Updated: Apr 28
Join individuals and groups from throughout Hillsborough County as they showcase their Action Awareness Projects for this year’s Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge, presented by the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD). While Hillsborough 100 projects are encouraged year-round, the 2021 showcase period runs from Saturday, April 17 through May 9. The period covers Earth Day (April 22), National Arbor Day (April 30) and National Stewardship Week (April 25 through May 2).
Hot off the press is a 28-page newspaper tabloid that features descriptions and dates for individual and group "Action Awareness" projects that cover a wide range of efforts, including community gardening and cleanup campaigns, tree plantings, micro-irrigation workshops, battery recycling, river cleanups and rainwater harvesting. Hillsborough 100 participation is encouraged year-round to help protect and conserve our natural resources of soil, water and air, furthering the HSWCD mission that "conservation is everybody’s business."
Following a break last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillsborough 100 returns in its fourth year of active participation with spots open year-round for any interested individual, family, organization or school, joining in concert with other agricultural, business, civic and community groups, governmental organizations and youth groups, such as scouts, 4-H and FFA.
The tabloid, published April 18 by the Tampa Bay Times, features content provided by the HSWCD, including notice of the challenge's more than 150 cooperating and/or advertising partners. In addition to full-page spreads detailing projects and supporters, the publication includes also information about upcoming fairs and festivals, youth contests and events, U-Picks and tree-plantings, plastic pollution, annual conservation and environmental celebrations, and the Lipman Garden Challenge, now in a record-breaking number of schools.
Also featured are articles exploring the work of the HSWCD, Coalition of Community Gardens, Farm Bureaus, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the Association of Florida Conservation Districts (AFCD), the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA), the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Service, including UF-based research stations in Balm and Ruskin.
Articles detailing the history and work of the HSWCD are included as well, along with pieces on Hugh Hammond Bennett, the “father of soil conservation,” and agricultural innovator George Washington Carver.
Tabloid articles were written by HSWCD staff, including Betty Jo Tompkins, executive director; Stephanie Farmer-Collins, community outreach coordinator; and Linda Chion, computer graphics, who also provided some photos.
For information and to sign up for the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge, contact Betty Jo Tompkins at 813-477-8332. Email: email@example.com.