2018 Annual Conference


WAEE is pleased to announce that the 2018 Annual Conference will take place Friday, October 19th thru Saturday the 20th with workshops and field trips on Thursday October 18th, in the heart of the real Wisconsin Dells at Upham Woods. This year’s theme is Equity in Environmental Education: #NatureForAll.

Conference Theme

The 2018 WAEE Annual Conference is focused on Equity in Environmental Education: #NatureForAll. How are we and the field of EE as a whole creating a safe and welcoming space for all people? Are we advocating for EE issues with a focus on environmental justice? How are we promoting and communicating the EE story? How does early education fit into this picture? Does the universal need for food and the story of farm culture also tell an EE story? And to those ends, how do we create programming and run our businesses to support an inclusive, well-rounded, and resilient platform for EE? Together, we will explore, learn and share our experiences regarding these topics and more!

Conference Tracks

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Innovations in the Field
  • Farm to School
  • Nature Center Administration


Registration for the 2018 WAEE Annual Conference is now open!

Preferred Registration Deadline: September 15th, 2018 

Registration will close on October 1st, 2018 

Register today!

Schedule at a Glance

Thursday, October 18th

  • Full- and Half-Day Workshops & Field Trips

Friday, October 19th

  • Welcome & Key Note Address
  • EE Gallery Exhibits (throughout Friday & Saturday)
  • Morning Breakout Sessions
  • Lunch & Student Meeting
  • Open Dialogue Discussions
  • Afternoon & Late Afternoon Breakout Sessions
  • Afternoon Wrap Up
  • Annual Banquet & Auction

Saturday, October 20th

  • Breakfast & WAEE Member Meeting
  • Panel Discussion
  • Morning & Late Morning Breakout Sessions
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions & Round Table Discussions
  • Conference Closing
  • Paddle & Hike with Upham Woods Staff
Detailed Schedule - Tentative

Keynote Address - Friday AM

Dudley Edmondson, Author & Photographer

Dudley Edmondson is an established Photographer, Author, Filmmaker, and Presenter. His photography has been featured in galleries and nearly 100 publications around the world. He is also interested in working with school kids and getting them involved in the outdoors through birding, photography, and nature hikes. He was one of the first to highlight the involvement of African Americans in the public lands system. Unsatisfied with the numbers of people who looked like him among those he encountered in his outdoor pursuits, Mr. Edmondson set out to create a set of outdoor role models for the African American community by writing his landmark book, “Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places” (AdventureKeen Publications 2006) featuring luminaries in the environmental and outdoor recreation fields. Mr. Edmondson has also been immersed in the effort to help the conservation sector become more inclusive. His latest book was published in 2013 entitled “What’s That Flower: A beginners guide to Wildflowers” by DK Publishing, London, UK.Find out more about his work at dudleyedmondson.com.

Special Workshops - Friday AM & PM

With Queta Gonzalez from the Center for Diversity & the Environment

The Center for Diversity & the Environment’s mission is to harnesses the power of racial and ethnic diversity to transform the U.S. environmental movement by developing leaders, catalyzing change within institutions, and building alliances. Join Queta Gonzalez in creating a space for dialogue and exploring the gifts of equity, diversity, and inclusion. These workshops are designed to meet participants wherever they are on the path to cultural competency, and clarify how diversity, equity, and inclusion creates resilience in the field of EE and the world. Queta’s workshops will be offered in conjunction with the WAEE Annual Conference. Registration for these workshops are an add-on option with your Conference registration. Participants may sign up for the AM or PM session or both. There is no additional fee to attend thanks to funding from NAAEE’s ee360 Project.

Panel Discussion - Saturday AM


How will we work toward equitable access to nature for all children in Wisconsin? Join this guided conversation with WAEE's inaugural Eco-Justice Award Winners, Huda Alkaff and August Ball, Escuela Verde students, and ability rights advocate, Jaime Head. Moderator Joella Zocher will lead us in a discussion that touches on some of the following: best practices, opportunities, successful models in Wisconsin, potential collaborations, and common goals. Our intention is to provides a panel discussion that is interactive so, we welcome you to join the discussion.

