The Mercer SWCD offers a variety of Pre K to Adult educational programs aimed at fostering an understanding of conservation that can be carried with individuals throughout their lives. 

Youth Programs

    The District's Education Specialist can bring many hands-on activities to your classroom,   4-H club, Scouts group or other youth group.  Programs are available on a wide range of topics and are designed to meet proficiency and content standards.  The programs offered by the Mercer SWCD are not limited to those listed below.  We can work with you to develop a program or to modify an existing program to meet your specific needs whether the focus be on science, math, language arts, history, nutrition, or anything in between!

    Each program is approximately 30-45 minutes in length.  The District provides this service FREE OF CHARGE to groups located within Mercer County.  Most programs can be adjusted to any age or skill level.  For more information or to schedule a program, contact our Education Specialist at [email protected].  

bulletThe Incredible Journey - Students will become a water molecule and travel through the water cycle.  Participants create a 'bracelet' to trace their journey.
bulletCookies from Soil - Students learn that soil is necessary to grow most of our food by tracing all of the ingredients in a chocolate chip cookie back to the soil.
bulletSoils and Erosion - Students will learn the different horizons of soil and how precious our top soil is.  Students will make sediment sticks and learn why it is important to take preventative measures to protect our soil.
bulletFreddie the Fish - Students will take a journey with Freddie the Fish to learn how different kinds of pollution affect him.  Participants will make their own Freddie necklace to remind them of the effects of pollution.
bulletEnviroscape - Students place simulated pollution on a model watershed and trace it into the water supply.  Topics covered include point source and non-point source pollution and prevention measures.
bulletRecycling Relay Race - Students choose whether to reuse, recycle, compost, or throw away a variety of items as they race against another team.
bulletFill the Bill - Students will choose from various tools simulating beaks to determine what type of bird would eat a certain food.  Beak adaptations are discussed.

    In addition to the aforementioned programs, the District offers the following educational opportunities for students throughout the year.

bulletEnvirothon - High School students participate in an outdoor, academic team competition testing them in five areas: soils, wildlife, aquatics, forestry, and current environmental issues.  Registration is in February with the area competition to be held in May.
bulletSoils Judging - A county soils contest held in the fall gives students the opportunity to classify soil types and recommend proper uses for the various types of soil.
bulletT.R.E.E. Program - Third grade students are presented with a lesson on trees and are given a tree seedling to take home and plant.  This program is offered in April to coincide with Earth Day.
bulletSoil & Water Stewardship Week - Lessons and materials are available to recognize this important week which begins the last Sunday in April.
bulletCollege Scholarship - In partnership with Marion Mutual Insurance Association, the Mercer SWCD awards one $1,000 college scholarship to a student majoring in Agriculture, Natural Resources, or a related field.  Applications are available in September and October.
bulletResources - The District has access to many books, posters, magazines, and videos that relate to agriculture and natural resources.  If you are looking for a resource on any related topic, we may be able to help.

Adult Programs

    The District Board and Staff continually strive to meet the needs of all of our cooperators; thus, we are always looking for topics of interest to address in our adult programs.  Some of the adult programs that are currently available are listed below.  Should you have a request for a program, please contact our Education Specialist at [email protected].

bulletDrive-It-Yourself Farm Tour - This educational tour is designed to highlight agriculture and water quality efforts in Mercer County.  The tour will be held periodically.
bulletPublic Officials Tour - This tour is a great opportunity for the SWCD Board and Staff to showcase many of the projects our technical staff have worked on.
bulletTeacher Workshops -  Contact the SWCD office if you would be interested in a workshop on Project WET, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, or Food, Land, & People.  We will work to arrange a session when there is enough interest.
bulletPond Clinic - The District will hold a pond clinic to educate individuals who either have a recreational pond or plan to build a recreational pond in the future on an as needed basis.  Information is presented on fish stocking, weed control and identification, and general pond maintenance.


The Mercer SWCD prohibits discrimination in any of its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status.