Area Children Learn About Conservation


Fourth and fifth graders from throughout Montgomery County enjoyed a day of fun and discovery at the Montgomery County Extension Center's annual Conservation and Safety Day on Wednesday, May 1.

The annual event was organized by University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 under the leadership of Agricultural Literacy Program Coordinator for Montgomery County Beth Groves and is held to provide education on topics not regularly covered in traditional classrooms. Students from Beckemeyer Elementary School in Hillsboro, Coffeen Elementary School, Nokomis North Elementary School and St. Louis Catholic School in Nokomis participated in the program.

"Not only do students receive valuable information about safety, natural resources and agriculture, they get to meet people in the community working in a variety of careers."

Throughout the day, students rotated between different stations that covered a variety of safety and agriculture-related topics. The presentations included "Stream Table Erosion" taught by University of Illinois Extension Educator Duane Friend; "Dog and Animal Safety" taught by Amanda Daniels, Ali Scott and Nugget, a Harlequin Great Dane, all representing Montgomery County Animal Control; "Bike Safety" taught by Ann Ashby, a representative of the Illinois Secretary of State's Office; "Railroad Safety" taught by Jack Huddleston, a representative of Illinois Operation Lifesaver; "Pollinators" taught by University of Illinois Extension Educator Sara Marten; "Trail Safety" taught by Nancy Redman representing Bremer Sanctuary; "ATV Safety" taught by Valerie Belusko representing Montgomery County Farm Bureau; "Virtual Plant Tour" taught by Chris Short, Mike Tooley, Craig Herzog and Nick Kieffer of Litchfield Pioneer Plant; "Trash that Lasts" taught by University of Illinois Extension Educator Ashley Belle; "Pollinators" taught by University of Illinois Educator Andrew Holsinger; "ATV Safety" taught by Extension Volunteer Denise Kistner; "Soil Conservation" taught by Patricia Fuchs and Maria Brockamp of Montgomery County Soil and Water; "Rethink Your Drink" taught by University of Illinois Extension Educator Lisa Peterson; "Digging Safety" taught by Brian MacKenzie of JULIE Inc., "Ag Careers" taught by Croplife Ambassador Heather Hampton+Knodle; "Composting with Worms" taught by Montgomery County Master Gardener Pam Ritchie; "ATV Safety" taught by 4-H Teen Teacher Kendall Knodle; "Injury Prevention" taught by Nate Saint representing Southern Illinois University School of Medicine;"Grain Bin Safety" taught by Carolyn Slightom and Taylor Hand representing Montgomery County Farm Service Agency; and "Electricity" taught by Brooke Gross and Charlie Peterson representing MJM Electric.