Half Day Field Trips & Workshops - Thursday

AM Field Trip
Hosted by Aldo Leopold Foundation staff
Immerse yourself in the history and philosophy of Aldo Leopold as you walk through the landscapes that inspired his conservation classic, A Sand County Almanac. Consider modern applications of the land ethic as you learn about the energy-efficient design, alternative energy technologies, and local materials incorporated into the LEED-certified Leopold Center.
AM Workshop
Jayne Jenks & Abbie Repinski, Waukesha County of Parks & Land Use
Systems thinking is a new way of thinking about thinking. Learn how to use systems thinking maps and DSRP (distinctions, systems, relations, perspectives) to improve your education programming. Learn how to use MAC (map, activate, check) to create a continuous feedback loop. Location: International Crane Foundation
AM Workshop
Phyllis McKenzie, Riveredge Nature Center
In this hands-on workshop, we will explore many ways of including those with diverse abilities so that we may create spaces that give rise to healthier, happier, compassionate friends. Together, we will discuss, design, and model nature-infused spaces for learning and play for all ages (infant to senior citizen). Location: Aldo Leopold Foundation
PM Field Trip
Hosted by International Crane Foundation staff
Develop an understanding of ICF’s ability to empower the next generation of conservation leaders. Take a guided VIP tour with ICF staff highlighting the story of the Foundation and the world’s 15 crane species. Learn how cooperation, watershed management, community development, flyway conservation and extensive research helps save cranes around the world.
PM Field Trip Workshop
Peggy Compton, UW Extension
Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a citizen science program that includes water monitoring of streams and rivers. Since 2013, the "Exploring Streams: Stream Monitoring Curriculum Guide" has been used by Middle and High School teachers for hands-on learning about streams. This workshop will provide training on putting the guide to use in your classrooms. Location: Upham Woods
PM Workshop
Rebecca Busse, Purdue University
“The Nature of Teaching" is a Purdue extension program that provides standards-based lesson plans for K-5 teachers to teach about wildlife, health and wellness, and food waste all from an environmental/nature education perspective. Join us to learn how to use these resources and participate in some of  the activities you would use in your classroom. Location: Aldo Leopold Foundation

Full Day Workshop - Thursday

Wisconsin Green Schools Network
Being connected globally has helped us understand different perspectives and learn about ecosystems around the world. Knowing your local environment can strengthen understanding of those connections. Learn how to help students develop their sense of place by learning about Wisconsin wildlife and waterways. Connect Project WET and Project WILD to three-dimensional learning, NGSS or Wisconsin's revised Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability. Location: Upham Woods

Also Don’t Miss…

Change starts at the individual level. If we seek effective and lasting change within our organizations, our communities, and across the environmental movement, each of us must be willing to begin with the most important and potentially challenging work: ourselves. CDE’s transformational leadership programs are foundational for those who are dedicated to catalyzing change within their sphere of influence. Queta’s workshops will be offered in conjunction with the WAEE Annual Conference. Registration for these workshops are an add-on option with your Conference registration. There is no additional fee to attend thanks to funding from NAAEE’s ee360 Project.

Welcome to Upham Woods

Operating since 1941, Upham Woods is a model residential outdoor learning center, managed by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The center sits on a prime location on the Wisconsin River, two miles north of the Wisconsin Dells, offering an excellent “river classroom” to study both the natural and cultural history of Wisconsin. The center rests on 318 total acres of forested land, including a 210-acre island called “Blackhawk Island.” The facility consists of 14 buildings including a fully equipped nature center and a raptor enclosure housing educational birds of prey.

Lodging Options

Lodging at Upham Woods

Dormitories: Rooms sleep 4-5 people with bathrooms and showers down the hall. If you want to room with friends or colleagues, you may indicate that on your registration form. Close to Upham Lodge and fully accessible.
$25 per person, per night

Cabins: Get the back to camp experience! Cabins sleep up to 14 or 24 people, wood-burning stove, beautiful woodland views. Bath House (toilets and showers) are a short walk up the path.
$25 per person, per night

View facility photos here.

Linens at Upham Woods: Upham can provide linens (sheets, blanket, pillow, bath towel) for a fee. This is an add-on option at registration.

Off-Site Lodging

Hotel blocks are reserved at a discount rate for WAEE conference attendees at the following locations:

Chula Vista Resort
Junior Suite $89
Resort fee waived, typically $22
Book by September 18th, 2018

Meadowbrook Resort
$69 Thursday; $85 Friday; $99 Saturday
All three nights discounted to $239
Book by August 31st, 2018

Best Western Ambassador Inn & Suites
$78 Thursday; $104 Friday; $114 Saturday
Breakfast, pool, fitness & business center
Book by September 10th, 2018


WAEE is pleased to announce that two unique scholarships are available to help support those wishing to attend the 2018 Annual Conference. Application deadline is Saturday, September 8th at midnight.

