The 47th annual Natural Resources Conservation Workshop was held June 8-12. The event was hosted by the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. The workshop has graduated approximately 11,410 graduates and this year was enjoyed by 159 Georgia high school students including eight students and their two chaperones from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Students came from throughout Georgia and attended the week’s activities of field trips and classroom functions with opportunities to earn college scholarships at the end of the week.Workshop Director Dennis Brooks said, “This is an excellent opportunity for high school students interested in our environment and natural resources. Students learn the importance of conserving our natural resources and the vital role these resources play in our daily lives and for future generations as well. Many students make decisions toward a career or area of study in college because of their involvement in this workshop.”Instruction and hands on activities were led by professionals from the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Mining Association. Twelve different core subjects were covered; Wildlife Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, Soil Conservation, Backyard Conservation, Georgia Coastal Resources, Fisheries Management , Conservation Engineering, Understanding Soils, Rediscovering Georgia’s Water Resources, Forest Protections, Forest Management and Mining/Conservation.The tuition of most students was sponsored by local businesses and organizations that support the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts through their affiliate member program. Dawson County was proud to be represented at this year’s workshop by Bradley Weaver.Weaver already has a strong respect and appreciation for the state’s natural resources and is well known in the county for his efforts to protect our resources and to teach others to do the same. Weaver’s trip to the workshop was sponsored by the Upper Chattahoochee River Soil and Charlie Tatum and George Lyons. The district supervisors are very supportive of conservation education for students as well as homeowners and landowners throughout the county. In addition to sending students to the workshop, the district gives college scholarships to graduating high school seniors. The supervisors said, “It is critical for our young people to learn to take care of the natural resources on which the future of life on this planet depends.”Weaver said that the workshop was great and highly encourages other students to attend. “There was a lot of different stuff to do. The instructors were great and made the information interesting. We got to stay in the very nice, brand new, apartment type dorms, so we got to see a little of what college life is like,” he said. Students, who would like to attend next year’s workshop, should call the soil conservation office or talk with Reggie Stowers or the counselor at the high school next spring. Quizzes were given on the last day of the workshop, which covered the core subjects that were taught during the week. Thirteen college scholarships worth $17,500, with $425 cash and plaques were given to students with the highest scores. Scholarships were provided by the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Workshop Scholarship Funds, The University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry Alumni Fund, Hearth of Georgia Technical College, Fort Valley State University, Two Georgia Chapter American Public Works, Georgia Mining Association, the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, Piedmont Pipe Products, Pope-Dunaway and the Natural Resources Executive Committee scholarship. Weaver is the son of Tony and Karen Weaver of Dawsonville.