The Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District’s environmental education program focuses on the interconnection between agriculture, nature, and our role as stewards.
The Lorax Project (Grades K-1)
The Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Education Coordinator visits area kindergarten and first grade classrooms for a day to read and discuss Dr. Suess’ “The Lorax.”
Arbor Day (Grade 3)
After an arbor day presentation, area third graders are given a white pine seedling to plant in the community. Many adults who visit the office mention that their “third grade tree” is now decades old and still in the yard at their parents’ or grandparents’ house. This is one of our favorite programs!
Conservation Field Days (Grade 4)
In cooperation with many other groups and agencies (Master Gardeners, NRCS, IDNR, etc.), the Coles County Soil and Water Conservation district hosts an annual educational field trip for fourth graders in Charleston and Mattoon school districts. The event includes a variety of presentations on topics such as the water cycle, vermiculture, wildlife, soil conservation, and more.
Envirothon (Grades 9-12)
The Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District partners with SWCDs from neighboring counties and several other organizations to sponsor our regional Envirothon, a high school environmental education competition. Envirothon is a unique approach to educating high school students about the natural world around them. The participating schools have teams made up of 5 students who work together to take written tests, as well as to develop and present a problem solving oral presentation. The students are learning about the areas of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current environmental issue, which changes each year. Winning teams can advance to state and national competitions. Illinois is just one state that participates in this competition. For the National Envirothon there are 42 states and 4 provinces of Canada that compete for the top prize of $2,500 in college scholarship money and other prizes. The program popularity is growing rapidly at the continental as well as the state levels.
Annual Poster Contest
The Coles County SWCD sponsors an annual poster contest which provides students from kindergarten through 12th grade the chance to have their art displayed as part of a national conservation outreach initiative. Each year, the winning posters reflect NACD’s annual Stewardship theme and highlight the work of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies to protect and enhance natural resources.
Our lesson kits and loan out materials are developed in accordance with national and state learning standards, and are available to be utilized by county educators and home-school groups. The Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District is a proud partner of Illinois Ag In the Classroom, providing a refreshing and flexible educational program designed to supplement and enhance the teacher’s existing curriculum. Our lesson kits and loan-out materials are being re-designed! Check back soon for an updated list of available lesson kits and loan-out materials.
The District can provide unique workshops or talks tailored to your group on a variety of conservation topics, including:
- Invasive Species
- Prairie and Pollinator Habitat
- The Water Cycle
- Leave No Trace
- And more!
Contact us to let us know what you’re looking for.