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Students Recognized at Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District Luncheon

The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District hosted their Annual Awards Luncheon in April at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery in Elizabethtown to recognize and celebrate the winning students from the 2022 Conservation Education Contest: Soil & Water…Yours for Life.

Tasked to use their creativity, students could enter the following categories according to their grade level: Poster (3rd-6th grades), Computer Designed Slide Show (6th grade), Essay (6th grade), Public Speaking (7th and 8th grades), Computer Designed Poster (9th grade). Additionally, high school seniors planning to attend college to study agriculture or natural resources were invited to participate in an essay competition for a chance to win a $500 scholarship.

Honorees at the April luncheon included:

Layla Crawford from Bladenboro Primary School, 1st Place, 3rd Grade Poster Competition; Callie Lindsay a student at Dublin Primary School, 2nd Place, 3rd Grade Poster Competition; Isabel Gardner attends Bladen Lakes Primary School and won 1st Place in the 4th Grade Poster Competition; Adyson Carroll from Bladenboro Primary School placed 2nd in the 4th Grade Poster Competition and Acelin Perez from Tar Heel Middle School placed 2nd in the 5th Grade Poster Competition. Elizabethtown Middle School student, Gabrielle Williams won 1st Place for 7th grade in Public Speaking.

Kayla Norris a senior at West Bladen High School was also honored at the April luncheon. Her essay won her a $500 scholarship award from the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District. After graduation, Kayla has plans to attend NC State University to study animal science with a goal to become a large breed veterinarian.

First place winners advanced to compete at the Area 7 level and Area 7 first place winners go on to compete at the state competition. Area 7 includes Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland Counties. There are 9 Areas within the state. Congratulations to Layla Crawford, Isabel Gardner and Gabrielle Williams all advanced to the state competition. Crawford and Gardner’s posters were sent for judging and Williams will give her speech in-person Friday, May 13th.

“Unique learning opportunities arise when our schools and students work with our community partners and the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District Education Contest was no exception. Working with their teachers these students really dug in to learning about soil, water and the importance of protecting these resources,” said Dr. Jason Atkinson, Superintendent. “I’m incredibly proud of the work they’ve done and know that our students advancing the state competition will represent Bladen County well.”

Students who participated in Ag Em Up Day from Bladenboro Middle School, East Bladen High School and West Bladen High School; Land Judging students from East Bladen High School and the first place Envirothon Teams from Bladenboro Middle School and East Bladen High School.

To see photos from the luncheon please visit Bladen County Schools Facebook page at