Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035

Laura Grape,
Executive Director

College Scholarships for Conservation and the Environment

Fairfax County High School Student Wins Conservation Scholarship Prize

Wendy Gao, 2020 Future Conservation Leaders Scholarship Recipient

Wendy Gao has dedicated her high school experience to conservation efforts and environmental education. She is the president of the Oakton High School Environmental Club, where she leads education campaigns and actions in her school community and volunteers at local elementary schools to educate students about the environment. In 2019, she led a coalition of students to convince the Fairfax County School Board to move forward in installing solar panels on Fairfax County Public Schools and has worked on policy agendas for clean energy in the Virginia Generally Assembly. Wendy is also a global climate activist in her close work with the United Nations and international organizations such as Earth Uprising. Wendy's dedication has been honored by the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District with the $1,000 Future Conservation Leaders Scholarship  to support her as she studies environmental science and political science at the University of Virginia in the fall. We are proud of her achievements and wish her the best!

College Scholarships

The Educational Foundation of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annually offers four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors or college freshmen for college study. The scholarships support studies related to natural resource conservation. Applications must arrive at the NVSWCD office by March 11, 2020. Applications for students who reside or study in Fairfax County must be submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, which will select one student for consideration by the state committee.

Additionally, NVSWCD offers a $1,000 Future Conservation Leaders Scholarship to eligible applicants from Fairfax County. The guidelines, application criteria, and deadlines for the Young Conservation Leaders Scholarship are the same as those for the VASWCD Educational Foundation Scholarship. 

2020 College Scholarship Application


  • To promote the education of Virginia citizens in technical fields associated with natural resource conservation and environmental protection.
  • To give financial support to students majoring or showing a strong desire to major in a course curriculum related to natural resource conservation and/or environmental studies.


  • Individual applicants must be full-time students enrolled in or who have applied to a college freshman level curriculum.
  • Applicants must reside in or attend school in Fairfax County.
  • Applicants shall document a class ranking in the top 20% of his/her graduating class or a 3.0 or greater Grade Point Average, or appropriate equivalent of individual scholastic achievement. The most recent official high school or college transcript must accompany the application. (The official transcript may be sent separately, but must arrive by the March 11 deadline.)
  • Applicants shall demonstrate an active interest in conservation and the environment. Applications are evaluated with regard to all sections of the scholarship application, including scholastic achievement, extra-curricular and leadership activities, financial considerations, employment and volunteer work, letters of reference and the essays.
  • Three letters of reference must be attached, or, if sent separately, must arrive by the March 11 deadline.
  • Applications will be reviewed by local and state panels and all applications and information contained therein shall remain confidential.

Amount Awarded

  • Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded statewide this year.
  • Checks will be issued to the selected school in each student's name.


March 11, 2020

Applications must arrive at the the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) office by this date. (Mailed applications should be postmarked at least three working days beforehand to ensure arrival by the deadline.) Students may also drop off their complete application during regular office hours.

Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035


March 25 2020

Each of Virginia's 47 soil and water conservation districts in the state may nominate one applicant. At this point, an application selected by the NVSWCD evaluation committee is forwarded to the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts scholarship committee for consideration.

Early May 2020

Scholarship winners announced.

College Scholarship Application

2020 College Scholarship Application

To have an application sent to you via U.S. mail or in an alternative format, call 703-324-1460, TTY 711 or email NVSWCD.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant