Recipients of the Conservation and Environmental Education Excellence Awards Program - 2006.


  2006 IAN/ICEC Conservation & Environmental Education Excellence Award Winners

The Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) and the Iowa Conservation Education Council (ICEC) are proud to announce this year’s  recipients of their Conservation and Environmental Education Excellence Awards Program. The winners are as follows:

”Ding” Darling Environmental Education Award: Dallas County Conservation Department’s Prairie Awakening Celebration. This award commends an outstanding environmental education program or event which educates the general public.

  • The Prairie Awakening Celebration is an all day public event held in an arena carved out of a reconstructed tall grass prairie at the Kuehn Conservation Area. Activities include Native American dance, drumming, storytelling, and flute music. The public is encouraged to immerse themselves with song, drum and dance and join along with the Native dancers. Other events include presentations on traditional children’s games, botanical walks, story telling, and demonstrations of traditional skills such as flint knapping, bow drill, and atlatl.

  • Many presenters from the Native community have participated for the nine years of its history, some coming from as far away as Ontario .

  • Dallas County Conservation is the only governmental agency that has been presented an eagle staff by the Native community to commemorate a site and event.

  • Two major components precede the Celebration which includes an Educators Workshop and Educational Outreach Program.  Over 30 volunteers serve on the Prairie Awakening Advisory Council which helps direct the evolution and success of the event.

Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (< 35,000): Louisa County Conservation Board. This award commends excellence in a county conservation board’s EE program of counties with a population of less than 35,000.

  • School programming based on the belief that positive outdoor experiences are key to effective environmental education. On average, 80% of enrolled students are taken on a field trip. Field trips are tied into curriculum and other classroom activities.

  • Makes use of over 10,000 acres of county, state and federal land in Louisa County for environmental education. Langwood Education Center is the most popular for field trips because of the many amenities on site. 

  • Developed a unique program to Louisa County titled Extreme Makeover. The program utilizes 100-150 volunteers from the local community to improve the facilities available for environmental education. 

  • Cooperates with numerous agencies and organizations to provide environmental education in Louisa County . A partnership with the Louisa County Soil and Water Conservation District helps provide funding for two special programs, “Save our Soil” and “Keep Our Water Clean.”

Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (> 35,000): Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board. This award commends excellence in a county conservation board’s EE program of counties with a population of more than 35,000.

  • Lime Creek Nature Center has a variety of displays that are maintained and changed on a seasonal basis. Unique backyard habitat was created next to the center with a wildlife watching area located inside.

  • Lime Creek Conservation Area is listed as an Iowa Watchable Wildlife Area.  Lime Creek Nature Center Foundation provides a major source of funding for the programs and activities of the Lime Creek Nature Center and the Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board Environmental Education Program. 

  • EE programming in elementary schools reaches at or near 100%, and programming is also provided at the secondary level.  

  • Schedules an average of 35 public programs annually. Conducts a variety of special programs like: Earth Day Clean-up event, Dorothy Curtis Memorial Lecture, a Toddling Series, For Seniors Only, and motor coach trips.


2006 award winning applications:

”Ding” Darling Environmental Education Award: Dallas County Conservation Department’s Prairie Awakening Celebration

Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (< 35,000): Louisa County Conservation Board
Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (> 35,000): Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board