Who We Are
ICEC is a non-profit organization, founded in 1958 with a long-standing tradition of providing professional development to formal and non-formal educators in conservation and environmental education. Originally incorporated as the Iowa Conservation Education Council, ICEC is North America’s longest running environmental education organization!
Individuals, organizations, and agencies interested in promoting conservation education in Iowa are key players in the success of ICEC. Many members are educators working in a variety of positions throughout the state, but anyone may join.
ICEC holds a seat on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources REAP-CEP board. The Conservation Education Program (CEP) is a key provision of the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Act of 1989. A five-member board implements the CEP and annually they allocate approximately $350,000 in grants for conservation education in Iowa.
What We Do
ICEC is the unifying voice for conservation and environmental education, sharing information between and among conservation professionals, conservation agencies, school districts, educators, and science consultants. ICEC promotes environmental education by building connections between educators and their local resources. This helps all educators connect learners with authentic content and knowledge about the real world outside their windows. In doing so, learners of all ages may find small, relatively simple methods of becoming better land and resource stewards in ways that benefit their local community.
What We Do for You
At ICEC, we work on behalf of our members to provide opportunities to network, educate and renew, advocate, and recognize. Here are a few examples of what we do for you:
We are working to build and grow networks of nearby formal and non-formal educators plus conservation agencies in order to support relevant, hands-on science based on the Iowa Core Science Standards. Through our work of connecting schools to conservation resources, we’re helping to train the next generation of conservation scientists, biologists, teachers, and naturalists!
Future generations benefit when our networks are strong enough to put them into contact with real science and scientists working where they live. We work to build relationships between conservation scientists, naturalist educators, classroom teachers, Area Education Agency consultants to foster communication and opportunities to work together. Students benefit!
Educate and Renew
ICEC coordinates workshops to provide new insights and best practices from outstanding presenters and inspiring keynotes while highlighting local conservation resources and their research activities. These professional development opportunities enhance educators’ abilities to connect their learners with authentic content and the natural environment. We also share other’s professional development opportunities from our partners on our “What’s Happening” page.
ICEC publishes a newsletter three times a year, Pathways to Education, to promote new trends in education, share relevant events, and to provide program ideas and reading recommendations.
ICEC provides KinderNature, a website offering nature-related educational activities for early childcare and education professionals, parents, and caregivers. Visit kindernature.org and share with others!
Additionally, ICEC provides support for the continuation of Project WILD and Growing Up WILD in the state of Iowa. Without this support, the program could be at risk of being cut. For more information, visit the WILD Resources page!
Promote the social and economic benefits of preserving land, water, and wildlife, as well as encouraging all to spend time in the outdoors for improved personal health and to deepen the connection to the land. These mindsets and beliefs are crucial for helping the children of future generations spend more time outdoors.
ICEC recognizes excellence in conservation and environmental education in Iowa. For more info, jump to our Awards page.