The Roundup -

Richland County Conservation District 2017 Cooperator Of The Year


February 28, 2018 | View PDF

2015 Richland County Students learning about plant identification. (Photo submitted by Julie Goss)

The Richland County Conservation District has presented the Cooperator of the year award for several years. Each year the winner has shown they care about conservation, it may be implementing conservation practices that improve water quantity and quality, enhancing soil health or recovering the rangeland. We have presented the award to individuals who work with the district to promote conservation. Irrigation districts and their members who upgraded their system to become more efficient in water delivery. Entities who promote and implement conservation and work with the Conservation District to accomplish these goals are recognized for their efforts.

The 2017 Cooperator of the Year is the Kittleson Family Partnership. Each year for the past 15 years the conservation district has brought several different agencies together on Kittleson's land to teach our youth about water, wildlife, rangeland, soils, plant identification, GPS, geology and the weather. In this outdoor setting the students get a chance to hike, explore and learn with the help of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, MSU Extension, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Natural Resource Conservation Service, NOAA and Northern Plains Ag Research Lab. The outdoor classroom is a two-day event with Richland County students attending on one day and Roosevelt County students attending on the other day.

Kittleson's property that is used to host the event has several different land types, grassy meadows, wooded areas, sandstone rocks and cropland. The various land types make for a beautiful place for the students to get out of the classroom and experience nature. Over 4000 students, teachers, some parents and bus drivers have enjoyed a fall day in the country learning about conservation and Montana's natural resources. We have had beautiful days, rainy days, cold days and windy days. Each year is different and each year brings a new group of excited students anxious to explore, hike and learn. Every year when I call to ask permission to use the site, Kittleson's enthusiastically say yes. It is a piece of property that has been in their family for generations and they are proud to share it with the community. We appreciate the Kittleson Family Partnership and their dedication to helping the conservation district promote conservation and nature to our youth.

The Richland County Conservation District will present the Kittlesons with a coat donated by Stockman Bank and a book of photos of the students in the various stations of the event at the MonDak Ag Days Banquet on March 1.


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