CLBL SLEWS volunteer planting Yolo bypass wildlife area

The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Education Committee makes information available to Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) that wish to enhance their education and outreach to K-12 students who are interested in natural resource management and agricultural issues.

NACD Poster Contest

The annual National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and NACD Auxiliary Poster Contest provides students from kindergarten through 12th grade the chance to have their art displayed as part of a national conservation outreach initiative. Each year, the winning posters reflect NACD’s annual Stewardship theme, and highlight the work of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies to protect and enhance natural resources. The contest starts at the district level; winners advance to the state level, and then to the national level, where they receive recognition at NACD’s annual meeting.

The poster contest is open to public, private, and home-schooled students. The top three posters in each category of the national contest will receive monetary prizes. First place winners will receive $200; second place winners will receive $150; and third place winners will receive $100. The NACD Auxiliary, through their quilt project proceeds and the Albert I. Pierce Foundation, sponsor prizes at the national level.

2021 Theme: “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities”

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, stabilize the soil, filter water, provide healthy habitat for wildlife and offer many additional benefits – for nature, people and biodiversity. Not only is it necessary to protect existing trees and plant new ones, but it’s also important to advocate and educate about trees and forest conservation within your community.

Interested students should reach out to their local RCD* for more information about their local poster contests and deadlines. Each RCD will be required to submit their winning entries to CARCD by October, 29th, 2021. Winners from each age group will be voted on at the CARCD Annual Conference in November and forwarded along to the National Contest by December 1st.

*Find your local RCD using our state-wide RCD map. If you do not reside in an area with an RCD, contact Emily at to be connected with the closest RCD to you.

Poster Contest Guidelines for Contestants

  • Any media may be used, including paint, crayon, colored pencil, charcoal, stickers, paper, or other materials. No digital entries can be accepted at the State level contest.
  • All posters must be created by an individual student, rather than a team of students. Entry must be contestant’s original creation and may not be traced from photographs or other artists’ published works.
  • The 2021 Theme: “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities” must be included on the front side of each poster submission to be eligible for the national poster contest.
  • Each entry for the national contest must be submitted to your local RCD with an entry form to be eligible for judging. The form must be completed and signed by a parent or

Although younger students will most likely receive help in planning from parents or teachers, NACD encourages each student to do their own work. Note: Entries with student handwriting and coloring will score better than those designed, drawn, and colored by adult assistance.

Poster Contest Guidelines for RCDs

The state level NACD Poster Contest will be held at the Annual CARCD Conference in November. All entries for the state level contest must be submitted to CARCD by October 29th, 2021. RCDs should send the items below to Emily at

  1. JPEG files of the posters with the file name format: RCDName_GradeCategory_FirstandLastNameOfWinner
  2. The NACD Poster Contest Entry Form associated with each poster
  3. The Local-to-State Form

Thank you for your participation!

2021 High School Speak-Off Contest

The 2021 Speak-Off topic is:

What can Resource Conservation Districts do to help create a more inclusive dialogue about conservation work?

The CARCD Conservation Education Speak-Off is an annual competition designed to help California high school students learn about natural resource issues in their area, build public speaking skills and confidence, and enable conservation practitioners to hear from youth about issues that matter most to them.

With the support of their local RCDs, students compete first at a county level and then regionally for a chance to participate in the final speak-off round at the Annual CARCD Conference in November. Winners and runners-up receive cash awards for their time and effort. Travel to and from these events for the student and chaperone is paid for by their RCD. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three competitors: $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place.