Soil and Water Conservation District Award Program
Dora Chaffin SWCD Employee/Dependent Scholarships
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 employees pursuing college degrees to enhance their district job skills or to members of the employees’ families.
Watershed Connections Award
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.
2016 – James Beckley
E. C. Compton Outstanding Associate Director Award
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. Winners from Henrico County include:
2011 – Charles Curry
2012 – Donald “Spec” Campen
2013 – Herb Dunford
2015 – Terri Higgins
2016 – Leon App
Bobby Wilkinson Outstanding Director Award –
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.
2017 – Herb Dunford
Conservation Education Teacher of the Year –
Each year the VASWCD recognizes an outstanding elementary and secondary teacher with the VASWCD Teacher Award. State winners will be recognized at the VASWCD Annual Meeting. The first place teacher in each category receives a plaque and $250. Winners from Henrico County include:
2014 – Outstanding Elementary Teacher – Judy Fitzpatrick of Short Pump Elementary School
2014 – Outstanding Secondary Teacher – Dawn Sherwood of Highland Springs High School
BMP Forestry Award –
The Forestry BMP Award identifies a cooperator who deserves recognition for outstanding best management practices accomplished during the past ten years. The winner will be recognized at the Association’s Annual Meeting in December.
Urban Forestry Award –
The VASWCD Forestry Committee in 1994 developed guidelines for an Urban Forestry Award. The purpose of this award is to give recognition to those groups who are leaders in their area in tree planting, protection, education, etc. The winner will be recognized at the Association’s Annual Meeting in December.
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. Winners from Henrico County include:
2013 – Lindy Durham
2016 – Charlie Lively
2019 – Stacey Heflin
Virginia Association of Conservation District Employees (VACDE) Outstanding Employee Award –
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.