Midwest Environmental Educators Conference (MEEC)

ICC provided a $1,000 Sponsor grant for the Midwest Environmental Educators Conference (MEEC) held July 26-29, 2021. The conference was hosted by the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition at the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. 125 teachers, naturalists, students, and other environmental educators came together to “Explore Community: Land, Water, People” through more than 50 presentations, four field sessions, two pre-conference workshops, and two keynote speakers, including noted Potawatami author and scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer. Attendees were able to experience the beautiful natural areas of the Decorah area and understand the unique challenges they face through sessions focused on karst topography, prairie restoration, and invasive species management, and visits to field sites including restored coldwater trout streams, urban stormwater demonstration sites, and flood control structures. The closing conference celebration was held alongside Sievers Springs at the Decorah Fish Hatchery. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the release of vaccines in the months leading up to the conference, for many attendees it was the first in-person event they had attended in over a year. The enthusiasm and joy of reconnecting with and learning from friends and colleagues was evident throughout the conference.