The Blair County Conservation District offers a wealth of educational opportunities through its Environmental Education Specialist, Suzanne Black and the Conservation District Staff. Suzanne is a Pennsylvania State certified Biology and General Science teacher. Previously teaching Environmental Science, Biology and Agricultural Biology for the Owen J. Roberts School District. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Juniata College, with a Program of Emphasis in Biology and Education. She provides hands-on learning opportunities for schools, libraries, scouts, and other organizations in Blair County. Lessons are based on current PA Core Standards.
Youth programs include a variety of hands on activities, experiments, songs, games, and often live animals. Because of the hands-on nature of the instruction, most are designed for one classroom at a time but some can be adapted to large group audiences. Most programs last about an hour, this can also be adjusted to meet the needs and interests of the group.
Each lesson's objective addresses one or more of the Pennsylvania Standards for Environmental Education and/or Science and Technology. Standards are indicated under each program description. They are categorized by: Pre-School, Elementary, Upper Elementary/Middle School , High School, Water Festivals and Field Trips.
In addition to educational programs the District also holds an annual Poster Contest, Land Judging Contest and County Envirothon. The poster contest is an early spring event co-sponsored by the Altoona Water Authority and has a new conservation related theme each year. Participation of all local schools at all grade levels K-12 is encouraged. Cash prizes are awarded in 5 different grade groups and all posters are displayed at the Logan Valley Mall as part of Earth Day Celebrations. Land Judging is hosted by area farmers each October and is open to local FFA’s at the Blair County Level with the possibility for advancement to the State FFA Contest Level. Contact the District to learn more about specific contest details.
The County Envirothon, held each May at one of our County Parks, challenges high school students in a County wide competition on aquatic ecology, forestry, soil/land use, wildlife and a current issue which changes annually. Open to 5-member teams from public, private, religious and home schools, students vie for the chance to represent Blair County at the Pennsylvania Envirothon with the potential to go to the National “Canon” Envirothon. The Envirothon emphasizes the importance of environmental sensitivity while stressing a need to achieve a social, ecologic and economic balance in life.
The District also works with partnering groups and agencies to host “Special Events” throughout the year. One such event is the Earth Day Celebration at the Logan Valley Mall. Each year the district partners with sister agencies to offer an extravaganza of activities and entertainment; a highlight being the public Award Ceremony for the annual Poster Contest.
2017 Poster Contest - Announcement
2017 Poster Contest - Rules
2017 Poster Contest - Entry Form
How do I schedule a program?
Currently all programs are FREE of charge to any school, home school, library, civic or youth group based in Blair County, and the Creature Teacher will travel to your meeting place. There is a fee for programs outside of Blair County. Before scheduling a program, please be sure to read the safety precautions. For more information or to schedule a program, email Suzanne Black or call 814-696-0877 ext. 5.