CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Interesting and educational stops throughout West Virginia’s Mid-Ohio Valley highlight the 42nd annual state Youth Environmental Conference. This year’s three-day conference is scheduled Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 at North Bend State Park in Ritchie County.
Sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Youth Environmental Program (YEP), the Youth Conference is open to young people, ages 14-18, who are members of the YEP. A limited number of scholarships, which cover the entire cost of the conference for participants and chaperones ($180 per person), are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Highlighting this year’s conference are Saturday trips to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Wood County and the historic Blennerhassett Island. Conference participants will boat to Blennerhassett Island, near Parkersburg, and visit the famous Blennerhassett Mansion, as well as the museum.
Also on Saturday’s agenda is a visit to the Oil and Gas Museum in Parkersburg, as well as a trip to Fort Boreman Historical Park. The park features a partially reconstructed Union Civil War fortification, plus a spectacular view of Parkersburg and the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers.
Speakers at the conference include Aimee Figgatt, from the West Virginia Conservation Agency, who’ll discuss soil conservation and will have the Capitol Conservation District’s interactive Soil Tunnel Trailer available for tours. A faculty member from West Virginia University-Parkersburg will speak about career opportunities on Saturday evening.
Other conference activities include educational crafts, an exchange of project ideas among groups present, a Saturday night dance and Sunday morning motivational program.
To learn how you can join the Youth Environmental Program or to register for the Youth Environmental Conference, visit www.dep.wv.gov and click on “Youth Environmental Program,” or contact Diana Haid at 304-926-0499, ext. 1114 or via email at Diana.K.Haid@wv.gov; or Annette Hoskins at 304-926-0499, ext. 1659 or via email at Annette.L.Hoskins@wv.gov. The deadline to register for the conference is Sept. 5.