Land Judging

The Deer Creek Conservation District joins with the Custer County Conservation District each spring to hold a land judging contest for area FFA and 4-H students.

The contest is held to assist in educating youth and provide them with the expertise of proper identification of various soil types. Fields and farms vary in value and in use due to varying productivity of the soil.

Proper identification of soil helps investors, home gardeners and those who manage farms. Soil characteristics, climate and topography are good clues to the soil's capabilities, but close examination of the soil texture, structure, depth, permeability, reaction, degree of erosion, slope, drainage and flooding are necessary to classify land into capability classes.

Poster, essay and speech contests

The district sponsors youth contest during the school year, using the current Stewardship Week theme, to promote conservation awareness and teach the conservationists of tomorrow.

A poster contest is held for students in second through fifth grade, students in sixth through eighth grade participate in the essay contest. High School students take part in the speech contest.

Outdoor Classroom

Deer Creek Conservation District is extremely proud of its annual Outdoor Classroom, which will mark its 34th year in April 2016.

More than 300 fourth grade students from area schools attend each year and visit 11 stations throughout the day-long hands-on event. Students learn about a variety of subjects including grasses, water, trees, soils, wildlife, weather and archaeology.

The Outdoor Classroom began in the early 1980s as a way to show children how we all depend on renewable natural resources for survival, and how their use and ecological care determine their fate.

The first years of the DCCD Outdoor Classroom were held on a district director's farm. In the late 1980s, the district reached an agreement with the 3M Corporation (now Imation). The company dedicated four acres of wooded area on their property to be used for the classroom. For our 30th Outdoor Classroom in 2012, we marked the event by moving to our new location, P-Bar Farms on Rt. 66 between Weatherford and Hydro.

The classroom was among the first in the state and among the first to have a partnership with an industry.

The classroom helps to reinforce essential environmental generalizations such as all living things, including people, are interdependent with one another and with their environment, and natural resources undergo continuous change as nothing in the world remains static.

The Outdoor Classroom also helps to promote DCCD, awareness of the importance of conservation and the district's conservation efforts.