/Coastal Rivers. A director is only eligible to receive this award once so previous award winners are not eligible to be nominated. Winners will be recognized at the VASWCD Annual Meeting in December.

E. C. Compton Outstanding Associate Director Award Due Sept 6, 2024

This award was established in 1990 to annually recognize an outstanding Associate District Director for their significant contribution to Virginia’s soil and water conservation movement.  The award is presented at the VASWCD Annual Meeting in December.

Bobby Wilkinson Outstanding Director Award Due Sep. 6, 2024

This award was established in 1990 to annually recognize an outstanding District Director for their significant contribution to the advancement of the Association’s policies and programs. The award is presented at the VASWCD Annual Meeting in December.

Recent winners of this award include:  Charles “Chip” Jones, Northern Neck (2019); Richard Chaffin, Peaks of Otter SWCD (2018); Herbert Dunford,Jr., Henricopolis SWCD (2017) Linda Campbell, Shenandoah Valley SWCD (2016); Lou Ann Wallace, Clinch Valley SWCD (2015); Ed Overton, Colonial SWCD (2014); Daphne Jamison, Blue Ridge SWCD (2013); Jerry Ingle, Daniel Boone (2012); Wilkie Chaffin, Piedmont (2011); John Peterson, Northern Virginia (2010); Ricky Rash, Piedmont (2009);  J. C. Berger, Northern Neck (2008); Bob Dixon, Peaks of Otter (2006); Michael G. Altizer, Clinch Valley (2005); James G. Byrne, Culpeper SWCD (2004); Donald L. Wells, Hanover-Caroline SWCD (2003); Charles E. Horn, Headwaters SWCD (2002); Jean R. Packard, Northern Virginia (2001); J. Hudson Reese, Halifax SWCD (2000); Joseph C. Kelley, Big Walker SWCD (1999); Pete Davis, Eastern Shore SWCD (1998); Cheryl Crowell, Lord Fairfax SWCD (1997); George Beals, Tri-County/City SWCD (1996); and Edwin Gulick, John Marshall SWCD (1995).

Conservation Education Teacher of the Year – Due Sept. 6, 2024

Each year the VASWCD recognizes an outstanding conservation education efforts by an elementary (Kindergarten -5th Grade) and  a secondary (6th-12th Grade) teacher with the VASWCD Teacher Award. All teachers in public, parochial and private schools in Virginia are eligible to participate in the program. State winners will be recognized at the VASWCD Annual Meeting.  First Place Teacher in each category receives a plaque and $250.  Each SWCD may send one nominee in each category (K-5th, 6th-12th).

BMP Forestry Award – Due Sept. 6, 2024

The Forestry BMP Award identifies a cooperator who deserves recognition for outstanding best management practices accomplished during the past ten years.  It is suggested that your local Virginia Department of Forestry be involved in the selection process. The data sheet for your district winner will be forwarded to the VASWCD Forestry Committee for evaluation. The winner will be recognized at the Association’s Annual Meeting in December.

Chaffin Employee of the Year Awards Due Oct. 7, 2024

The VASWCD Educational Foundation presents these employee awards to recognize the contributions of employees in all Virginia Districts and to highlight the accomplishments of some of the best employees. In 2002, Dora and Wilkie Chaffin (a director in the Piedmont District and Past President of the VASWCD) recommended the establishment of employee awards, and offered to provide funding for these awards.  The VASWCD Board endorsed this offer and approved a set of awards to be called the Chaffin Soil and Water Conservation District Employees of the Year awards.  Three full-time District employees will be recognized with a monetary award for exemplary contributions toward meeting the goals of their individual Conservation Districts.

Virginia Association of Conservation District Employees (VACDE) Outstanding Employee Award  – Due TBD

The VACDE will recognize the work of a district employee at the Annual Meeting in December. This award is a great opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments and work of a district employee.   In addition to being recognized among peers the recipient will receive a token of appreciation and a check for $300.