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4-H Conservation & Stewardship Project

pair of hands holding soil

What will your legacy be? Through learning about conservation and stewardship, you will learn how your actions directly impact the future of our planet. Focus on topics ranging from natural resources to human impacts and everything in between! Conservation does not mean simply being hands-off in the natural world- rather, it is an understanding of the processes that occur and how humans can protect and benefit from them. Stewardship refers to how you live out this understanding of natural harmony.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Beginners begin to understand topics of conservation and what it means to be a good steward. Select one conservation issue to explore in-depth, such as habitat loss, renewable energy, or natural resource conservation.


Juniors continue to explore conservation and choose one topic to study and educate others on. Also begin to learn about the management of natural resources in their community.


Seniors are able to articulate some of the integral conservation issues in their community and across South Dakota. They should also educate younger members- through a presentation, activity, field trip, or other method.

4-H Programming Priorities


Through learning about conservation and stewardship, youth learn to advocate for policies that are in the best interest of the public and leave a lasting legacy.

Health & Wellness

Many studies show the importance of green space in people’s health and well-being, but without conservation and stewardship, those green spaces would disappear.


Conservation and stewardship require a working knowledge of natural resource sciences, including geology, wildlife management, ecology, biology, and forestry.


Conservation and agriculture, despite seeming contradiction, actually go hand in hand. Through good stewardship practices, the land can yield even better harvests.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Talk about simple tricks to reduce water usage
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper about the importance of protecting the public park
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Community Service

  • Lead a shoreline cleanup on the local waterway
  • Put up signs about the new recycling program in your town
  • Start an annual clothing exchange
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Career Connections

  • Meteorologist
  • State park naturalist
  • National park service ranger
  • Conservation officer
  • Marine biologist
  • Science teacher

Exhibit Ideas

  • Create a timeline of events of South Dakota’s wildlife
  • Create a visitor guide for a local park
  • Give a presentation on the history of a state or national park within South Dakota
  • Conduct an environmental impact study of a proposed new structure

Learning Resources