Robin Moore to deliver keynote at Outdoor Learning Environments Conference

Happy Outdoor Fun Friday! As you may have heard, we are hosting our first Outdoor Learning Environments Conference here in Ames on June 18th. We are very excited to announce that our Keynote speaker will be Professor Robin C. Moore from North Carolina State University, College of Design. Robin Moore has worked in landscape architecture as an educator, researcher, and consultant. He is an international authority on the design of children's play and learning environments, user needs research, and participatory public open space design. Moore has been involved in many large projects for outdoor spaces including the Nature PlayScape at the Cincinnati Nature Center, the Blanchie Carter Discovery Park at Southern Pines Primary School, the Playspace family play center in Raleigh, NC, just to name a few. More information about Moore and his work can be found here. Please don't miss this fantastic opportunity to see Robin Moore and learn more about how to implement, maintain, and use Outdoor Learning Environments. Make sure to...
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Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

It is finally March and with that comes the promise of Spring! The Byway is gearing up for a wonderful 2018. We are into grant writing season and as we wait for large state-wide projects to come to fruition, we are happy to tackle  smaller localized ones. One project just completed was for the community of Westside. The residents recently developed a park, the Eugene Kock Memorial Park, in honor of a local man who lost his life in Vietnam many years ago. The park has engraved paver bricks that can be purchased, seating for visitors, and a military sculpture placed in the center. The area is flanked by flags and soon will have an interpretive panel we created about the community placed there as well. We continue to work with the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) on other interpretive panels. Three smaller ones will be placed in the City of Jefferson's east entrance as part of their improvement project. The panels will...
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Lincoln Highway Association to hold National Conference in Denison, Iowa

Lincoln Highway Association to hold National Conference in Denison, Iowa

The Lincoln Highway Association will hold their National Conference June 20-24th in Denison, Iowa. The group was originally formed in 1913 to promote the road using private and corporate donations. The idea was embraced by an enthusiastic public, and many other named roads across the country followed. Early leaders were Carl Fisher, a headlight manufacturer and idea man; Henry B. Joy, president of the Packard Company, and Frank Seiberling, the co-founder of Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company and founder of Seiberling Rubber Company. They wanted to sell their products and get America traveling. The LHA named the route in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The group felt a patriotic name would help sell the project to potential backers. The Lincoln Highway was established as the first improved transcontinental road, from Times Square to San Francisco using established roads, wagon trails, and dirt roads. Americans’ enthusiasm for good roads led to the involvement of the federal government in...
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The Leadership Institute: Full of Wonder

Prairie Rivers of Iowa recently sent 3 staff members, Annie Fangman; Natural Resources Educator, Kayla Hasper; Watershed Educator, and Ash Bruxvoort; Local Foods Coordinator to the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute in Nebraska City, NE to enhance our work with outdoor learning environments. It was an intense 3-day conference nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Lied Lodge and Conference Center, as well as, the Arbor Day Farm along the Missouri River. The first session started off with a lesson on spiritual development in natural outdoor classrooms from Ruth Wilson. She presented a number of different quotes, poems, and findings, but one poem, Fueled by Marcie Hans, resonated especially well and perfectly describes the idea that wonder and amazement can be found in seemingly small acts of nature if we simply care to pay attention. She also suggested to check out the Child and Nature Network webpage and research library where they have a lot of different resources. Fueled;  Fueled by a million man-made wings of...
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Learning and Sharing About the Byway

The Corridor Management Plan is coming along nicely. From our community input meetings, reviewing city comprehensive plans, and discussions with officials in communities and counties along the Byway we certainly have an exhaustive amount of information and ideas to make a very detailed living document. I have kept my nose to the grindstone for a while now and did come up for air last week when I took a few days off. The second day back, I attended the Travel Federation of Iowa’s Legislative Showcase at the State Fairgrounds. This was the first event I attended last year when I began as the coordinator of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway. I know SO much more about the Lincoln Highway and Byways in general than I did last year at this time. I was able to talk about the Lincoln Highway and the Iowa Byway program to the legislators as they passed by the Iowa Byways' booth and encouraged them to continue...
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Technology, it’s ever changing

Technology is something that is ever changing but yet is something that in this day and age we need. Staying on the ball is something that we all struggle with and are trying to always find that magic eight ball to stay ahead of the curve. For us here at Prairie Rivers of Iowa we are trying to keep up and one way is we make a point to make an investment in out staff by sending them to development trainings. Today, April 9, 2015 I am currently at the Minnesota Nonprofit Council Technology Conference. So far this morning I have gotten to get a more in depth view in Google Analytics and talking to various vendors on different technology products. I hope today I will come away with many great ideas to make ideas on how to help the user experience be more pleasant when you interact with Prairie Rivers of Iowa. This conference started at 7:30 this morning and its...
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Iowa Environmental Council Conference 2014

In October, myself and Erv, one of our board members, attended the Iowa Environmental Council Annual Conference at Drake University. The theme of the day was Engage in your Future: Creating a Healthier, Sustainable Tomorrow. The overall theme that I felt they were portraying was the idea of a world of education about climate change. Throughout the day, the presented facts that backed up climate change, how and why it was happening, and what we as environmentally responsible citizens can do about it. Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of Yale Project on Climate Change Communication was the keynote speaker of the morning. He made it clear-cut in my mind when he said "climate change..it is here, it is now, and its our fault. He talked about his research on understanding what United States citizens understood and thought about climate change. The general consensus was that the majority Americans believe that climate change is a real thing affecting our world. The problem with what...
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Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference

A Unique Opportunity for You! Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference Targeting the issues...nutrient management, water quality, effective communication "myth busting", and statistics on women's evolving role in agriculture. This is your chance to visit with state officials and industry leaders on your concerns about current issues. Iowa Agri Women members: $25 to cover meals. We inviting all women to be new members at $55 which includes meal costs. When: FRIDAY November 15 8:45 a.m. - Registration Sessions from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Plenary meetings beginning sharply at 9:00 am. Limited to 35 participants Where: IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy Ankeny, IA 50023 Registration is open for this unique and informative event today, but registration space is limited to 35, so send your registration and fees today to guarantee your spot. A printable registration form is attached to this post as a jpeg. Send your registration and fees to: Elaine Gaesser 2507 Quince Corning, Iowa 50841 Questions? Comments? Contact Annette Sweeney at 641-373-4899...
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4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture

November 6, 2013 – November 8, 2013 Held at the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines, IA Gather with women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the US engaged in healthy food and farming for a unique mix of sharing, learning, field tours, and the best food Midwest women farmers have to offer! • Keynotes by Danielle Nierenberg of FoodTank and Kari Hamerschlag of Environmental Working Group. • Workshops and panels on dozens of topics ranging from CSA management to prairie restoration to farm bill advocacy. • Opportunities to present, sponsor, and exhibit! Visit http://wfan.org/cultivating-our-food-farms-and-future-2/ for more information....
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Attending the Iowa Environmental Conference 3

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Executive Director Penny Brown Huber is sharing her thoughts from today’s Iowa Environmental Conference in Des Moines: "IEC conference speaker Joe Whitworth says it would cost $50000 to repair a stream mile for water quality. What about a new idea of quantifying conservation with precision investment? We may need to think differently to fix the Dead Zone ? Look at The Freshwater Trust for their ideas."...
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