AMES, Iowa – After a year of unprecedented challenges, Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! will once again make Conservation Station trailers available for a full season across Iowa, April through September 2021.
The trailers are being updated and prepared to offer demonstrations of conservation and agricultural practices that contribute to improving water quality and conservation of Iowa’s important natural resources.
“After a year in mothballs, we are eager to get the Conservation Station fleet back on the road and delivering relevant and research-driven information about water quality, natural resources and conservation practices,” said Jacqueline Comito, director of Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “The summer fair season has always been a highlight for our staff and water resources interns, offering them a chance to see much of Iowa while talking with people from all walks of life about their hopes for the future of our state and its resources.”
There is no fee for a Conservation Station appearance, thanks to generous supporters of ILF and Water Rocks! programming. The team has adjusted how it will manage programming and activities to comply with Iowa State policies and public health best practices for social distancing and safety. In addition, every effort will be made to comply with event or community-specific policies or restrictions.
Each Conservation Station appearance includes activities for all ages, from games and activities for kids, to demonstrations utilizing rainfall simulators that show different erosion and runoff characteristics. Live demonstrations and presentations are attuned to the local audience, and the knowledgeable staff from Iowa State is on hand to answer questions and provide insights about topics of interest.
“In 2019 we rolled out the Conservation Station On the Edge with a working bioreactor, and this year we are adding a fourth trailer to the fleet that places a special emphasis on wetlands,” continued Comito. “While COVID disrupted many lives and activities, natural processes, agriculture, and life have continued to move along. Helping people learn about our water and shared resources are fundamental missions for ILF and Water Rocks!, and we are eager to get back to providing ample opportunities to deliver information and answer questions on all these critical topics.”
To learn more about the Conservation Stations, visit https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/conservation-station.
To request a Conservation Station visit to your event, visit https://www.waterrocks.org/request-the-conservation-station.
About Iowa Learning Farms:
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.
About Water Rocks!:
Water Rocks! is Iowa’s unique, award-winning statewide youth water education program. Through a combination of STEM and the arts, especially music, Water Rocks! educates, challenges and inspires young people toward a greater appreciation of our state’s water, soil and other natural resources. Partners of Water Rocks! include: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (United States Environmental Protection Agency, Section 319 of the Clean Water Act), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and personal gifts of support. Learn more at www.waterrocks.org.
Original photo: Conservation trailer.