Youth & Community Events
Contact Patty at the Land and Water Conservation Division (LWCD) office for information on any of the following youth education opportunities at 715-346-1334 or Email Patty Benedict
The 2024 theme for the Conservation Awareness Poster Contest is "May the Forest Be With You Always". Posters are due Friday, December 15 by 4:00 p.m. Posters are judged and winners in the five grade divisions are announced at the January Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting. Prizes are awarded for first through third place in the County contest. First-place winners continue to advance through Area and State contests to the National contest. Prizes vary at Area and State, with cash prizes awarded at the National level.
Classroom presentations can be arranged as well as poster pickup!
Speeches must promote the conservation of natural resources and the protection or enhancement of environmental quality. Topics should address soil and water conservation issues. Emphasis should be placed on the subject as it relates to your locality or to the state of Wisconsin.
Speeches are judged at the January Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting. Prizes are awarded for first through third place in the three divisions at the County contest. First-place winners advance to an Area and State contest. Prizes vary at the Area and State levels.
Wisconsin Prairie Presentations
Portage County is giving schools an opportunity to learn about the importance of the complex and unique ecosystem prairies provide. The presentation covers what a prairie is, types of prairies, how many acres Wisconsin has had in prairies historically, how many acres Wisconsin currently has in prairies, adaptations of prairie plants and animals, the importance of pollinators, and what WE CAN DO! Land and Water Conservation staff will provide seedlings and/or seeds for students to plant and help enhance school gardens. Presentations for 2023-24, virtual, outdoors, or whatever works for your class, can be scheduled by contacting the Portage County Land and Water Conservation office at 715-346-1334.
Programs can be presented on a variety of environmental and natural resource-related topics, such as bees/butterflies/bats; tree/plant identification; groundwater model demonstration; skulls, skins, and bones; and more! Contact the Land and Water Conservation office at 715-346-1334 to discuss a program tailored to specific grade levels.
Stewardship Week is observed between the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in May. The 2024 theme for Stewardship Week is "May the Forest Be With You Always". Lesson plans for Primary - grades K-2, Intermediate - grades 3-5, and Advanced - grades 6-8 can be found in the Grades K-8 Education and Lesson Plans Guide.
Youth Conservation Camps
Two annual camps, held in mid-June, provide students the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics, such as wildlife, forestry, ecosystems, aquatic habitats, and canoeing. The high school camp is for students entering grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 and is held at North Lakeland Discovery Center. Attendance is capped at 25 campers. The middle school camp is for students entering grades 6, 7, or 8 and is held at Upham Woods near Wisconsin Dells. Limited scholarship funds are available.
The Wisconsin Envirothon challenges middle and high school teams of five with hands-on, outdoor field tests in four categories: Forestry, Soils/Land Use, Aquatic Ecology and Wildlife, and a group presentation based on a pre-selected conservation topic. The winning overall high school team advances to the North American Envirothon /Regional Envirothon to compete for scholarships and prizes.
Visit Wisconsin Land Water Website for more information.