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What We Do

Programs & Services

Education and outreach are key to teaching present and future generations about our unique resources and why it is important to conserve them.  Licking Soil & Water offers many education opportunities including school- and community-based programs. 

2020 Summer Workshop Series for Educators

  • Project WET & Healthy Water, Healthy People on June 17th.
  • Newark Water Infrastructure Tour on June 24th.
  • Citizen Science Workshop on July 1st.
  • Project Learning Tree on July 8th.
  • Project WILD & Aquatic Project WILD on July 19th.
  • Environmental Education for Early Childhood on July 22nd.

All workshops start at 8:30 am and end by 4 pm. Graduate and Step Up to Quality credits available. Formal and informal educators welcome.  Space is limited; pre-registration is required for all workshops.  Cost: $5/workshop.   

Registration will be availabe April 1st.  Sign up for the electronic newsletter, to receive updates and reminders.  


Conservation Learning Series

DIY Rain Barrel and Rain Garden Workshops

Why plant rain gardens? The news has recently been saturated (pun intended) with water-related headlines about elevated nitrate levels and localized flooding from heavy rainfall and stormwater runoff.  Toxic algae continues to be a problem at Buckeye Lake and around Ohio.  Rain gardens allow rain water to slowly soak into the ground and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater flowing into nearby streams.   

What is a rain barrel? Rain barrels collect and store rain water from rooftops, thereby reducing runoff and flooding during storms. Use rain barrel water to irrigate landscaping and gardens while saving money on water bills..  

At the workshop, view a well-established rain garden; then learn how to design and install a rain garden on your property.  Next, build your own rain barrel so you can start harvesting rain water from your roof.

RSVP required and can be accomplished by clicking on the date below.  The cost is $50 per rain barrel.   Cash or check only for on-site payment.    

Saturday, March 21st at 1 pm at Wilson's Garden Center, Newark

Thursday, June 13th at 6 pm at Infirmary Mound Park, Granville

Tuesday, August 13th at 6 pm at Infirmary Mound Park, Granville



Stream Team

As Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) strives to enhance and protect our natural resources, especially water, we would like to take the first step in gaining community involvement and ownership. As this goal is accomplished, the community will gain a better understanding and respect for water, water quality, and why it is important to become stewards of the land. Our community will also become more aware that they live in a watershed and every day activities by individuals affect the water everyone uses.

Interested in getting involved?  Join the Stream Team!  Soil & Water provides all the supplies; you adopt a stream and share data with our office.  It’s that easy! 

Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 5:30-7:30pm at Taft Reserve South, 10383 Fairview Rd SE, Newark, OH 43055

Thursday, August 20, 2020 from 5:30-7:30pm at Riverview Preserve, 375 Ohio St, Newark, OH 43055

Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 5:30-7:30pm at Lobdell Reserve (Disc Golf Course Area), 5475 Battee Rd, Alexandria, OH 43001  

Reserve your spot here


School-aged Educational Programs and Teacher Resources

Education Programs are offered in the classroom, a nearby park.  Prepared programs to check out to use in your classroom are also available, listed below.  For more information, please contact Licking Soil & Water at 740-670-5330.  

Soil-based Programs: The soil under our feet plays a major role in where plants grow and animals live.  Participate in soil tests and use scientific equipment to discover characteristics of Ohio soils.  Compare soil from various places such as stream banks and grassy fields.  Consider how soil is made and how we use the soil, rocks and minerals under our feet.  Meet some soil builders and let them teach you how you can build soil in your community.  Choose from the programs below.  Mix and match programs to fit your needs and time limitations.

  • Soil Soup (20 minutes):  This activity is great for introducing soil vocabulary words while making Soil Soup. With the help of props, students consider the ingredients needed to make soil. Vocabulary words: sand, silt, clay, percolation, horizon, humus, organic matter, invertebrate, organism, ecosystem, reclamation, restoration, habitat, decomposer
  • Soil Testing (30-60 minutes):  Students answer comparative questions by performing soil investigation tests.  Students read and follow soil test directions, collect soil samples from various habitats, and use scientific equipment.
  • Decomposer Tag (20 minutes): Description:   Students play a freeze tag game where “Death” tries to tag and freeze the “Nutrients” in plants and animals. The “Decomposers” unfreeze the “Nutrients” trapped in dead bodies, allowing them to return to the cycle of life.  Variation 2: To demonstrate that life would stop without “Decomposers” recycling dead things, you can allow “Death” to tag and freeze the “Decomposers” along with the plants and animals. The game (and life on Earth) ends when everyone is frozen except “Death.”  
  • Vermicompost and Worm Investigation (20 minutes):  Identify worms as decomposers in a working vermicompost system.  Investigate worms in small working groups.  Each group gets a worm, investigation equipment, and worksheet to record observations. As a group, conclude with a guided discussion on what ecosystem services worms provide as decomposers.
  • Mineral Puzzle (20 Minutes):  Use rock samples to guide conversation about how are rocks and mineral different, where are they found, and how do we use them.  Warm up with a rock sample matching activity.  Next build rocks from minerals using a puzzle.  Finally students create a work of art by combining their minerals to make a granite sculpture.
  • It Comes from Soil Relay (20 minutes):  In teams, students determine if certain everyday items come from the soil beneath our feet or not.  As a group, investigate where things ended up and why.  The students can make great arguments for why they put things here or there.  Ultimately, the group should discover that many everyday items come from soil.    

Water-based Programs: Licking County has a lot of surface water and groundwater.  People depend on this water for drinking, watering plants and animals, bathing, cleaning, etc.  Observe how water moves above ground and underground.  Evaluate and test the health of our waterways.  Choose from the programs below.  Mix and match programs to fit your needs and time limitations.

  • Enviroscape (20 minutes – 1 hour): Using a hands-on watershed model, students learn about sources of non-point and point source pollution, as well as explore water pollution prevention through visual interaction.  With a real-world career focus, the Enviroscape helps students make connections between what we do on Earth and the impact on the environment. Vocabulary words: watershed, non-point source, point source, pollution, runoff, stormwater, best management practices, sediment, nutrient, organic, toxic
  • Groundwater Model (20 minutes – 45 minutes): Simulate groundwater movement using a table-top model.  Demonstration includes pumps to recirculate the water, wells, springs, artesian wells, a lake, an unconfined and a confined aquifer, a malfunctioning septic systems and leaking underground storage tank.  Dye injection is used to simulate groundwater or contaminant flow.  (Electricity is required to operate model).
  • Water Quality Testing (30 minutes – 1 hour inside or 1 hour - 2 hours at a stream/river site): Modeled after Licking Soil & Water’s Stream Team program, students learn about various types of water pollution and their sources, as well as career paths related to water quality.  Participants perform habitat assessments and biological, chemical, and/or physical water quality tests on surface water.  This credible data is recorded and analyzed along with other data collected throughout the county.

Adult Education Workshops/Field Days: 

We regularly hold a variety of workshops and field days. We hope you will join us in learning more about conservation of our natural resources. To review our current scheduled workshops and field days click here