Soil and Water Stewardship Scholarship

To provide educational resources for students pursuing a degree in a natural resource field. 

Scholarship Deadline - February 15th This scholarship has a deadline of February 15th at 5pm. Deadline: February 15th 15


Your application must include an essay, maximum of 2 pages typed and double spaced, outlining career goals and aspirations including:

  1. Why you are interested in pursuing a career in the natural resources field; and
  2. What you hope to accomplish when you complete your education; and
  3. A description of the conservation issue that you feel is the most critical concern facing our local soil and or water resources. Why do you feel that this is a serious problem? What management practices would you recommend to address this issue?


Applicants must

- Be a graduating high school senior or high school graduate (diploma or G.E.D. certificate);
- Be enrolled or planning to enroll in full-time course of study at an accredited two- or four-year community college, college or university;
- Be enrolled in a natural resource field such as fish or wildlife biology, conservation education, biology, ecology, forestry, hydrology, soils, pollution control, etc.;
- Have a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0; and
- Have their permanent address in Boone, Cook, Dekalb, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, or Winnebago Counties.

This scholarship does not have an online application. For more information and to receive a copy of the application, contact the scholarship administrator at the Winnebago County Soil & Water Conservation District at 815-965-2392 Extension 3 or


The Soil and Water Stewardship Scholarship seeks to provide financial support to students enrolled fulltime at an accredited two- or four-year college, community college, or university, which will lead to a career in a natural resource field.

This scholarship was formerly known as the Leopold Education Project Scholarship. Funding for this scholarship was made available from the Leopold Education Project, an educational program based on the works of noted conservationist and author Aldo Leopold. Leopold’s philosophy and land ethic created a foundation for modern conservation.

The Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) of Land Use Council (LUC) 16 sponsor the Soil and Water Stewardship Scholarship. Every county in Illinois is served by a local SWCD. These local units of government provide leadership and direction in an effort to conserve and protect natural resources. LUC 16 is comprised of seven SWCD’s in the Northeastern part of the state.