Education & Outreach

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

We are also able to present by Zoom or other virtual means to your class!

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:

The 2022 Area III is planning for an in-person competition on Monday, May 2 at the Cloquet Forestry Center. The State Envirothon will be in Fergus Falls on Monday, May 16.

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.

Annual Conservation Coloring and Poster Contest

Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities

Entries for the 2021 Conservation and Coloring Contest have closed!

See the winners listed in the Hometown Focus

We received over 200 poster contest entries and over 300 coloring contest entries! Entries came from schools across Northern St. Louis County including Ely, Northeast Range, Mesabi East, Rock Ridge Schools, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Northwoods, Chisholm, and Hibbing!




For a closer look at the finalists:

Poster Contest

Coloring Contest K-1

Coloring Contest 2-3

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

Coloring page

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.

The 2021 year’s theme is “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities”

Read more here for rules and details of the poster contest. Due to Covid-19 precautions, we will be determining winners of the contest through online voting and submitting winners to the Hometown Focus.

Students in grades K-3 can 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 “Create Your Forest” coloring page picture above to download the coloring page!

You can also find additional resources in the NACD Educators Guide: Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities

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, January 12th at 10:30 a.m.
This meeting will be held in-person in the lower-level conference room at the Virginia Public Library, 215 S 5th Ave, Virginia. Masks and social distancing is required. if attending in person. A zoom link is available by contacting Anita at least 2 hours prior to the meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment