Education & Outreach

We are hosting a FREE Septic and Well Homeowner Education class presented by The Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota through Zoom.

The class will cover the basic functions of septic systems, well water testing, and how-to protect your well from contamination sources. Homeowners will receive valuable information on Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CEC) including, the impact of drugs and chemicals on ground and surface water. Homeowners will also receive information on maintaining their septic systems and wells.

Thursday, November 5th from 6-8pm.

Annual Poster Contest

Each year the North St. Louis SWCD sponsors a Conservation Poster Contest for students in grades 4-6.

The local poster contest theme focuses on soil, water, and natural resources and changes each year based on the National Association of Conservation Districts national theme.

Read more here for rules and details of the contest. Due to Covid-19 school closures, Iron Range Earth Fest 2020 cancellation, and delay of the We Are Water Exhibit until May of 2021, we determined the winners of the contests through online voting.  

2020 year’s theme is “Where would we BEE without Pollinators?”

This year, students K-3 could also enter a coloring contest on a similar theme! We have split entries into two age brackets: K-1st grade and 2nd – 3rd grade. Read more here for rules and details of the coloring contest. Click on the picture above to download the coloring page!

Conservation in (and out of) the Classroom

Are you looking for a way to bring soil and water conservation to life in your classroom or with a youth group? The North St. Louis Soil & Water Conservation District has a variety of conservation education resources available for a variety of grades including teacher guides and lesson plans, activity books, pamphlets and posters, and demonstration materials.

We can also visit your school and present on topics including:

  • Water, Watersheds, & Water Quality
  • Soil Ecology & Conservation
  • Invasive Species
  • Wildlife Habitats, Forestry, Pollinators, & Plant Identification

The Envirothon

The Envirothon is a national environmental education program for high school students in grades 9-12. It combines classroom learning with outdoor activities. Through Envirothon, students develop an understanding of effective teamwork, as well as learning about Minnesota’s natural resources. They also gain valuable exposure to a range of disciplines while exploring possible career paths.

Teams of students compete by visiting 5 learning stations and taking a 20-point exam on an environmental topic. The topics are:

  • Aquatics
  • Forestry
  • Soils
  • Wildlife
  • Current Events

Regional area competitions are hosted and managed by local Soil & Water Conservation District staff. Student teams from St. Louis County compete at the Area 3 Envirothon in early May of each year. 

For more information, contact our Community Conservationist, Becca Reiss at or 218-288-6143. More information on state Envirothon can be found at:

Please note the 2020 State Envirothon has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Want us to present to your group?

Looking for a presenter for your Rotary Club, lake association meeting, garden social or other group? We would be happy to present on a topic in soil and water conservation that will fit your needs.

Potential topics include:

  • What is an SWCD?
  • Shoreline Restoration
  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Forestry & Tree Planting

Let us know what you are looking for! If it is not our area of expertise, we will direct you to someone who might be able to help.

North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District

505 3rd St N, Ste A,
Virginia, MN 55792
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4 Monday-Friday and by appointment

Upcoming Board Meetings

Wednesday, December 9th at 10:30 a.m.
Meetings to be held electronically until COVID-19 concerns subside. Call or email Anita, by 9:30 am on board meeting day, for login/call in information.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment