Years ago, it was pretty hard to get people to empathize even a little bit with scaly, cold-blooded critters; now, thanks a lot to good PR from television, it is easier to get the message of reptile conservation and tolerance across. We have a lot to be thankful for reptiles for, not the least of which is their control of rodents.

-Romulus Whitaker, wildlife conservationist, in an interview with PBS, 2011

The quote above shows that outreach and education are important to conservation. Without knowing how helpful reptiles are, many folks would be happy if they disappeared. You might have guessed that San Juan SWCD doesn't do reptile conservation. However, we do a lot of soil and water conservation, which isn't successful without community involvement.

Of course, San Juan SWCD's conservation efforts are made much easier by all the folks in the District who already care about our soil, water, and other natural resources. A lot of people in our area depend on the land for their livelihoods. So, they understand better than anyone how important it is to protect that resource.

With the help of all the great people in our District, including schools and producers, San Juan SWCD facilitates information-sharing, shares regulatory requirements and opportunities for funding, and educates students about conservation. Read on to learn more about our outreach and education work.

Students viewing native cottonwoods along the San Juan River


Workshops are an opportunity for us to bring in experts on a variety of subjects into our community, and provide local landowners with the tools they need to be better land managers. Check our Facebook or our News page for upcoming workshops, and click the links below for information from past workshops:

2017 Fall Ditch Herbicides Workshop
2017 Septic Workshop
2015 Soil Health Workshop
2015 Ditch Improvement Planning Workshop
2012 Four Corners River Health Workshop

Poster Contest

As part of the National Association of Conservation Districts, we hold a poster contest for 4th and 5th graders every spring for Earth Day and Soil Stewardship Week. Stay tuned for the upcoming contest. Visit our Facebook page (links below) to check out our past winners!

2017, Healthy Soils are Full of Life: Winners/ Honorable Mention
2016, We all Need Trees: Winners and all posters
2015, Pollinators: Our Local Heroes: All posters/winners
2014, Dig Deeper! Secrets in the SoilAll posters/winners

Rolling Rivers Trailer

Our Rolling Rivers trailer is a large, interactive model of a watershed like that of the San Juan and Animas rivers. It is available for free annual visits to your event or classroom.  The trailer is an engaging lesson about rivers, erosion, watersheds, and where our water comes from; students and grown-ups alike love it! It is in high demand every spring, so we recommend scheduling 2 months in advance. The ideal set-up is 20-30 minute lessons for 4th-6th graders.


For the last few years, San Juan SWCD has sponsored a team of Navajo Prep students to compete in the NM Envirothon, a weekend long competition testing high school students’ knowledge of soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, and conservation problem-solving around a specific topic. The 2017 team "Fierce Fungis" placed  9th overall in New Mexico! Visit the NMACD website for more information about the state contest.