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Education: K-12 Education and Outreach

Wetland Station

K-12 Education

Outdoor Education Day - The annual Dakota SWCD Outdoor Education Field Days are held every September at the Dakota County Fairgrounds in Farmington. Over 1,200 fifth-grade students from Farmington, Lakeville, and Rosemount participate in the event each year.

Educational stations are scattered throughout the Fairground's 220-acre native prairie site. Station topics include Forestry, Soils, Wetlands, the Nutrient Cycle, and Agriculture. The station topics are taught by local experts from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Dakota Soil & Water Conservation District, the University of Minnesota Extension Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Eagle Bluff
Learning Center, and Dakota County Parks.

The Dakota SWCD Outdoor Education Field Days are sponsored by the Dakota Soil and Water Conservation District, the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization, Pheasants Forever, and the Minnesota Milk Producers.

Minnesota Envirothon is an outdoor learning event for high school students designed to promote natural resource awareness and education. This fast-paced competition is a hands-on learning opportunity for students centering around environmental topics such as aquatics, soils, forestry, wildlife and current events.

4-H Club

4-H Youth Development is a youth program that increases leadership, service to the community and education about agriculture and the environment. Get involved and compete in fairs, learn about mechanical sciences or judge competitions. Call 651-480-7752 or visit Dakota County 4-H for more information.

Minnesota Conservation Corps

The Minnesota Conservation Corps provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing priority cost-effective conservation, natural resource management projects and emergency response work.


A US Department of Agriculture sponsored website made just for kids to learn about agriculture, food and the environment. Visit USDA for Kids online.

Vermillion River Watch Program

Vermillion River Watch Program is an educational stream monitoring program offered, in conjunction with the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization, to middle and high school classes throughout Dakota County. Students who participate in this program will get hands on experience monitoring water quality (temperature, transparency, streamflow), collecting biological samples, and to observe the physical habitat in and along the streambanks. Students will also learn macroinvertebrate identification techniques, along with data entry and analysis skills.

Teachers or community groups who wish to participate in the Vermillion River Watch Program are asked to contact Lindsey Albright, Water Resource Specialist with the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District, at lindsey.albright@co.dakota.mn.us or 651-480-7783 for more information.

Support for this program is funded by the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization.