Educational Programs

The reason for protecting our natural resources

Click here for Polk County Information/Education Programs

Click here for Dallas County Information/Education Programs

Polk County Information/Education Programs

Environmental Backpack Program:

The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is continuing its “backpack program” that consists of the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms receiving a backpack on topics such as habitats, animals, births, etc. The backpacks contain books and stuffed animals. Some of them also have games to play that pertain to that topic area. These backpacks are rotated every two to three weeks so the students can see many different topics. The backpack program coordinator can also give presentations on environmental topics that are listed in the information packet.

We hope to get as many students and parents involved as possible.

Click here for a presentation about the Environmental Backpack Program. Feel free to contact us, and thank you for your participation!

Brandon Hebbert, Backpack Coordinator

Classroom Activities:

Polk County Soil and Water District provides educational assistance for teachers in Polk County. Educational backpacks are provided for grades K-4. Depending upon the teachers curricular goals, these may be taken home or used in the classroom. Our education specialist also teaches a variety of classes for grades K-6 upon request.

Classroom Program Topics

Backpack Topics

Animal Tracks Metamorphose: Frogs/Butterflies
Owls What Lives in a Hole? (Animal Homes)
Spiders and/or Insects Weather
Seasons Seasons
How Seeds Grow Pumpkins and Apple Time
Water Cycle Reptiles and/or Amphibians
Food Chains Plants and Animals in Forest Biomes
Animal Habitats Plants and Animals in Desert Biomes
Amazing Soil: Sand, Silt, and Rocks Animals in Polar and Tundra Biomes
Water Olympics Plants and Animals in Ocean Biomes
Enviroscape Insects and/or Spiders

Polk Co. SWCD will have a new education specialist on board in the near future.

Poster Contest

Each year students in Kindergarten through 12th grades have the opportunity to learn about our natural resources though their art work. Winning posters are announced on the local level, and county and state winners receive awards. There is a new theme for the contest each year. Classroom and Art teachers work with the students to help them develop these posters. It would be impossible to do this project without their assistance.

Water Festival

Richard McConnell directs this Hominy Creek Project each year. Goals of the water festival project include introducing youngsters to Polk County Soil and Water Personnel; emphasizing natural resource concerns about water, soil, air and wildlife; and befriending schools and educators. The specific activities that are used in this festival vary from year to year depending upon available personnel. In the past the Stream Trailers, forestry, invertebrate sampling, water pollution, Water Olympics, the enviroscape, hides and hooves, and reptiles have been featured.

Dallas County Information/Education Programs

Activities involving the SWCD and its staff are as follows:

  • Annual program presentation by the District’s Technicians at the Dallas County Soils and Crop Conference in Buffalo.
  • Spring Forage Conference held in Springfield annually.
  • The Dallas County SWCD participates with the Polk County SWCD in hosting a Grazing School in the spring at Halfway, Missouri.
  • Technical staff is involved in various field days and workshops.
  • District Manager assists in scoring for the Grassland Evaluation Contest.
  • District Manager serves on the Southwest Missouri Envirothon Committee as scorer and also manages the Southwest Missouri Regional Envirothon Facebook page.

Due to a loss in the position of Information-Education Specialist, Dallas County no longer is able to participate in Info-Ed programs in the Dallas County schools.