Conservation District keeps students busy

Educational involvement expands

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District is expanding its education outreach this year. The program, which is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, now offers contests for students and teachers.

Students win state poster awards

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored a conservation poster contest for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. This year's theme was "Habitat for Life," focusing on conserving animal and human habitat.

Many entries were submitted from the Aurora Borealis Charter School and from home-school students through the Connections program.

This year's winners in the kindergarten through first-grade group were: Benjamin Sibley, first (first grade, Connections); Hope Steffensen, second (kindergarten, Connections); and Torrey Johnson, third, (first grade, Aurora Borealis).

Winners for the first- through third-grade group were: Kaitlyn O'Neal, first (third grade, Connections); Delissa Severson, second (second grade, Aurora Borealis), and Kai Risung, third (second grade, Aurora Borealis).

The winning posters were entered in the spring Alaska Association of Conservation District Contest March 8 in Anchorage.

Final results were: Benjamin Sibley, first place; Hope Steffensen, second place; and Kaitlyn O'Neal, third place, in each of their grade categories. These winners took home cash awards and plaques from the association.

Benjamin's poster will be entered in the national contest, sponsored by the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts, and will be featured at the 2002 annual meeting.

The contest provides the students with the opportunity to explore and understand soil, water and related natural resource issues. It also highlights the educational efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies.

Speech awards announced

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District held its annual speech contest Feb. 15. Four students from Nikiski Middle-Senior High School participated. The theme for this year's contest was: "Fifty Years of Conservation: Then, Now and Tomorrow."

Aurora Zinck won first place and received $100. Second place and $50 went to Tom Lassen. Ramona Baker and Anna Floyd tied for third place and took home $25 each.

The contest provides students the opportunity to learn about natural resources management and conservation techniques. It also provides students opportunities to refine their public speaking skills.

Outstanding teachers sought

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking nominations recognizing teachers for outstanding conservation education efforts. This is a national contest. The local winner will advance to state competition.

Teachers in elementary and secondary grades will be recognized. The National Association of Conservation Districts and Zeneca Ag Products are the sponsors of the national contest. The national winners will receive $1,000 awards and travel expenses to the national convention in Reno, Nev., in 2002.

All teachers in public, parochial and private schools are eligible to participate. Educators must be teaching full-time in the classroom and be personally responsible for developing a conservation program. Teachers may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers. For a full information packet of materials, contact the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District at 110 Trading Bay, Suite 160, Kenai, AK 99611 or call 283-8732, ext. 108.

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