Whitman Conservation District is continually looking to expand the youth outreach programs as the need, funding and staff availability presents themselves.
Current programs include:
Conservation Education and outreach
This Program works with the fifth grade students to gain an understanding as to the important role plants play in the environment. The students receive on-site planting instructions; the reason behind specific plants being used in certain areas; what plants contribute to the site; and some control methods used to aid the plants survivability.
Sites are chosen by landowner interest and site need. Past projects have included windbreaks, eyebrow plantings for erosion control, streambank stabilization, and wildlife habitat establishment and enhancement
The Contest consists of a 3-5 member team of high school students that work together to answer written questions at each station, some of which involve hands-on activities. The test stations include the following categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, current environmental events, and presentations (based on the national contests theme).
The winner of the local contest advances to complete at the state contest with the opportunity to advance to the national contest.
Land Judging Contest (Soil Contest)
The Contest consists of 3-5 member teams of high school students that compete both as a team and individually, judging four soil pits dug so that the soil profiles visible, with parameters provided at each pit with a different land scenario. The site varies each year with a landowner donating their land for the day, assisting with pit digging and being on-hand to answer any questions that might arise.
Although this is a County Contest, teams of students have travelled from the coast to participate and gain knowledge in the different soil profiles.
Conservation Fair Booth
Participation in the conservation booth at the Palouse Empire Fair is an exciting annual event. As a joint booth, the agencies pride themselves on having a little something for everyone. For those students that are involved in 4-H and FFA, the Fair is a large part of their education and presents itself as a wonderful tool enabling us to reach out to the community with a message about conservation to the future generations of farmers, operators, ranchers, landowners and land users.