AMES, Iowa — Whether a person lives in the city or in the country, conservation is an important part of keeping Iowa’s environment healthy and vibrant.
To help expand Iowans’ knowledge of conservation in their own communities, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is continuing its Master Conservationist Program across the state.
The goal of the program is to “create a community of passionate conservationists who are engaged in local communities, advocating for conservation practices and policies that ensure a sustainable future for Iowa’s landscape,” according to Adam Janke, assistant professor and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State.
The program consists of roughly seven in-person educational sessions, led by local conservation professionals, and six online sessions, led by state specialists and Iowa State experts.
The program covers four modules of study, including land and water, prairies, forests, aquatic environments, watersheds and the human/social aspect of conservation.
Janke said the goal of the Master Conservationist Program is to equip Iowans with the knowledge they need to address challenges in their own communities, and to introduce them to local conservation leaders in their region.
As more people become certified, Janke said it increases the likelihood of changes being made that benefit Iowa’s land and water, wildlife habitat and aesthetics.
Master Conservationist Program trainings are being offered this year in ISU Extension and Outreach Region 7, which includes Humboldt, Wright, Webster and Hamilton counties; and Region 14, which includes Jasper, Poweshiek, Marion and Mahaska counties. In addition to these regional offerings, Story County and West Pottawattamie County are also planning offerings of the program this year.
Iowans interested in joining one of these course offerings can learn more by visiting the county extension offices listed above, in person or online.
To learn more about the Master Conservationist program, visit the program website.
— Adam Janke, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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