Environmental Education | | cadillacnews.com

Conservation districts have several roles within their community, but can vary based on community needs, countywide support, and the level of funding available for programming. It just means that not all Conservation Districts do exactly the same thing, and a desire to familiarize yourself with your local Conservation District and its available programs and services.

When it comes to conservation practices, we are always learning and teaching. Conservation Districts provide education for students and landowners on soil erosion and conservation laws, education on new conservation practices, and funding available to local farmers and landowners, recycling facilities and water quality.

Missaukee Conservation District (MCD) has an educator, Sara Huetteman, available to come to your group of students in Missaukee County and teach concepts about the natural world, the human connection and the impact on it all, using games, critical thinking, practice activities and crafts.

Sara was recently hired by the Missaukee Conservation District, with a degree from Central Michigan University in biology and a background in forest land management, biological assessments, habitat restoration and environmental education.

Library of educational kits available at the MCD

Like many educators across the state, the Missaukee Conservation District uses lesson plans, games, crafts, and more from Project Learning Tree, Project Wild, Project Wet, and more. These cover a wide range of subjects and for all grade levels (Pre-K to 12).

MCD has a collection of kits available for fellow educators to check out and use for their classrooms. Each kit contains packets and guidelines for teaching the same concept to different grade levels, as well as relevant supplies or examples needed to complete the lesson. Kits come in a plastic container or filing envelope to keep all information together.

Contact Sara with a topic you hope to discuss with your students, grade level, and number of attendees at once and in total. She’ll then offer you a few options, or you can stop by to review them. Teachers can take them out for a day to a week. Kits can be dropped off at school with advance notice. There may be a small charge to replace supplies if needed.

State and National Poster Contest

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) combines art and science to provide a creative way to highlight a conservation concept for K-12 students. Each year a theme is chosen and programming is available to have a lesson relevant to the grade level and the opportunity for students to express their understanding of the lesson by drawing a poster to enter a state and potentially national competition . Cash prizes range from $10 to $200.

The poster competition is open to public, private and home school students. This year’s theme is “Healthy Soils, Healthy Lives”. Soil health or quality refers to the soil’s continued ability to function as a vital living ecosystem that supports plants, animals, and humans. Contact Sara Huetteman at the Missaukee Conservation District or your local CD to learn more.

Not good at hand drawing? For students in grades 7-12, digital posters are acceptable. They must be original works of art and must not include any copyrighted mark, image or phrase, trademark or branding in addition to the NACD 2022 themed logo, if desired. Visit MissaukeeCD.org/nacdpostercontest to see all the details.

Sara Huetteman is Education Coordinator and Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Officer for Missaukee County. For more information about the poster contest and education opportunities, contact Sara by phone at 231-839-7193, email sara.huetteman@macd.org or stop by the Missaukee Conservation office District at 6180 W. Sanborn Road, Lake City.