Student & Educator Scholarship

This affordability scholarship is designed to offer students and educators the opportunity to request assistance to attend the conference. Potential recipients are asked to contemplate what they hope to gain from their time at the Conference, and why the field of EE, as a whole, is important.

Preference is given (but not limited) to: WAEE members, and those who have never attended a WAEE Conference.

Recipients are required to volunteer their time during the course of the Conference to help ensure the event's success.

Scholarship Application

ee360 Scholarship

WAEE's ee360 focus is "Diversity = Resilience." To that end, WAEE is committed to diversifying who we are and with whom we network and collaborate.

WAEE is encouraging individuals to a) apply for this scholarship or b) apply on behalf of someone you would like to invite to attend the Conference. If you are - or someone you know is - working toward a better future for the planet/the environment/our children/environmental justice and you - or your friend - do not traditionally considered yourself an environmental educator, we want you to join us. And this scholarship is for you.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Individuals who come from groups under-represented in environmental education
  • Leaders in Early Childhood Education, Farm to School, and/or Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in environmental education
  • Individuals who have not worked with WAEE but are interested in becoming leaders in environmental education.

Funding for this scholarship is provided by NAAEE's ee360 Project, which is supported by funds from the EPA.

ee360 Scholarship Application

Exhibitor Space

If you're seeking to promote your organization and share your work with or sell items to Conference attendees, this year's Exhibitor Booth option has some exciting additions. First, Exhibitor booths will be stationed in the Upham Lodge where many key events will be taking place, including the Keynote address, and the panel discussion. Coffee and networking breaks are peppered throughout the Conference schedule and will take place in Upham Lodge. Exhibits will be on display 8am-5pm on Friday, and 8am-3pm on Saturday. Set up time will be available on Thursday.

Also new this year, Exhibitors are being offered the opportunity to place an ad in the Conference program. Place a 1/4- or 1/2-page ad to promote your organization and the work you do!

One more addition: if Exhibitor fees are a stretch for your budget, you can reduce your cost by volunteering during the Conference. Volunteer opportunities and specific tasks will be announced closer to the Conference date but we'll keep you posted if you chose that option!

Space is extremely limited so, sign up to request space right away.

Exhibitor Booth Request Form

Exhibitor Pricing: 

  • WAEE Organizational Member - $60
  • WAEE Organizational Member Discounted for Volunteer Time - $40
  • NonProfit Organization (Non-WAEE Member) - $100
  • For Profit or Sale Booth - $150

Add-on Advertising:

  • 1/4 page ad - $40
  • 1/2 page ad - $70 

Volunteer at the Conference

Want to give a little of your time to help the Conference run smooth? Volunteer duties include tasks such as greeting and helping presenters get set up, meal-time assistance, room set up, banquet night assistance, photography, exhibitor social preparations, and more!

If you would like to learn more or sign up for some fun and helpful volunteer opportunities, please reach out to Conference Volunteer Planner, Kathy Waldera at kathy@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org.

Become a Conference Sponsor

WAEE offers comprehensive and flexible benefits for sponsors seeking to reach more than 200 education and sustainability decision-makers as well as business and government leaders. This conference offers the perfect platform for sponsors to engage with one of the most passionate and engaged audiences for environmental education, whose influence reaches thousands of people each year.

Sponsorship Levels

  • Platinum Sponsorship - $10,000 - Be the exclusive sponsor of a major event within the conference, such as the Opening Ceremony or Annual Banquet & Auction.
  • Gold Sponsorship - $5,000 - Sponsor the conference keynote speaker, Dudley Edmondson, or the Equity in EE Panel Discussion on Friday. Alternatively, get your message in front of a specific audience by hosting your own gathering.
  • Silver Sponsorship - $2,500 - Are you focused on or supportive of a specific topic within environmental education? Choose a strand within the conference to sponsor.
  • Green Sponsorship - $1,000 - Sponsor one of the field trips to International Crane Foundation or the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Or, support one of the four workshops offered on October 18th.
  • Blue Sponsorship - $500 - Host a Friday evening networking and social hour or the Saturday afternoon river paddle with Upham Woods staff.
Sponsorship Benefits Sponsorship Form

