Educating Across Generations

A successful environmental education program must be comprehensive in its approach by reaching patrons of ALL ages. Although most programs tend to focus on youth, it is imperative that our programs intrigue and encourage participation of all generations.

Youth Camps

These camps engage students from Preschool to age 15 by introducing them to age appropriate learning models that make it fun to be outdoors—that it’s okay to get your feet wet or sneak a snail home in your pocket!

In-School Programming

Visiting schools allows our naturalists to lay groundwork with large groups of students and eventually bring them to natural “outdoor classrooms” for hands-on programming.

Teen Conservation Clubs

Clubs encourage teen students to take a more active role as environmental stewards in their community, often assisting with the development of programming or designing of facilities.

Family Outing

Outings teach young parents that just because they are busy raising kids doesn’t mean they put their love for outdoor adventure on hold. Young people should act young and bring their kids along for the ride.

Adventure Programming

Signing up for an adventure challenges people of all ages to finally do those “outdoor things” they just never got around to doing—backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, overnight camping, snow-shoeing…whatever!


We offer programs that provide an opportunity to discuss the environmental issues important to our communities.

Citizen Scientists

An opportunity for passionate “volunteers” to lead public programs on topics ranging from Birding to Astronomy.

Senior Adult Programming

These programs are aimed at keeping senior citizens active, physically and socially, in their community, knowing they provide respected insights into the historical values of environmental stewardship.

STEM-Based Programming

Discovery-Based Environmental Learning

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) program approach provides students with an innovative, problem-solving, and discovery-based environment that focuses on real world application. This program engages students in authentic, real-world problems through the infusion of technology and curriculum.

Examples of STEM-Based Learning


Teams of students competing in a “problem solving” challenge on a district, state, and national level that requires them to assess, research, and prescribe solutions to environmental situations.

Conservation Club

Challenges students to pro-actively assist the Conservation Board with a range of responsibilities, including designing features of an Outdoor Classroom to developing outdoor programming for underclassmen.

Project Learning Opportunities

Engages students of all ages to adopt specific community based environmental needs (such as storm water run off and invasive species control) and develop a desired outcome.

Teacher Training Workshops

Workshops designed to show teachers of all academic disciplines, not just science and math, that the STEM approach to problem solving can be incorporated into their curriculums.

Environmental Protection Through Education

Since the establishment of a formal environmental education program in 2001, the Conservation Board has devoted increasingly greater resources toward a rapidly expanding outdoor education program.

The Conservation Board believes that the investment in environmental education and mentoring knowledge about the outdoors is the most sustainable means of providing lasting environmental protection of our natural resources by not only enriching support for public lands, but more importantly, encouraging our citizenry to embrace similar practices in their daily lives and on their private lands.

As a school district, we value our strong partnership with the Madison County Conservation Board. The opportunities our students have been afforded beyond the classroom walls extends their learning and ignites their passion for science and the natural environment.

As the Conservation Board and Winterset Community Schools have worked together to enhance our outdoor classroom, the addition of a conservation center opens up even more opportunities for our students to learn, grow and develop a love for the natural surroundings within Madison County.

Dr. Susie Meade, Superintendent, Winterset Community Schools