By CACD Executive Director, Bobbi Ketels – December 6th, 2021

On Friday, November 19th, the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD), officially announced the winners of the 2021 Poster Contest during the 77th CACD Virtual Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony.

The top three posters at the state level were announced and recognized by Ann Charchalis. Ann is married to CACD’s Director Nick Charchalis. Ann comes from a robust history of teaching, starting out as a substitute teacher and then moving into the role of a Title 1 reading aid. From there she moved on to teach at the middle school, 7th, and 8th-grade math for 20 years until retirement. This is the second time Ann has presented our poster contest winners. She did an outstanding job bringing forth the passion and heart that teachers have for their students!

CACD commends the efforts of the Colorado Conservation Districts and their commitment each year in working with their local schools and students on the CACD State Poster Contest. The districts of Colorado go out of their way to work with and engage with the youth of our state; creating interest in conservation and teaching them how to become good stewards of the land.

There is a special recognition to be given to our districts, our schools, our teachers, and students as we navigated through, yet another year of difficulty caused by COVID-19. Once again, each district faced its own set of challenges with limited ability to work with the schools and having to work under specific guidelines and maneuver the difficult schedules faced by teachers and students alike.

CACD received (28) entries from (16) districts that were put on CACD’s “virtual” display. These districts included Agate, Centennial, Center, Conejos County, Costilla, Double El, East Otero, Fremont, Kiowa, Mosca-Hooper, Olney-Boone, Rio Grande, Sedgwick, Shavano, West Greeley, and West Otero-Tempas. All (28) students did a remarkable job and will all receive a certificate of participation at the state level. If you did not get a chance to view this year’s posters, please visit this link:

It is with great pleasure to award our top three who have done an outstanding job in capturing the theme of this year’s Poster Contest:

“Healthy Forests = Healthy Communities”

1st place – Jozie Duran – West Greeley Conservation District

2nd place – Zane Donley – Fremont Conservation District

3rd place – Lauren Lorenzo – Centennial Conservation District

The top three posters in the Colorado state contest will receive monetary prizes from CACD. The first-place winner will receive $100, the second-place winner will receive $75, and the third-place winner will receive $50.

The poster from our first-place winner, Jozie Duran, has been submitted to NACD as the Colorado Association nominee in the NACD 76th Annual Meeting National Poster Contest, which will be held in February 2022.

The top three posters in each grade category of the national contest will receive monetary prizes. The first-place winner will receive $200, the second-place winner will receive $150 and, the third-place winner will receive $100. The NACD winning posters will be featured at NACD’s Annual Meeting. Each state conservation association, auxiliary, or agency contact who entered a state poster will receive notification of the judging results and an NACD news release announcing the winners during their 2022 Annual Meeting.

Announcement and information from NACD’s Website:

Next year’s 2022 Poster Contest theme is “Healthy Soil: Healthy Life” The NACD 2022 Stewardship Week materials are accessible on the NACD’s Education Hub and will also be available on the CACD website no later than December 31st, 2021. These materials are available all year long to be used for the 2022 poster contest and other educational activities.

NACD’s 67th Stewardship Week will be held April 24th – May 1, 2022. The NACD Stewardship Week is one of the largest national programs to promote natural resource conservation. This week is celebrated annually and has been celebrated since 1955 between the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in May. The NACD Stewardship Week is intended to remind all of us, of our individual responsibilities to care for our natural resources.

During the spring of each year, NACD and other dedicated conservationists organize outreach events and educational learning experiences for students, and adults in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of natural resource conservation. This is an opportunity for local conservation districts and state associations to use these ideas and materials to help bring awareness and educate the public on the importance of soil health, water quality and quantity, pollinator habitat, and many other conservation topics.

Different classroom activities, field visits, and community events are hosted to honor and recognize efforts in conservation at the local level. Below are just a few examples given by NACD in ways to engage your community in Stewardship Week and the annual poster contest.

Deliver PowerPoint presentations to school students and encourage participation in NACD’s annual poster contest.
Organize a natural resource festival for elementary school students.
Conduct workshops for gardeners, homeowners, schools, farmers, and landowners interested in improving soil health.
Host a soil health “Lunch and Learn” and a conservation tour for local officials.

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