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Three Rivers and Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Logo

A new effort undertaken by two Soil and Water Conservation Districts can provide financial support to landowners dealing with stormwater issues such as erosion, soil loss, and poor drainage. Understanding these issues and why they’re occurring, and then developing a solution, can be challenging. Recognizing these challenges, the Three Rivers Soil and Water Conservation District and the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District have partnered to provide guidance and financial assistance to landowners experiencing stormwater issues. This support is provided through the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program, or VCAP.


VCAP is a cost-share program that provides financial incentives and technical assistance to landowners who install eligible Best Management Practices (BMPs). Eligible practices include rain gardens, native plant habitats, dry wells, green roofs, permeable pavement, constructed wetlands, living shorelines, and more. Many of these practices capture stormwater runoff where it begins and allow it to soak into the ground below, which helps to prevent erosion and flooding. Practices that include native plants also provide valuable habitat for pollinator species.


Virginia Conservation Assistance Program logo

VCAP utilizes state funding to provide cost-share payments for eligible costs associated with BMP installation. Payment rates for approved BMPs vary from up to $7,000 for rain gardens, native habitats, and dry wells, to up to $20,000 for permeable pavement and up to $30,000 for living shorelines. With increasing costs for these types of projects, these payments can significantly reduce the financial barriers encountered when dealing with stormwater management. Eligible landowners include private residences, schools, places of worship, businesses, and public lands. State and federally owned lands are not eligible.


Landowners who are experiencing stormwater issues in Essex, King William, and King and Queen Counties and would like to learn more about the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program can contact the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District at 757-778-1216 or visit the Three Rivers Soil and Water Conservation District website at for an application and further program details.

The Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Report

Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Report - Fiscal 2023

The Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2023

is now available for download on our website.

It is includes:

The VACs year in review

Some information about the STBA Pilot Project

Information about our Shoreline Evaluation program

An update on our Turf Love Program

The Outreach year in review

An update on the Williamsburg Community Growers

A couple of notes on student outreach events

and more!

4th Annual Bugfest

This past Saturday, Conservation Specialist, Emma Rich, and I attended an awesome event called Bugfest! We had so much fun while we were there and our very large table seemed to be quite the hit.

Our table at the event.
We had 1.5 rather large tables and we used all of our space.

We had pollinator stickers and coloring pages, information on how to protect native pollinators, and lots of cool insects from my collection, including the biggest beetles, stick insects, and wasps I have, as well as some native pollinator and beneficial species. I have been raising Tobacco Hornworm and Black Swallowtail caterpillars and was able to bring live hornworms (which people really liked) as well as a couple of hornworm pupa and swallowtail chrysalis. We also had some aquatic critters which we were able to share using our digital microscope.

I went out collecting the day before the event to catch as many aquatic insects as I could. I know it's hard to see, but the in the image below there are two dragonfly nymphs in that top circle (a clubtail and a cruiser, for those with interest) and the circle on the right has a diving beetle. We looked at another very young dragonfly nymph, a skimmer, on our digital camera and people loved watching it swim around. Believe it or not, there were actually nine dragonfly larvae and no less than 15 damselfly larvae in this sample, though we had more than a little difficulty finding them. I tried to give them lots of habitat, to make the experience less traumatic for them, but it made it almost impossible to find them. Nevertheless, people are always surprised to learn that dragonfly babies live in the water, so I love to bring them to events whenever possible.

dragonfly larvae and diving beetle
Dragonfly larvae and a diving beetle are visible here in the aquatic tray
Sebastian and I collecting insects for Bugfest
Sebastian and I collecting insects for Bugfest

These were all collected at Little Creek Reservoir in Toano, VA the day before the event and were promptly returned on my way home from it.

Amusingly, there is a single Muscovy Duck (I have named him Sebastian) that is always present whenever I am collecting at the reservoir, and this collecting day was no different. Here's a shot of Sebastian and I just hanging out on the shoreline. I have some great video footage of us both filtering the water to look for critters... though with very different intentions.

It was such a fun day at Bugfest - the organizers did a great job, the visitors were so enthusiastic, and we were able to roll out our new Colonial Pollinator Pledge (more to come about this)!

Thank you to all who made this such a special event for us!

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