Environmental Education and Outdoor Recreation Programming
Winneshiek County Conservation offers a wide array of environmental education and outdoor recreation programming for classrooms, organizations, or anyone! Start by reviewing our program guide, then contact our office at email@example.com or (563) 534-7145 to see how we can help meet your needs!
Explore the Outdoors
Get to know your county parks! Download these resources for additional guidance on your next outdoor adventure.
- Fun nature hunts with friends and family at any park:
- Check out all that Lake Meyer Park & Campground has to offer:
- Experience seasonal changes and wildlife in Winneshiek County:
- Birds of Winneshiek County (best printed on legal sized paper)
- Butterflies of Winneshiek County (best printed on legal sized paper)
- Signs Of Spring in Winneshiek County - Checklist
- Signs Of Spring in Winneshiek County - Field Guide
- Effective Outdoor Learning in Schoolyards - Recommendations created by Winneshiek County Conservation (July 2020)
Meet the Local Wonders of Winneshiek County
470 million years ago, a meteor the size of a football stadium crashed into the shallow sea covering what is now northeast Iowa. The meteor left a 3-mile-wide impact crater basin where Decorah, IA, is now. Although buried deep underground, new scientific discoveries and research are uncovering more about the crater and its unique fossils. Learn more at https://visitdecorah.com/decorah-impact-crater/
To donate towards the development of Crater education and tourism resources, visit https://northeastiowarcd.org/project/decorahcrater/
Below are some of the online resources used in partnership with Decorah Community School district to help 4th graders explore "How Has Dry Run Creek Changed Over Time?"
Listen to Rosalyn Eppens tell her story of experiencing the Dry Run flood of 1941 here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find Rosalyn's story.
Take the Google Earth Voyager "Tour" of Dry Run Creek here. Click "Present" on the left side of the screen and click through the various slides. Recommended browser is Google Chrome.
Thank you to the many community partners that helped make this project possible: Rosalyn Eppens, Elizabeth Lorentzen, Jon Romelton, Steven McArthur, and the staff at Arlin Falck Assisted Living
Located in the Driftless Area, Winneshiek County is part of an important migration route for hundreds of species of birds, insects, and other wildlife. Winneshiek County is designated as a Bird Friendly Iowa county for our community's continued efforts to support local bird populations. Learn more about migration and local wildlife at these resources:
Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
Learn about recycling and reducing your waste with the Winneshiek County Recycling and Waste Reduction Education program, provided by Winneshiek County Conservation.
Follow these 7 Leave No Trace Principles to reduce your impact while exploring the outdoors.
Learn from home with online resources
YouTube Channel housing video content made by Winneshiek County. Specific playlists include:
- Noting Nature in Winneshiek County: Track the seasonal changes and natural wonders of Winneshiek County, Iowa with Naturalist Larry Reis
- Not a Stick: Activities for kids and families inspired by Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
Flickr page of Naturalist Larry Reis
We have gathered resources, worksheets, and materials that we hope will help support students, families, and educators navigating online education or homeschooling. If there are additional materials or resources we can provide, please contact us.
We suggest you also review the "pre-packaged" options below for learning at home, in particular the Noting Nature videos and associated worksheets and activities.
- Nature Breaks During Online Education
- Creating and Using Nature Journals
- Nature Scavenger Hunts (Bingo Boards)
Find additional resources related to Winneshiek County's natural resources and our environmental education programs.
The Noting Nature in Winneshiek County YouTube playlist offers a frequently updated catalog of short videos (2-3 minutes) featuring 3 photos of seasonal changes and natural wonders (phenomena) of Winneshiek County with voice-over commentary.
These videos could be used for:
- Daily or weekly check-ins / morning meetings.
- Developing science and engineering practices including making observations, asking questions, obtaining and evaluating information.
- Practicing writing and/or drawing skills.
Below are some template worksheets that might fit your needs, but we are happy to tailor them more specifically or create online forms (like a Google form) for individual classes or teachers. We also hereby grant permission to modify these worksheets to meet your needs, including by transforming them into an e-document or other online form.
Permission is hereby granted to upload the YouTube videos described above to SafeYouTube and/or link or upload them into another electronic content delivery service.
The Flickr Feed of naturalist Larry Reis features the same photos used in the Noting Nature YouTube videos, but is far more extensive. Most images include descriptions and explanations; all are are dated, searchable, and available for free educational use by teachers or students.
Individual images and/or the collection could serve your students as:
- Introductory phenomenon for science units.
- A resource for finding, evaluating, and communicating information.
- A database of species information and phenological changes in Winneshiek County and northeast Iowa.
If there are specific tools we can create to help you best utilize this resource, let us know.
WCC Programming in regards to Covid-19
Our educational goal is always to advance understanding and appreciation of our local natural resources in a way that is long-lasting, productive, and meaningful. When it comes to our school-based education, that means continually adapting what we do to meet the needs of students, teachers, schools, and districts. We understand that those needs will be different for the foreseeable future, but we are committed to helping our schools and communities navigate through and succeed in this unusual and stressful educational environment.
We remain committed to helping students connect with our local natural resources and make progress toward CORE requirements. Below are some of the ways we believe we can support students, teachers, and schools as we adapt to new learning modes and environments. This is not an exhaustive list and we are always available and willing to work creatively and collaboratively with teachers, teams, and schools.
Please don't hesitate to contact our office with questions, requests, or suggestions.