Calendar of Events


Alice Markiewicz, Education & Outreach Specialist
Prince William Soil and Water
Conservation District
8850 Rixlew Lane
Manassas, VA 20109
Tel: (571)379-7514
Fax: (571)379-8305

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Schoolyard HabitatVascular Plant Program taught by Gloria Miller Farm Field Days 20th Year CelebrationArbor Day County Ceremony


Prince William Soil and Water Conservation Districts' Education Mission:

We will improve the local and downstream water quality for the future and reduce soil loss in our community by educating youth about the importance of natural resources. They will learn how to sustain a healthy environment that balances human, plant, and animal needs for habitat.

Youth Conservation Camp July 8 - 14, 2018 held at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

For forty years the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts has sponsored a week long summer conservation camp for Virginia high school students (currently enrolled in grades 9-12) on the campus of Virginia Tech. The program brings together about 70 interested students for a week of learning about Virginia's natural resources from conservation professionals and faculty from Virginia Tech. Most of the instruction is hands-on and outdooors. A $500 scholarship has been made available by Ducks Unlimited. Camper will provide the $50 registration fee to the District. Pictures from last years camp are available on Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts Facebook page. Camp agenda for the week and Camp application. The application is due to Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District, 8850 Rixlew Lane, Manassas, VA 20109, phone 571-379-7514, fax 571-379-8305 or email

FFD Making Butter

Save the Dates for our 29th annual Farm Field Days, October 17 and 18!

“Do you know butter comes RIGHT FROM THE COW?” exclaimed an excited fourth grade student to his friends! Such statements of awe and wonder can be heard throughout Farm Field Days, Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District’s (PWSWCD) signature education event. Hosted each fall for 28 years, Farm Field Days connects students to their agricultural heritage and begins planting the seeds of stewardship. PWSWCD presented the 28th annual Farm Field Days at the Prince William County Fairgrounds, located at 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas..

A BIG THANKS to our partner organizations: Prince William Cooperative Extension, Prince William Public Works Department, Master Gardeners,Master Naturalists, Prince William/Fairfax Farm Bureau, Prince William Beekeepers, Prince William County farmers, Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation members, staff family and friends. Thank you one and all, we can't do it without you!

Students rotate through seven barns, with each barn highlighting an aspect of life on the farm using hands-on lessons. The ever popular animal barns not only showcase the full range of farmyard critters from bees to oxen, but feature interactive demonstrations of how common products are made. Demonstrations will include wool spinning, butter churning, agricultural and industrial Regions of Virginia, trees and photosynthesis, and soil erosion through a science experiment, to name a few. Horsepower to High Tech tests the physical strength of a class of students to pull a tractor using math formulas to calculate horsepower. These demonstrations are geared to meet Virginia SOL measures. Farm Field Days is a fun and engaging hands-on approach to teaching students about the agricultural world around them, and opening their eyes to the importance of protecting our natural resources.

Volunteer positions are varied, some folks present demonstrations, direct classes to the next station, set up stations, check in volunteers, assist with hospitality, pass apples out to the students on their way to the next station, many tasks waiting for many hands to assist. For volunteer information contact or call 571.379.7514. We hope you will volunteer with us this October. All help will be greatly appreciated.

Farm Field Days are funded by generous donations to the Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, an affiliate of Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District.

Sprouting Success for Teachers

Professional Development Workshop for K-5 teachers presented by Agriculture in the Classroom in partnership with Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District and Windy Knoll Farm. For details email or call 571-379-7514.

Keep watch for our annual workshop held at Windy Knoll Farm. The workshop consists of SOL aligned, cross-curricular lessons using proven methodology, hands-on activities, ready for instant use in the classroom, followed by a Virginia themed dinner prepared by the Fairfax/Prince William Farm Bureau Women's Committee. Teachers receive CEU's for attending this workshop.

MWEE photoMeaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) volunteers needed for SPRING programs!

We are scheduling six MWEEs at Windy Knoll Farm, Nokesville. This program is Virginia Standards of Learning based for third grade students to promote stewardship in the context of one's neighborhood and community. Carefully selected experiences, driven by academic learning standards engendering discovery and wonder, and nurturing a sense of community will further connect students with the watershed and help reinforce an ethic of responsible citizenship.

Eighteen hundred students and seventy teachers have participated in these programs since 2012. The students are excited to get their hands down into the soil, learn the substance of soil, the uses of soil, NO SOIL - NO FOOD, and about the human impact on soil and water. We have added a bonus "Pollinators" station. Without them we would be in big trouble. Check out this video on youtube.