2018 Conference Session Details

Special Workshop
Queta Gonzalez - Center for Diversity & the Environment
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Gloria Anzaldúa said, “I change myself, I change the world.” Transforming systems to address equity, inclusion and diversity starts at the individual level. If we seek effective and lasting change within our organizations, our communities, and across the environmental movement, each of us must be willing to begin with the most important and potentially challenging work: ourselves. This workshop is designed for those who are interested in exploring the rationale for equity diversity and inclusion in environmental education. :
A Child’s Place on the Planet: Human Ecology for Young Learners
Howard Aprill - Wehr Nature Center
Early Childhood Education
Effective environmental education in the primary grades can create inspiring lessons in the core subject areas. In this hands-on session, discover engaging activities that foster environmental stewardship while building primary math, language, and social studies skills. Engage in role-playing, problem-solving and concept mapping activities. Receive electronic lessons matched to state standards. :
Launching and Sustaining a Rural Farm-to-School Program: Columbia County F2S Journey
Kathleen Haas with Greg Heller - UW-Extension Columbia County & Wisconsin Dells School District
Farm to School
In this session you will explore how the Columbia County Farm-to-School (CC F2S) program was launched and enriched. CC health outcomes' rank 35th out of 72 counties. The CC F2S program focuses on education, including: nutritional facts & tastings, how the WI produce is grown and harvested; food service training; communicating with families; and, evaluation. :
Re-Thinking Schoolyards, From Exercise Yards to Eco-system Learning Laboratories
Gerry Slater - Wisconsin Nature Action Collaborative for Children & Design4Kids
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
Panelists from diverse organizations will review what they are doing and how they are working with schools to re-imagine and co-create school yards that support integrated play and learning across subject areas toward eco-literacy. Panelists will answer questions and join participants in discussion to explore additional collaborative actions. :
Developing Effective Environmental Educators: Results of a Values-Based Assessment
Jordan King - UW Stevens Point - Central Wisconsin Environmental Station
Administrator’s Track
As our field evolves and develops amidst a challenging world, rethinking the qualities that educators embody is a meaningful effort. This presentation explores a values-based assessment conducted by emerging educators and their instructors, to determine the abilities that are most important to meaningful environmental education. [Note on timing: Jordan King & Gail Overholt will share the 11am-12:30pm time slot.] :
The Power of Partnerships
Gail Epping Overholt - UW-Madison Arboretum
Administrator’s Track
Partnerships are critical in achieving nature access for all. Explore the process of harnessing the spectrum of individual partner assets and strengths and cultivating synergy to achieve more together than what is possible alone. We will discuss recruiting key program partners and avoiding partnership pitfalls. [Note on timing: Jordan King & Gail Overholt will share the 11am-12:30pm time slot.] :
Special Workshop
Queta Gonzalez - Center for Diversity & the Environment
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Developing your personal and organizational “why” for equity, diversity and inclusion is an evolving process and one that supports individuals and organization in the transformational work of equity, diversity and inclusion. We will move from the “why” to strategies for strengthening your equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. (Note special time: 3-4:45pm - this special workshop will run consecutively during the Afternoon and Late Afternoon sessions.) :
What Drives Corporate Foundations and Businesses to Fund EE
Special Speaker: Steve Goldberg - Executive Director, CUNA Mutual Foundation (retired); Gift Development Specialist, Madison College
Administrator’s Track
There are very few donors that explicitly list “environmental education” as a giving priority. Foundations and businesses want to support education, children’s health, literacy, food scarcity, poverty. How can the field of EE and your organization connect to these meaningful causes? Can you showcase how your work is broadening the horizons of and developing the soft skills of at-risk youth? Find out how corporate donors administer their philanthropy and how your organization can successfully share your story, broadening your appeal and your fundraising portfolio.
Play, Wonder and Connection in Early Childhood
Julie Jarvis - Wisconsin Green Schools Network
Early Childhood Education
Research has found that children who experience a sense of wonder with nature are more likely to develop respect and value for nature. However, children are playing less and less, and only a fraction of that time is spent playing outside. Learn about Wisconsin Green Schools Network’s approach to implementing early childhood activities from Getting Little Feet Wet and Growing Up Wild. Share your strategies and brainstorm how you can increase opportunities for wonder and play in their programming. :
Green Infrastructure for Schools Guidebook
Matthew Bednarski with Tanya Fonseca - GRAEF
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
It’s a new era for schoolyards. Developed to be accessible to a wide audience the award winning guidebook is used for schools K-12, higher education, and other institutions. With the Graphics Toolkit – users can pull standalone pieces or use as a guide from start to finish to ensure project success. The guidebook will support schools to enhance schoolyards through the integration of green infrastructure, improve the built and natural environments, and increase sustainability and resiliency.
Three Sisters Legacy Project: Creating a Sustainable Garden Curriculum
Katie Gletty-Syoen - McFarland Community Garden
Farm to School
How do you create a Garden Curriculum with staying power? By collaborating with school educators, administrators, parents, community gardeners, civic organizations, and artists, the seeds of the Three Sisters Legacy Project were planted 5 years ago, and continue to grow deeper roots in the McFarland community. :
Special Workshop Continued
Queta Gonzalez - Center for Diversity & the Environment
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
See the 3pm Afternoon Session description and special note on time. :
Connect - Explore - Engage: Environmental Education in the Classroom and Community
Victoria Rydberg with Becca Franzen - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction & UW - Stevens Point
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
Environmental education is interdisciplinary, yet teachers often feel they don’t have the expertise or time to address key concepts like ecological principles or systems thinking. Unpack Wisconsin’s new Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability that provide a fresh framework for both formal and non-formal educators, novice or experienced, to connect, explore, and engage to have #NatureForAll! :
Dancing With the Stars: Getting Near-peer STEAM Role-Models into the Classroom to Close the Gender Gap and promote Green Building
Heather Thomas Flores with Joseph Kaltenberg & Taylor Valencia - STEMhero, City of Milwaukee & Marquette University - Environmental Engineering, National Society of Black Engineers
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Near-peer role models can be an effective way to boost interest in STEM pursuits and environmental action. Increasing such interactions in a way that is time-efficient, can work at a large scale, and seamlessly “dances” with existing class curriculum goals can be challenging. Come learn and share lessons from research, case-studies, and your own experience as we tease-out actionable insights to better leverage local near-peer role models in the classroom. :
On the Road--Expanding Access to Nature-based Early Childhood Education Programs
Virginia Wiggen with Suzy Grindrod - Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Early Childhood Education
Join Aldo Leopold Nature Center staff as we share our outreach efforts to take our successful preschool program on the road to various community centers around Madison. Through this program, we are bringing Aldo Leopold’s message to a wonderfully diverse group of children and their caregivers, while expanding access and high-quality early childhood programming in the community. :
Maple Syruping: How Sweet It Is!
Dave Landers with Jonathan Wood - Pulaski Community School District
Farm to School
Oh That sweet sweet taste of Maple Syrup. Learn about the process of turning sap into that sweet, sweet maple syrup using resources right on your school or local site. Learn how to prepare for the season by getting equipment ready, gathering firewood, tapping trees, collecting sap and cooking it down to syrup. Create positive partnerships between district facilities, tech ed, community, teachers and students. You do NOT need any previous experience. :
Wrap Up a Day of Exploration & Learning
With Queta Gonzlaez - Center for Diversity & the Environment

