NEWBERRY — Danielle Rowe, district coordinator for the Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District, is working on ways to increase their membership.
Currently, Rowe said the organization has 45 members, but she said she’s seen an increase in members since she became a staff member last year.
“I’ve been planning and strategizing to increase the membership numbers since,” Rowe said.
For this year, Rowe said NSWCD created a membership card, which works like a discount card with local businesses. The organization has also taken their advertising efforts to radio and other forms of advertising.
The discount card include discounts from local businesses including Kneece’s Car Care, Willingham & Sons, Wilson Tractor and Bar III.
Trey Wells, owner of the restaurant and bar Bar III, has recently finalized his part with the discount card.
“I think culture is very important, it’s pushed to the side a lot and people don’t know how important it is,” Wells said.
Wells, native of a smaller town than Newberry, said he has learned over the years why having a water and soil conservation district plays a great role in the community. Wells is participating in NSWCD because he said he wants to give back.
Rowe said memberships are tiered and are different for individuals versus businesses. Along with the discount card, memberships also come with two tickets to the NSWCD annual banquet.
“Every dollar goes back into education and outreach programs, Camp Conservation, and any other classes and workshops we offer,” Rowe said.
If membership is not for you, Rowe said another way to give is through donations, which are 100 percent tax deductible. Donations received by local donors and funding of the state goes to programs and classes. NSWCD is a non-profit organization.
“We have a week-long camp for kids and offer at least one event each month,” Rowe said. “Some class and workshops we offer can be around 10 or 20 dollars, however, members can come for free.”
There is no age limit to become a member, Rowe said.
“It’s definitely a generation thing,” Rowe said. “If parents are involved members, most likely their children will be members too.”
A misconception of the organization, Rowe said is that it is just for farmers, which she assured was not the case. Each member of the conversation district has membership rights for a full calendar year, Rowe said.
NSWCD sends out quarterly newsletters to donors to share news of events and outcomes and also to show what the donations have been used for. Each member gets a discount card, the choice of tax deduction, newsletters and the option to partake in workshops for no cost.
However, if not a member, workshops are open to the public for a small cost that ranges according to the workshop at hand.
For more information on the NSWCD and how to donate or become a member, go to www.nswcd.com or contact Rowe at 276-1978, extension 101.