The Iowa Conservation Education Coalition provides ways for Iowa’s environmental educators to learn, build relationships, and creatively collaborate. Together, we help Iowans of all ages learn and make responsible environmental decisions in a changing world.
Who We Are
ICEC is the professional membership organization for all environmental educators in the state of Iowa. A non-profit organization founded in 1958, ICEC has a long-standing tradition of providing personal and 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!
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 in Iowa, sharing information between and among conservation and education professionals and supporters. ICEC promotes conservation education by building connections and lines of communication between educators and Iowa resources. This helps educators connect learners with authentic content and knowledge about the real world outside their windows. Through the power of conservation education, we can improve the lives of children, create healthy communities, and encourage decision-making based on environmental and social responsibility.
How We Do It
At ICEC, we work on behalf of our members to provide opportunities to:
- Educate and Renew
We are working to build and grow networks of formal and non-formal educators to support the development of relevant, hands-on conservation education programs, lessons, and materials 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 administers 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. This support is vital for the sustainability of these two outstanding programs. For more information, visit the WILD Resources page!
ICEC promotes conservation as a vital part of a K-12 education. We also support the social and economic benefits of preserving land, water, and wildlife, and encourage people of all ages to spend time in the outdoors for improved personal health. Establishing conservation values in formative years are crucial for ensuring the health and sustainability of our environment and natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
ICEC recognizes excellence in conservation and environmental education in Iowa. For more info, jump to our Awards page.