Fayette County Soil
Water Conservation District







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Vandalia Lake Appreciation Days


Once again we were able to hold Vandalia Lake Day for the 6th grade students of the Vandalia Middle School. It was held on May 6, 2014.


As you can see by the pictures it was a perfect day to be outside.  This day originally began because Tony wrote a grant with the EPA in 2003. Part of the grant was to provide education for Vandalia youth about the importance of preserving the natural resources in the Vandalia Lake Watershed. The educational experience was such a success with the students and teachers that we have been asked to repeat it every year since. So, what started out as something that we would do 2 times has turned into an every year event, this makes our 11th year. Of course, we are quick to remind the teachers about each year!

Most of the subjects the students learn about are a hands on experience. Something like this would be extremely hard to duplicate in the classroom. That’s why we work so hard to bring the students to the experience. How many times can you say you have seen this many different agencies come together in one place, just to better the education of our students? All of these agencies know the importance of education.


The students were given presentations on 8 subjects pertaining to areas that effect the Vandalia Lake Watershed. One of the great things that I still love about these outings with the students, is the fact that while they are outside having a great time we are actually teaching them things that will hopefully stick with them for a while - as well as teaching them how to protect their environment.


Of course, when we ask them what their favorite presentation is about 85% of the time the answer will always be “snakes”.  But with so many new presentations this year the odds may change but it’s really hard to say you never can predict what kids will say or do.


Also, just in case you were wondering, YES, the snakes are very much real, and, no, I never get close enough to touch it, or for it to touch me. But the kids sure seem to like it. But as you know kids are weird about that kind of thing. 

Once again, I would like to thank all the presenters that gave so generously of their time to make this day such a huge success!! We know a “Thank You” card will never be enough to convey our appreciation for all they do but we hope it helps and keeps them coming back for the next year. Without such a great bunch of people this day wouldn’t be possible.


Tabitha Welch, U of I Extension

4H 2o Presentation

Chad Compton, IDNR

Gun Safety Presentation

Sherry Hicks, FAYCO Enterprises

Recycling Presentation

Kim Hammel, ACOE

Snakes Presentation

Denise Willenborg, AC, Effingham County SWCD

Soil Terrariums Presentation

Phil Manhart, ACOE

Water Safety Presentation

Sarah Randall, ACOE

Water Safety Presentation

Tony Pals, RC, Fayette County SWCD

Watersheds Presentation

Bob Hammel, IDNR

Wildlife Presentation


301 South Third Street
Vandalia,  IL  62471
618-283-1095 ext. 3
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Karen Sanders - fayettecountyswcd@att.net
Tony Pals - tony.pals@il.nacdnet.net