KSWCD worked under a State of Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation contract to operate and maintain a Mercury Deposition Network monitoring site at the Kodiak Fairgrounds. The precipitation samples were sent to a lab which measures the quantities of dissolved mercury and heavy metals.
The Mercury Monitoring site was built in 2007 and KSWCD managed the site from 2010-2019 until our funding for the project ended. It was part of the Mercury Deposition Network, a national network of mercury monitoring stations.
Stephen Bodnar, KSWCD, pulling a sample bottle 3/26/2013
Anna Breuninger, AK DEC, conducting public tour 9/11/2011
Envirothon is a competition amongst high school students that incorporates hands-on, outdoor learning in the areas of Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils and Land Use, Wildlife, and Current Environmental Issues.
KSWCD helped organize the Kodiak Envirothon and we also taught and tested students on forestry topics.
Casey Dinkel, at the Alaska Plant Materials Center (PMC) in Palmer, with the help of Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District (KSWCD) staff collected growth curve and nutritional data from a production hay field at Pasagshak, Kodiak. This statewide project collected data in several areas including Delta Junction, Palmer, Homer, Fairbanks, Soldotna, Point McKenzie, and Kenny Lake. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal time for hay producers to harvest and obtain maximum yield and nutritional value from their crop. Data collection ended with the 2015 growing season.
Teaching students about the journey that food takes from the time it leaves the farm to when it ends up on your plate along with teaching healthy eating habits.
The Kodiak Farm to School program is a community-based effort to connect schools, the community, and local farms with the goal of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health, and nutrition educational opportunities and supporting local farmers.
The initial startup funds for F2S came through the local legislator’s office, the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, and Kodiak’s Healthy Tomorrows. With this seed money, the Kodiak F2S was able to provide schools with necessary materials to build and support existing school gardens. The Alaska Ag in the classroom curriculum has been adopted in the school district and resources are available online to teachers.
In recent years, Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) has taken the helm on the Kodiak Farm to School Project.
The Kodiak Lion's Club provided funding for the RIP Weeds program. The Reimbursement Incentive Program (RIP) to encourage responsive invasive plant management.
Landowners could request a KSWCD employee to visit a site and recommend management actions. Once approved management actions were completed, KSWCD would reimburse 50% of the costs up to $150.
The RIP Weeds program has ended, but KSWCD may pursue funding for this program again in the future. In the meantime, we encourage homeowners to be responsible plant owners and control their aggressive plants.