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Earth Stewardship Day Draws Area Fourth Graders to Fairgrounds
Illinois Ag Connection - 05/16/2019

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Illinois Department of Agriculture welcomed 750 Sangamon County fourth grade students to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield this week for the 28th Annual Earth Stewardship Day. The event is hosted and jointly sponsored by the Illinois EPA, Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Transportation and the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The students will visit 33 interactive attractions and presentations focusing on the importance of protecting, restoring, recycling and reusing natural resources. The students represent 33 classes from twelve different schools throughout Sangamon County. In addition to the fourth grade classes, the event includes presentations from Riverton and Auburn High School, Grant Middle School and the University of Illinois at Springfield Environmental Studies Class. Students from Lanphier High School's Functional Life Skill classes are also volunteering at this year's event.

"Each year, Earth Stewardship Day invites area students to learn how they each have a role in protecting our environment through fun, interactive, hands-on activities," said Illinois EPA Acting Director John J. Kim. "We'd like to thank the participating schools, teachers, volunteers and especially the outstanding organizations that provide their expertise through exciting and educational presentations."

"Teaching young people how to be better stewards of the land is the responsibility of all of us", said John Sullivan, Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. "I'm pleased to team up with IEPA, IDNR and other government agencies to educate students on the importance of sustainability in agriculture and why preserving our natural resources is important to preserving our environment".

The Earth Stewardship Day celebration is offered for free to schools located in Sangamon County and is open to the first 900 students whose schools registered, depending on the number of presenters, with preference given to those schools that have not attended in the previous year. More information can be found at

The schools participating in today's event are Dubois Elementary School, Feitshans Elementary School, Little Flower School, New Berlin Elementary School, Owen Marsh Elementary School, Riverton Elementary School, Rochester Intermediate School, Sherman Elementary School, St. Agnes Catholic School, Tri-City Elementary School and Wilcox Elementary School.

Each Earth Stewardship Day station offers students something new to learn. Stations and presenting organizations are:

Environmental Jeopardy - Illinois EPA

Soil - Dig It! - The Nutrients For Life Foundation

The Value of Trees in Water Quality - Trees Forever

Biodiversity of Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey Traveling Science Center

Importance of the Milkweed to the Monarch Butterfly - Bayer Corp Science

Incredible Journey - Riverton High School

Recycling Dash - Riverton High School

IL Bats: Insect Eating Machines - The Bat Doctor

Stream Table - Illinois Department of Agriculture

Milkweed Seedbombs for Monarchs - University of Illinois at Springfield

Macro Mayhem - National Great Rivers Research & Education Center

Migration: A Risky Business - Illinois Natural History Survey Avian Monitoring

Coyotes, Competition & Carrying Capacity - Lincoln Memorial Garden

Bird Banding - Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders

Helping Homeless Animals - Animal Protective League

Introduction to Vermicomposting - University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners

Energy Efficiency and the Smart Grid - Elevate Energy, Citizen's Utility Board, Faith in Place

Get the Ground Water Picture - Illinois State Water Survey

Environmental Pathways - Illinois Department of Transportation

"Upcycling": Creative Reuse - City of Springfield-Office of Public Works

Pollution Solutions - Auburn High School Science Club

Keeping Your Water Clean - Illinois EPA

Illinois Mussels - Illinois State Museum

Water Treatment and Testing - Illinois American Water Company

Minerals of the Day - Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines & Minerals

Global Warming - Save the Polar Bears - Grant Middle School, IMSA

Recycle Relay - Illinois EPA

Our Land, Our Earth, Our Future - Barry Cloyd Productions

Macroinvertebrate Mayem: Water Quality Indicators - Illinois EPA

Rocks & Minerals in Everyday Life - Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers

Just a Little About Honeybees - Acbees Apairies

Trash That Lasts! - University of Illinois Extension

Toxic Relay - Illinois EPA

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