TEACHING RESOURCES & CITIZEN SCIENCE
Below is a collection of activities, presentations, lesson plans, and other teaching resources to use inside and out of the classroom. Many of the resources have been created by the Kankakee County Soil & Water Conservation District, while others are linked from external sources. Use the menu above to jump to a section that interests you, or simply scroll down to explore all content areas!
This portion of our site is currently under construction! All links are still available. Thank you!
The link above was submitted to the Kankakee County SWCD by Anabel, a 5th grade student all the way from California! Scroll down to read her story.
Native Plants & Prairie
CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAMS
Your students can be involved in real research projects across the state and the nation by incorporating Citizen Science projects in your classroom!
The Nature Conservancy provides a list of great citizen science networks and projects. Get involved with monitoring butterflies, bees, dragonflies, birds, squirrels, mushrooms, invasive species, and more!
The key to the next life-saving biomedical discovery might be living right below your feet. Dozens of fungi can occupy a single handful of soil and many of them are adept at making new compounds called natural products. These remarkable molecules hold tremendous promise for treating human diseases. It only takes a few minutes to help by collecting a scoop of soil!
"The conservation community relies heavily on volunteers to not only restore natural areas, but to help gauge the success of our restoration efforts. Volunteers team up with experienced stewards and scientists to monitor the recovery of native habitats, or to record data on rare species of wildflowers, butterflies and other wildlife. Below is a listing of several ecological monitoring programs offered by various organizations. Monitoring of species not only provides valuable information to assist with management decisions, but provides an exceptional opportunity for volunteers to learn more about that species and how to protect it."
The Nature Conservancy
The photos above were taken during RiverWatch macroinvertebrate sampling along the Kankakee River. Kevin Culver, Midwest Regional Environmental Compliance Manager at AQUA Illinois, samples Rock Creek, Davis Creek and a portion of the Kankakee River every year. Culver invited Emilie Janes, K3SWCD Resource Conservationist, and Katlyn Post, K3SWCD Intern, to learn sampling techniques and participate in RiverWatch. RiverWatch is a program that assesses the health of a stream or river based upon the abundance and diversity macroinvertebrate species.
A Message from Anabel
Anabel has some advice for Kankakee County... all the way from California! Anabel is about to go into 5th grade, and is very passionate about helping the environment. She and her mom are volunteers at their local library, where they teach people in the community how to be good stewards of our natural resources! Anabel has been helping her mom do research, and found an article she wanted to share about water conservation at home. You can read it here! We can all do a few, simple things each day to conserve water - like turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, or taking showers instead of baths.
Anabel says - "In school we were talking about how we can do a few small things to help the environment. A big topic was saving water because some places in California are still affected by the drought! I thought it was really interesting that anybody could make a change and it could help people!"
Thank you Anabel! We are inspired to conserve our water in Kankakee County!