NEWBERRY — The Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District runs on an annual membership basis (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) and even though it is May, it is not too late to sign up, with benefits still available to new members.
Joseph Berry, district coordinator with NSWCD, said they offer both individual and business membership. The individual membership starts at $60, and the business membership starts $125.
“Anyone can join throughout the year, we try and get them in early so they can maximize their membership as much as possible, but there are plenty of benefits throughout the year,” Berry said. “They will get a membership card, with discounts to local businesses in the area.”
This year’s card has discounts to Wilson Tractor, Fulmer Building Supply, Pour Richards, Willingham and Sons and Muddy Bay.
“Muddy Bay is a new one for us, we are excited to have them on the card,” Berry said. “Each discount is different, it is based on what the business decided to do, but each business gets some type of discount.”
Other benefits of joining include free entry into classes that NSWCD and Keep Newberry County Beautiful offer, such as the gardening classes, tickets to their annual banquet and a quarterly newsletter.
“There is also a discount for soil samples, the regular price is $15 a sample, and a membership is about $13 a sample. The discount can help when you have 30 fields that you need to get soil samples for,” Berry said.
A big push for Berry is to get as many new members as he can, because he said soil and water impacts everyone, everyone is a part of it. He added that a lot of their members renew each year, because they see the value from the previous year.
“They speak highly of it, and they are excited, that is always great,” he said. “It’s an interesting dynamic, with Soil and Water Conservation, a lot of people don’t realize how it can impact their day to day life. How it impacts what they take in. We are trying to be good stewards of what we have here in Newberry County, and that also goes into what we share with the people in the state, nation and Earth really.”
Berry added that having a membership, and showing your support, really helps them maintain that good stewardship. Additionally, the perks are a way to give back to those who invested.
“Camp Conservation, you can donate specifically to it, but programming money does go to the camp. A lot of different ways we are trying to help the community,” Berry said. “I look at it, if we can catch them young, and teach them good practices really young, hopefully that can carry through. Focus of mine to implement those strategies for stewardship and conservation.”
Becoming a member is also a tax write off.
If you are interested in joining, you can do so by contacting Berry at 803-597-3160 or stopping by his office at 719 Kendall Road, Newberry.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.