The programs are conducted by District directors, associate directors, staff and awesome volunteers. We will soon be scheduling programs for spring 2018. We invite all third grade teachers to come and also volunteers for this great program. Training provided, no rocket science involved. Contact Pam Popovich at for more information or to volunteer.


is an affiliate of Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District (District). The District is funded by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Foundation. The District uses these funds to accomplish our mission to: provide leadership in the conservation of soil, water, and related resources to all Prince William County citizens, through technical assistance, information, and education.

The Foundation uses donations/grants/rewards/funds to:
1) provide technical assistance to agricultural landowners to implement practices to improve water quality in our waterways,
2) provide environmental science and natural resources conservation education to teachers and students,
3) provide outreach programs for PWC citizens, homeowners and farmers.

Youth education has been a large part of the Foundation mission since 1995, and will be more crucial in the future. Prince William County is compelled to comply with the new environmental responsibilities of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup standards. These requirements will be costly, forcing the County to redirect funds for youth and adult education and outreach to the implementation of best management on-the-ground conservation practices for urban and agricultural lands.

Testimonials from teachers

"The Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District has been a valuable tool that has helped me enhance classroom lessons and generate excitement with my students. Lessons and supplies are prepared for you and directly reinforce the Virginia Standards of Learning. They are all so willing to help and have always been a pleasure to work with." Dena Caracciolo, Science Coach, Round Elementary, City of Manassas School District.

"Kudos to the Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District for their science outreach into our schools! They have created programs to share with schools that support our science curriculum and the SOLs. Teachers are provided with excellent, comprehensive materials and the students get to experience hands-on lessons and activities with great resources! I love using their kits with my students!" Lara Biendl, STEM Teacher, Glenkirk Elementary School.

We offer our services to all Prince William County, City of Manassas, private, home-school educators. We will be happy to enhance your curriculum with our "capsules to-go" program. See below for the programs we offer and submit the Education Program Request Form.

General feedback from teachers:
*Watershed model "is hands-on, great visual, loved seeing what happened when they sprayed the water!"
*Watershed model "looks real so the students get a better understanding than the ones we made."
*Incredible Journey "they loved it!"
*Introduction to Natural Resources "I really recommend this capsule to other teachers and I plan to use it next year. The hands-on aspect of holding and placing the natural resources on the map is great. I wouldn't change a thing."
*Build an Ecosystem "The students love this! They love adding items into the ecosystem and seeing it 'come to life'"
*Regions of Virginia "We had a great program this morning. They loved this."



Honey HouseVisit to receive complete classroom curriculum. The lesson plans help you lead your students to experience the wonder of the honey bee. You’ll find five lessons that can be used as we have presented them, in any order, or individually. The lesson pages include high-level summaries and activities and may be used by teachers and students; the full lesson PDFs include more background for teachers, readings and resources, and step-by- step instructions for lesson delivery.

Program scheduling and Program Request Form:

To schedule a capsule checkout submit this program request form to Upon receipt the Education Specialist will confirm your request by email.

The environmental science and natural resource conservation education programs are available as a self-contained Conservation Capsule (CC). Conservation Capsules to-go programs are available at any time with a week's notice.The following are offered to Prince William County, City of Manassas Schools Districts, home schools and other groups located in Prince William County.

Click on program name below for SOL and complete description.

Our Conservation Library includes the following Conservation Capsules. Most Capsules come with a lesson plan and resources to round out your classroom curriculum. Conservation Capsules may be borrowed for up to one week and will be delivered to your school via School Courier or you make other arrangements to pick it up.

You may check out any of the capsules regardless of grade level designations.
Conservation Capsules To-Go:
A Drop in the Bucket ---- resource capsule only, no lesson plan included 6th Grade & up
Animal Adaptations---- resource capsule only, no lesson plan included 3rd & 4th Grades
Blue Planet---- resource capsule only, no lesson plan included 6th Grade & up
Build an Ecosystem 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades
Food Chains/Webs---- resource capsule only, no lesson plan included 3rd & 4th Grades
Incredible Journey 2nd, 3rd & 6th Grades
Land Beneath Your Feet 6th & 9th Grades
Plants of the Powhatan 2nd Grade
Regions of Virginia 4th Grade
Soils 3rd Grade
Tree Talk 1st, 2nd & 4th Grades
Water Cycle 2nd & 3rd Grades
Watershed Enviroscape Model K - Adult
Weathering and Erosion 2nd & 5th Grades

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