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26green roof soilEducational Resources for Teachers K-12

Marion SWCD offers teachers numerous opportunities to choose from. Funding is available to help teachers/schools with transportation and materials costs.

Field Trips

Outdoor education programs are the highlight of the offerings at Marion SWCD. We fully support the premise that today’s youth are becoming disconnected with the natural world. We provide instruction for student field trips at numerous locations throughout the District and can address virtually any natural resource subject. We work with teachers to integrate subject matter into their ongoing curricula. Past locations have included public lands along the North Santiam and Little North Fork rivers, Shellburg Falls in the Santiam Forest and Silver Falls State Park. We will continue to offer the popularSalmon Watch programs during the fall spawning season on the North Fork where students can learn about salmon biology, water quality, macroinvertebrates and riparian habitats. Our CLEAR Grant program can provide funds for transportation and study materials. Be sure to schedule early to be assured of District availability.

Soil Conservation

Soil health is vital to agriculture, whether it is a commercial operation or backyard gardening. We can provide instruction on many aspects of soil. Students can use test kits to determine pH and amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Soil texture can be determined by creating soil ribbons by hand and structure and moisture content can be studied with soil probes. We encourage anyone wishing to create or maintain a school garden to take advantage of these programs. You will find an extensive, downloadable Power Point program on soil prepared by Oregon State University on the Teacher/Student Resources page.

Teachers within the District are able to acquire the test kits and equipment we use through the CLEAR grant program and receive instruction on their proper use.

Water Quality

The study of water quality is the Marion SWCD’s most requested educational program. The District can offer these at field locations or at schools. The District likes to combine chemical analysis using test kits with biological inventories of macroinvertebrates to determine the present and past water quality conditions. These are compared to the State of Oregon’s adopted parameters for salmon and steelhead. These activities are appropriate for grades 5 through 12 and even adults have been known to enjoy grabbing a net to fish out the macros inhabiting local waterways. Join the fun and learn what the fish eat.

Teachers within the District are able to acquire the test kits and equipment used through the CLEAR grant program and receive instruction on their proper use.

15stuffing module with soil


Aquatic Ecology

Forest Ecology

National Forestry Handbook

An in-depth manual for forestry measurements and practices compiled by the US Department of Agriculture National Resource Conservation Service.


Oregon Garden Smart Guide

An excellent guide featuring native and ornamental plants you can use in your garden to replace plants known to be invasive.

Nonnative Invasive Plants of Pacific Coast Forests: A Field Guide for Identification

This new field guide is concise and well-illustrated for novice botanists and managers alike. The 91-page color guide provides detail on each plant in nontechnical language and photos of different stages of plant development are included to allow reliable identification in the field at different times of the year. Compiled by USDA Forest Service.


Introduction to Soils

A comprehensive Power Point presentation on soil ecology and science produced by OSU and Benton Soil and Water Conservation District

Introduction to Sustainable Farming

This link will take you to a pdf slide show featuring the processes and benefits of sustainable farming.  Produced by OSU Extension Small Farms.