A core value of ours, we pride ourselves on staying involved in the community by educating our children on the importance of conservation and treating our land right.

Through scholarships, we provide opportunities for students, teachers and our youth to learn more about helping the environment.

High School Scholarships

  • The NRD offers seniors in high school and juniors in college the opportunity to apply for a $500 scholarship. They must major in a specified natural resources field with a 2 or 4 year degree. An applicant must reside or originate from within the NRD boundary to be eligible. Six scholarships will be given each spring to students from six different schools.
  • Applications are sent out to every school in the District.

Youth Scholarships

  • Students that plan to attend an environmental development camp during the summer may apply for a grant. Other workshops may be considered pending review by the NRD staff. The amount of a grant will vary and will be distributed throughout a seven-county area.
  • Application forms are sent to all county extension offices and made available to students.

Teacher Workshop Scholarships

  • Teachers that hold a position within the boundaries of the Little Blue NRD may apply for grant funds toward an environmental workshop. The grant amount is $25.
  • Teachers interested in the funding can write a letter briefly describing the workshop and mail it to the NRD for consideration. Teachers who receive a grant are asked to send a copy of the total receipt of the workshop to the NRD.
  • The NRD also offers environmental education resource materials, activities and special events throughout the seven-county District. If you have an idea, never say never, just ask.

Water/Earth Jamboree

The Water and Earth Jamboree educate 5th & 6th grade students through a variety of hands-on learning experiences which highlight the role of being a good steward of the environment.

  • The Jamborees are offered to schools free of charge and provide teachers with a pre-test and detailed information they can utilize in their curriculum.  The Jamborees are provided by the Little Blue NRD and several other sponsors and are held on an annual rotatonal basis in the fall of the year.
  • The Water Jamboree is held at Liberty Cove Recreation Area southwest of Lawrence, NE. Liberty Cove is owned and operated by the Little Blue NRD. Some sessions of the Water Jamboree include:  Life in Lake Liberty, Wetland Wonders, Going with the Irrigation Flow, and Life outside Lake Liberty.
  • The Earth Jamboree is held at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Clay Center, NE. Some sessions of the Earth Jamboree include: Science on the Farm, Beat a Leaf, Treasure Hunt, and Shop or Drop.

Land/Range Judging

The Little Blue NRD assists in sponsoring the Land and Range Judging competitions.  The events give high school FFA students the opportunity to compete against area schools in various aspects of each particular competition.  Winners in each contest advance to compete at the state level.

  • In the Land Judging Contest the top three teams advance to the State Competition. Only one team from each school can compete at the state contest, even if they rank higher in the contest. The event is sponsored by the Little Blue NRD, NRCS and County Extension.

Earth Festival

The Earth Festival is designed to educate 5th & 6th grade students through new and exciting aspects of water and earth stewardship by utilizing hands-on sessions.

  • The program is provided by the Little Blue NRD along with several other agencies and is held a Camp Jefferson southeast of Fairbury each fall. Hands on workshops are held for the students to participate in while learning about natural resources.


The Envirothon is a program for 9th -12th grade students to learn more about our natural environment.

  • The contest tests the students knowledge on subjects such as soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, range, current environmental issues and one area of national interest. The Envirothon began in Pennsylvania in the spring of 1979. High school teachers and youth leaders recognized the value of the Envirothon as a means of strengthening the environmental awareness of young people, and the program spread to many other states and countries. Nebraska held its first Envirothon in 1992.
  • The Envirothon experience is a unique approach to environmental education. Five-member teams compete in a setting where they learn that cooperation is needed to achieve success. Participation in this unique event can be great fun for both students and their advisors. The activities are designed to help the students become environmentally aware, action-oriented adults.
  • Each year several Regional Envirothon contests are held across Nebraska. The winning five-member team from each regional competition is invited to represent their region at the Nebraska State Envirothon Competition. An additional 8 wildcard teams are also invited. The state champion goes on to represent Nebraska at the Canon Envirothon.
  • The Nebraska Envirothon is guided by a steering committee made up of representatives from agencies involved in natural resources.

Outdoor Classroom

Bring our natural world to life for students of any age with an outdoor classroom.  Schoolyard classrooms serve as a “down to earth” way to learn about our natural surroundings.  They develop sanctuaries for birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles, small mammals and other wildlife.

  • The Little Blue NRD offers schools, FFA and 4-H groups the opportunity to develop an outdoor classroom with a $200 grant made available for materials. The District may also make available free seedlings from Halsey forest, grass drill, grass seed and other materials. All it takes is a contact with the NRD, site visit, possible class visit, layout and design and fill out an application.Things to remember when designing an outdoor classroom
    • Use an area that naturally fits the space available near your school
    • Native Nebraska plants are already adapted to their local climate, which makes them the best choice.
    • Go Beyond Biology: Outdoor areas are excellent for hands-on teaching of natural sciences.
    • The best curriculum ideas don’t stop there. math teachers can use habitat areas to teach basic geometric shapes to 1st graders, for example.
    • Plants are fine, but your gardens will be far more interesting if you attract birds, small and large mammals, reptiles and other wildlife