A time of reflection and community building, Queta Gonzalez from the Center for Diversity & the Environment will host a time of open dialogue. You are invited to share what inspired you; what you’re most excited to begin when you return to your work; what hopes you have for your individual and collective work.

This wrap up session is designed for anyone, whether you participated in Queta's earlier workshops or not. See you there!

#NatureForAll Panel Discussion

Join us on Saturday morning for a panel discussion on how we can work toward equitable access to nature for all children in Wisconsin.


August M. Ball is the founder of Cream City Conservation. She helps organizations attract and retain top talent from diverse candidate pools, making their workforce stronger and their programs more sustainable and relevant. Simultaneously, through Cream City Conservation Corps, she cultivates the next generation of environmental stewards by engaging traditionally underrepresented youth in blue/green career pathways.

Huda Alkaff is the founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005, connecting faith, environmental justice, and sustainability through education and service. As an ecologist and environmental justice educator, Huda leads “Just Solar” and “Faithful Rainwater Harvesting” rooted in justice, equity and inclusion.

Jaime Head hails from Minnesota and has recently relocated to Northern Wisconsin. She is a Certified Work Incentives Coordinator through the Social Security Administration and has most recently been working in the field of benefits planning, assisting individuals with disabilities who want to return to work. Outside of this field, Jaime has over 20 years of experience advocating for individuals with disabilities, and inclusion & accessibility. She has a degree in recreation and has many years of experience in adaptive recreation and outdoor programming.

