Local Projects

Can we help you teach soils?

Throughout the school year, we would like to help support your teaching efforts in soil, water and related natural resources. Our educational programs highlighted below are designed to help address the important Show-Me Standards relating to soil and plant science, soil conservation and water quality.

For more details on our programs for teachers and schools, please call our office at 816-228-1161, ext. 3, or click the individual e-mail links below and specify your area of interest.


A problem solving, natural resources learning experience for 9th through 12th graders. Students are trained in real-life, hands-on environmentalism and then use what they have learned to solve environmental problems in a competitive framework. Subject areas include soils, forestry, aquatics, wildlife and a current environmental issue (protection of groundwater for 2010). Envirothon teams can compete on the state and national levels for substantial scholarships and prizes. Training for teachers and teams will be conducted in March at Burr Oak Woods, Blue Springs, followed by the KC Region Envirothon at the same location in April. E-mail us for more details on the Envirothon program.

Conservation Education Resource Library

A collection of electronic and physical resources for grades K through 12 and beyond. Click here to access numerous soil and water resource links on the Internet. Also, nearly 60 VHS videotapes, reference books, interactive software titles, demonstration kits and teaching aids are available for loan free of charge. Check out our Lending Library Catalog of physical resources that can be borrowed.

Class Presentations

Presentations to students, in an indoor or outdoor classroom setting, designed to stress the importance of soil as a natural resource, explain soil physical properties, highlight soil conservation practices, and suggest soil and water stewardship activities for students. Presentations may be tailored to any grade level, subject matter, and length of class period. E-mail us for more information about a classroom presentation.

Conservation Poster Contest

An opportunity for students to artistically express what they have learned about soil, water and related resource conservation by creating a poster. Poster board and a participation ribbon are provided for each student plus three championship ribbons for each classroom. Third and fourth grade students may compete in the county contest for recognition and trophies. E-mail us for more information on this conservation education program.

Conservation Essay Contest

The district's essay contest, Writing for Nature, is designed to inspire research, creative expression, and advocacy for natural resource stewardship. Open to grades 7 through 12, the contest offers students the opportunity to compete for recognition and cash awards on the county level. For more information and details send us an e-mail.

Conservation Photo Contest

Picture your students or yourself as a winner in the district's conservation photo contest! This event adds a special dimension to environmental studies within and outside the classroom. Winning students and teachers can receive recognition, gifts, and/or cash prizes on the county and national levels. Entries can be in any of the five categories: conservation, education, trees and plants, wildlife and landscapes. Youth and adult entries will be judged separately. E-mail us for more information on our photo contest.

Fire Prairie Wetland

An outdoor classroom that offers students and teachers a unique opportunity to experience wetland ecology in action. The site, located near Buckner, provides a home for hundreds of wildlife flora and fauna species that thrive in a fresh water marsh environment. Many enhancements like an amphitheater, an Eagle Scout project built by Justin Reynolds (photo at left) of Independence, make it an ideal site for outdoor classes. For more information please contact us.

Conservation Education Training for Teachers

Our staff conducts teacher training in the areas of soil, water and environmental resource conservation in cooperation with other organizations and agencies. Examples include Envirothon training in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Ag and the Environment course offered in Missouri Farm Bureau and the American Royal. Some training courses offer graduate credit for participants. For more details just send us an e-mail that includes your area of interest.