MCD – Education & Events
All other dates TBD:
- Local Work Group Meeting
Requesting Feedback from Mancos Landowners: What are their conservation concerns, how is their current infrastructure holding up?
- Mancos River Resilience Group – 2 meetings in 2017
- Soil Health Workshop
- Pasture Management Seminar
District Conservation Technicians Part 2:
Public and Youth Engagement at the Four States Agricultural Exposition
Each year, the Four States Agricultural Exposition takes place in mid-March at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez. The event serves to “provide a forum for agricultural producers, suppliers and consumers in the Four Corners Region, that will showcase new agricultural technology, offer innovative ideas, and advance effective production and marketing of traditional, specialized and alternative agricultural products through education, demonstrations and promotion.” Within the event, the Children’s Agricultural Learning Facility (CALF) aims to connect youth and public visitors with local experts spanning the whole agricultural spectrum, and provide meaningful, experiential education.
Patrick Clements, Technician with the Mancos Conservation District (MCD), attended the event this year as an educator with the Expo’s CALF program. As a result, Patrick spent three days engaging and educating the next generation of soil and water stewards.
Participating in CALF required Patrick to develop and lead a station with both educational and hands-on elements. He designed his station to show very basic soil texturing methods to determine soil type – keeping in mind that the majority of his audiences would be 1st graders.
The first two days of the program, students visited the event through pre-arranged school field trips. Patrick engaged groups of students for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day, seeing approximately 130 students overall. The third and final day of the program, Patrick interacted with public visitors ranging from infants to adults. Over 600 people visited CALF during its Saturday hours.
Visitors at MCD’s station were encouraged to explore some different textured components of soil (ex: sand, clay, and loam), especially by utilizing their sense of touch. “Texture dictates how much water is available for plant uptake,” Patrick explained. Next, curious minds could compare two local soil samples, learning how each one is a combination of components, ultimately forming a specific class of soil.
Part three of MCD’s station enabled students to combine the aforementioned components and form their own soils. Next, students observed water filtration through the different soil layers/types. For the more mature audiences, Patrick explains, “the correct crop for a soil type should be irrigated with the correct amount of water for maximum growth.”
In the end, Patrick reports that the kids did seem to connect the main points of the exercise, and of course loved the hands-on experience of playing in the soil.
Join MCD next year for another hands-on CALF experience – all ages welcome!
Riparian Restoration and Livestock Management Workshop
The Montezuma Land Conservancy and Mancos Conservation District will offer a workshop concerning Riparian Restoration and Livestock Management on June 18, 2016 from 9 a.m. to noon.
The event is open to the public and will be held on the Burk Ranch conservation easement located at the confluence of the Mancos River and County Road 39 in the Mancos Valley. Take Rd 39 south from US 160 for 2 miles and park along the County Road.
The workshop will be led by: Marty Moses, Private Lands Wildlife Biologist, Natural Resource Conservation Service; Paul Morey, Wildlife Program Manager, Mesa Verde National Park; Stephen Monroe, Hydrologist, National Park Service/Southern Colorado Plateau Network; Chris Rasmussen, EcoMainstream Contracting; and Jack Burk, land owner.
Bring drinking water, snacks, sun protection and walking shoes.