Burnett County students partake in Conservation Day

“Invasive Species” was presented by Cala Hakseth, wildlife educator, Wisconsin DNR at Crex Meadows. - Photos submitted

BURNETT COUNTY – It was a beautiful sunny day, although it didn’t start out that way, on Wednesday, Sept. 20, when Webster, Siren and Grantsburg students attended the annual Conservation Day for fifth-graders.  This is a daylong event sponsored by the Burnett County Natural Resources Committee and the Burnett County Land & Water Conservation Department.  This event was held at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center in Grantsburg.

The day began at 9:30 a.m. when 175 students, teachers, chaperones, bus drivers, presenters and staff converged at the center.  The students were provided with introductions to the presenters and instructions on the day’s events.  After breaking into seven groups, the kids rotated from session to session to learn about different conservation topics presented by staff from the LWCD, DNR and NRCS.  The topics were water quality, presented by Randy Gilbertson, conservation planner and conservation specialist; wildlife habitat, presented by Lauren Finch, wildlife educator; soils and erosion, presented by Deanna Peterson, NRCS conservationist; trees, presented by Mark Gossman, forest ranger; geology, presented by John Park, rock and mineral authority; forest fire safety, presented by Jim Becker amd Nate Haksins, foresters; and aquatic invasive species, presented by Cala Hakseth, wildlife educator.

During the lunch hour, a presentation was given by Pete Carlson, a DNR conservation warden from the Frederic area.   

The kids then completed a quiz after the sessions and were awarded prizes for top scores.  The top two from each school were: Eliza Paulson and Clare Chenal, Grantsburg; Montana Kallevang and Patricia St John, Siren; and Ella Jacobs and Elijah Ward, Webster.  Montana and Eliza won the overall competition for having the best quiz score and answering the question “What does conservation mean to me?”

After the quiz, the students participated in a scavenger hunt with the top-scoring school winning the highly coveted traveling silver lunch box stuffed full of candy.  Grantsburg won the hunt this year and will have possession of the lunchbox until next year.

Congratulations are extended to all competitors on their hard work, dedication and commitment to conservation issues.

The LWCD would also like to extend a huge thank-you to the various departments, individuals and educators who, through their commitment to educating youth, have worked so hard to make this event possible.