Iowa Master Conservationist Program to begin

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the Iowa Master Conservationist Program starting May 21. The program will take place at different locations within Hamilton, Humboldt, Webster and Wright Counties, providing participants with hands-on interaction showing the diversity of the state’s natural resources. The program teaches about Iowa’s natural ecosystems and the diversity of conservation challenges and opportunities within the region. Graduates of the course learn to make informed choices for leading and educating others to improve conservation in Iowa.

The program consists of approximately 12 hours of online curriculum and seven weekly three-hour face-to-face meetings. The online modules will include lessons and resources by Iowa State University subject-matter experts to be reviewed at the participants’ own pace at home or at the ISU Extension and Outreach County office. Module topics include conservation history and science, understanding Iowa ecosystems, implementing conservation practices in human dominated landscapes and developing skills to help educate others about conservation practices.

The face-to-face meetings held on Tuesday evenings will build on the online lessons. The program schedule is as follows:

• May 21 — Camp WaNoKi, Fort Dodge, for introductions to the program

• May 28 — Tim Smith Farm near Eagle Grove to learn about Setting the Stage: Land, Water and Conservation in Iowa

• June 4 — Skip Christiansen Farm in Humboldt County to understand forests

• June 11 — Smeltzer Farm near Otho to hear about Aquatic Environments

• June 18 — Brushy Creek to learn about prairies

• June 25 — Webster City to learn about watershed

• July 2 — Briggs Woods, Webster City for Planting the Seeds of Conservation.

All programs are from 6 to 9 p.m. Each face-to-face meeting will be led by local subject-matter experts to demonstrate how the principles covered in the online curriculum play out locally.

Steering committee partners include: Humboldt County Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), Webster County Conservation, Webster County Pheasants Forever, Hamilton County Conservation, Wright County Conservation, and Wright County NRCS.

Registration for the course is $125 and includes all materials and refreshments and is due at the time of registration. Please register online by May 14 at: https://form.jotform.com/ 90695252915161

For more information, contact Webster County Extension at 515-576-2119; Hamilton County Extension T 515-832-9597; Wright County Extension at 515-532-3453 or Humboldt County Extension at 515-332-2201.

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