Water Wheel of Fortune

Youth Education

Tri-Basin NRD offers a variety of natural resources education opportunities. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Rainwater Basin Conservation Day

Students Learning about GeologyEighth-grade students in Tri-Basin NRD are invited to Sacramento-Wilcox Wildlife Management Area in September for Rainwater Basin Conservation Day. Each Group attends eight 20 minute sessions presented by agency representatives and private citizens. Students attending the conservation day participate in interdisciplinary activities with topics that include: aquatic life, surveying, water management, water quality, soils, and identifying native plants and trees. Informal, hands-on activities predominate, all sessions taking place outdoors. Students are also provided lunch at the end of the program. This event is coordinated by Tri-Basin NRD and is partially funded by the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture.

Click on the link below for the latest Event Schedule:

Rainwater Basin Conservation Day | Tri-Basin Natural Resources District - Gosper, Phelps & Kearney Counties (tribasinnrd.org)

Classroom Programs

Tri-Basin NRD staff are available to present programs to school students or youth organizations on a variety of conservation and natural resources topics, including water conservation, trees, soil conservation, and recycling.

For more information about Tri-Basin NRD's classroom programs, contact Sasha Hahn at shahn@tribasinnrd.org or call (877) 995-6688.

Adventure Camp about the Environment (ACE Camp)

Nebraska’s NRDs annually host a natural resources camp called Adventure Camp about the Environment (ACE). ACE is open to students who have who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade and want to learn more about natural resources at an adventure camp. The areas campers will learn about: aquatics, forestry, range and grassland, wildlife, soils and land. Campers will experience hands-on activities with a variety of speakers and explore possible careers in natural resources. ACE also includes adventurous activities for campers such as a zipline, tanking and tubing, a campfire and many other games! ACE is hosted annually in June at the State 4-H Center near Halsey, Nebraska. Camp is $235.00/camper and includes meals, lodging and activities. Find pictures and fun on our ACE Camp Facebook page at Adventure Camp about the Environment!

2022 ACE Camp: June 26-29, 2022

Most NRDs offer scholarships for students wanting to attend camp. Contact your local NRD for information on how to apply.  You may also contact the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts or Upper Loup NRD for additional information about the camp.

For more information email Sasha at shahn@tribasinnrd.org or call 308-995-6688.

Water Jamboree

Water Jamboree LogoThe Water Jamboree is an educational fun day for fifth and sixth grade students from schools located in the Tri-Basin Natural Resources District and Lower Republican Resources District (Phelps, Gosper, Harlan, Franklin, Kearney and Furnas Counties in Nebraska) and north central Kansas (Philips & Norton Counties). Students attending will be involved in interdisciplinary water activities relating to aquatic life, recreational uses, water quality, non-point source pollution, irrigation, historical aspects of water, plants and water, and how water quality affects wildlife.

This event is a cooperative effort provided by the Tri-Basin NRD, Lower Republican NRD, Nebraska Extension, Kansas Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Water Jamboree will be held on two days (a Tuesday and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday) in late April, with schools attending the day of their choice. Activities are held both indoors and outdoors at Camp Joy and the Harlan County Reservoir.

The 2024 Water Jamboree will be April 23-24, 2024. Nearly 500 students and 160 adult volunteers will attend the festival.

More on Water Jamboree

Area Contests

Click on each heading for more details.


The Envirothon is a program for 9th-12th grade students to learn more about our natural environment. Students compete in contests that test their knowledge on a wide array of subjects relating to natural resources and the environment.

Land Judging

Land Judging is a high school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. Land judging enables each participant to learn how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship.

Range Judging

Range Judging is a high school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of Nebraska rangelands which makes up half of the State's land area. Range judging enables each participant to learn how to recognize range plants, range sites and the need for proper grazing practices.

Poster Contest

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts along with Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts provide K - 12th grade students with an opportunity to share their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues. Initial contests are held at participating NRDs. The winners then go on to the state competition and there is also a national competition.


Nebraska Youth Range Camp

The Nebraska Youth Range Camp consists of a dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife. With nearly 50 years to perfect and evolve this curriculum, every student, no matter what prior experience they have, will learn substantial information that will help them become more aware of Nebraska’s most prevalent land use.

The students that attend this camp will be actively involved with lectures, field activities, hand-on experience, and recreational leadership and team-building activities that are all led by up to 20 of Nebraska’s most respected and dedicated leaders, teachers, and professionals from various agencies, colleges, and universities. Must be 14-18 years old.

Check out their Facebook page and their website.

Tri-Basin NRD Internship for College Students


The Tri-Basin NRD Summer Internship program employs college students who have an interest in natural resources management. The purpose of the intern program is to provide students a wide range of natural resources-related work experiences.

These are full-time temporary positions (mid-May to mid-August). Working hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (sometimes later in evenings) Monday through Friday.

Work is mostly, but not exclusively, outdoors. Interns will work with staff from the Tri-Basin NRD and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Prescribed Burn 2020 - InternsJob Duties:

  • Collect groundwater quality samples
  • Assist with invasive plant control efforts
  • GPS coordinate data collection and land survey
  • Wildlife habitat monitoring
  • Irrigation system efficiency testing
  • Assist with educational activities
  • Assist NRD staff with clerical work, plan documentation


  • U.S. Citizen
  • High School Graduate or Equivalent
  • Enrolled in Accredited College or University
  • Majoring in Agriculture or Natural Resources Related Field2021 Interns
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Must be at least 18 years old


Mail or email a cover letter and resume by April 1st to:

Tri-Basin Natural Resources District

1723 Burlington Street

Holdrege, NE 68949

Phone: 1-877-995-6688

Email John Thorburn at: jthorburn@tribasinnrd.org