McConkey wins national poster contest

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 26, 2021

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The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) sponsors a poster contest annually for students in grades K-12. Each year the contest has a different theme. The 2020 theme was “Where Would We Bee Without Pollinators?”

The contest starts out at the local conservation district level. Lillian McConkey, a 10th grade student at Cumberland County High School, won the grand prize of $75 for the overall best poster with Peter Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District (serving Buckingham and Cumberland Counties).

The Peter Francisco SWCD forwarded McConkey’s poster to the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) to be judged at the state level for the Grade 10-12 category. There are 47 conservation districts across Virginia which serve the 95 counties and 39 independent cities in Virginia. Lillian won first place at the state level. Her prizes included a check for $100, some art supplies, a nature book and a plaque.

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The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts forwarded Lillian’s poster to the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) to be judged at the national level. Lillian won first place for the Grade 10-12 category at the national level. There are nearly 3,000 conservation districts in the United States. Lillian will receive a certificate and a check for $200 from NACD.

Peter Francisco SWCD made five copies of Lillian’s poster for use in its free SOL-related environmental programs. Lillian’s poster may be used by NACD for educational material relating to pollinators as well.

McConkey was recognized by the Cumberland County School Board at their virtual meeting March 4. Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones along with Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Sheri Almond, Principal Eugene Williams, Jr., Assistant Principal Ashley Long and McConkey’s biology teacher, Trae Shidell, accompanied staff from Peter Francisco SWCD to personally recognize her accomplishments.

To see other winning posters or to learn more about your local soil and water conservation district (including its free environmental educational programs, septic assistance programs and agricultural cost-share programs) visit