Education and Outreach

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Conservation Education and Outreach

  • In the 2018-19 fiscal year, Taos SWCD’s Education Coordinator Ernie Lopez continued to work with local schools to promote natural resource conservation. Over 500 students per month in Penasco, Costilla, Ranchos de Taos, Red River, Taos Pueblo, Taos and Questa were introduced to this conservation based curriculum. The curriculum, titled Food, Land & People (FLP) is a nationally accredited educational tool for grades K through 12. It spans several disciplines such as Science, Math, Social Studies and English while stressing natural resource conservation concepts.
  • Taos SWCD uses a variety of places and events to educate the public about soil and water conservation. The District display booth is featured at the following events: Taos County Fair, Taos SWCD Annual Meeting and NM Legislature Soil & water Conservation Day.
  • Taos SWCD participates in National Soil Stewardship Week (every April). The District visits all 5th and some 6th grade students, providing them with conservation materials based on annually changing themes (themes include soil health, importance of pollinators, forestry, watershed health, etc.).  Activity sheets, pencils, and theme related goodies are packed in reusable grocery bags with the Taos Soil & Water Conservation District logo and contact information.
  • A USDA/Wildlife Service’s consultant is available on Thursdays at the District office during the spring and summer months. Wildlife Services provides technical assistance to landowners with regard to animal damage problems. The District continues to fund a full-time wildlife damage expert for Taos and surrounding areas.
  • The District Newsletter is published on a quarterly basis.  Please contact the office if you’d like to receive this newsletter via email or US Postal Service.
  • Free noxious and invasive weed identification books are available throughout the year and calendars are available in December and January (while supplies last).
  • Taos SWCD continues to co-sponsored the annual New Mexico Envirothon competition. Envirothon is a hands-on education competition for high school students. 
  • Taos Soil & Water Conservation District continues to receive the maximum score allowed for the New Mexico Soil & Water Commission Point System.
  • The District continues to hold its annual Celestino Romero Conservation Education Camp every July. The event is held at the Loma Verde Presbyterian Camp located east of Taos. The Camp promotes soil & water conservation and has presenters from Taos SWCD and numerous natural resource partner agencies. The camp attendance includes students from all areas of the county.
  • Taos SWCD’s Science Fair Program offers all fifth and sixth grades in Taos County financial assistance for science fair projects related to natural resources.  Taos SWCD staff also participates in the various school’s science fair competitions as judges.

Taos SWCD spent approximately $72,203 on conservation education and outreach events during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Taos High School Envirothon Team “The Earthletes” sponsored by Taos SWCD.

Pictured from left to right:
Education coordinator Ernie Lopez, Teacher Carla Chavez, Majdolene Kweis, Zoe Larson, Maya Anthony, Lucia Mondragon, District Manager Peter Vigil, Arriana Chavez.