Todd County Enviro Fest Celebrates 25 Years
Every year, the Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District hosts a unique event for students across the county. This year, in the event’s 25th year, over 300 6th graders attended the Todd County Enviro Fest to learn a little bit of everything about the environment.
“Lots and lots of hands-on activities. We can read about it and listen to it, but to actually get out and do things with your hands. It’s fantastic to kind of drive some of these concepts about a good, healthy earth home to all the kids,” said Moike Zimmerman, a 6th grade teacher.
The event featured around 25 stations that had something to do with the environment. They varied from fire safety and prevention to beekeeping and farm animals.
“Fur-bearing animals to invertebrates, to how do you treat water and soil,” said Lee Buchholz, Todd County Soil & Water District Supervisor.
“We just went through the Science Museum with the water and they learned so much about the importance of keeping our water clean, our water drinkable,” added 6th grade teacher Julie Twardowski.
The event was started 25 years ago in order to bring students to nature and has been held at Dale and Marie Katterhagen’s farm every year.
“We were asked if we wouldn’t host it and we said yes, and we’ve been hosting it ever since,” said Dale Katterhagen. “We have presenters out here that have been students out here now.”
The event offers an important opportunity for kids who do not live in the country or who are not able to enjoy the outdoors to experience nature.
“There’s kids that never get to a real working farm or even as far as getting out to nature besides looking what goes by the car window, for example,” added Buchholz.
“I think it’s really important. It really provides that outdoor education and farm education and natural resource education that a lot of students, a lot of kids don’t get,” said Russell Zimmerman, who attended the event as a student and whose son attended this year.
Enviro Fest has left a lasting impact with many students over the 25 years it has been held.
“The kids that have been here that see you down the road and they still say, ‘I remember.’ That was good,” added Dale Katterhagen.
“If they can take away one thing from the farm, it’s just giving them that little seed,” said Marie Katterhagen. “It’s just an adventure.”
Throughout the day, it was clear that everyone in attendance hopes the tradition of Enviro Fest will carry on for many years to come.
“I hope it continues for another 25 years,” said Kleinschmidt.
“Yeah, and longer,” added his son Huntington.