The panel will also include a High School level student from Milwaukee's Escuela Verde. A student representative will be selected after the school year has begun - stay tuned for updates!


Joella Zocher has nearly twenty years of urban science teaching experience, and is a passionate teacher researcher with scholarly interests in eco-pedagogical praxis and scientific literacy with urban youth. Joey believes a student-centered, project-based learning approach to teaching and learning is the missing link to student success. Through sustainability and restorative justice, students not only have the ability to make learning relevant to their lives, but are encouraged to take action for positive change in their communities.

Educating for Sustainability in the Early Years
Cheryl DeWelt - Madison Children's Museum
Early Childhood Education
What does sustainability mean and how can educators build sustainability within early childhood education in meaningful ways? From open-ended environments to facilitated programs, this workshop will share ideas of how to embed sustainability into education. We will look at edible gardens, cooking with produce, reuse and repurposing, teaching about alternative energy, outdoor active play environments, and incorporating education about the interconnectedness of all living things.
What Are They Learning at the School Forest?
Kendra Liddicoat with Kelly Vorron & Rachel Loomis - UW - Stevens Point & Manitowoc Public School District,
Administrator’s Track
Research is making the case for environmental education for all! Learn how the Manitowoc Public School District is documenting impacts of their 4K-12th grade School Forest programs. The annual trips are connecting students throughout the district to local biodiversity, to local history, and to each other through hands-on lessons. :
Connecting Milwaukee's Latino Residents to Nature
Lisa Myers with Jean Claassen & Francisco Hernandez - USDA Forest Service
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
The USDA Forest Service is partnering with the Hispanic Access Foundation to reach out to Latinos across the country and actively engage in outdoor education and recreation. The goal is to help develop a more diverse next generation of conservation stewards. :
Keeping Things Moving: Engaging EE
David Stokes - The Frog Chorus Nature Education
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
Using sign-language, songs, stories, 3 dimensional objects (some live some not) and humor we will share in a variety of concept facilitators that keep us engaged and “moving.” Using Nature as the medium, we will be making some noise and having fun focusing on Keeping our audience engaged. A variety of techniques for sharing nature in fun and engaging ways. :
Starting Small: Involving Public School Teachers in Outdoor Education
Courtney Woods - Lowell Elementary School (MMSD) & Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
Want to help classroom teachers get their students outside? Need tips for managing behavior of young students used to learning inside? Learn and discuss what outdoor education looks like for one kindergarten teacher, and how you can help other classroom teachers expand their environmental education, within the constraints of the required academic curriculum. :
Fundraising: You Want to Be a Part of This!
Special Speaker: Jen Davie, Certified Fund Raising Executive
Administrator’s Track
How can you be a part of the amazing and exciting work of fundraising at your organization? Don’t worry, it isn’t all about asking people to give money. Fundraising is about inviting individuals to be part of the great work that you are doing by sharing your passion. Your passion could inspire them to be part of the mission. We will also discuss who can participate in your organization’s fundraising and the impactful role they can play, including YOU! :
Lake Explorer Camp
Paul Dearlove with James Tye - Clean Lakes Alliance
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
The Lake Explorer Camp (Madison, WI) is a unique partnership between Clean Lakes Alliance, Madison Boats, and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. This summer camp experience offers underserved and mostly minority 3rd and 4th graders the opportunity to engage in hands-on, outdoor learning. Participants will hear how this youth-education and outdoor-immersion model leverages partnerships to improve learning and natural resource stewardship outcomes. :
Learning with the Explorers Mindset: National Geographic Certification for Formal and Informal Educators
Kelly Koller with Dave Landers - Washington Middle School & Pulaski Community Middle School
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas
Learn about the amazing National Geographic Community for formal and informal educators and how it supports our new state environmental literacy standards. By participating in this session, participants will have completed Phase 1 of the certification process and have ready-to-use activities about developing the explorer's mindset in learners. :
Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool: A Case Study
Catherine Koons-Hubbard - Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Early Childhood Education
Nature-based education for the early childhood years is on the rise and over the past few years, Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens have been opening up across the country. In this presentation, we will show scenes from Wisconsin's very first Nature Preschool, founded in 2003. We will discuss our curriculum and approaches to teaching, and demonstrate how we unite the fields of early childhood and environmental education. :
Inclusion Leads to Action: Developing Inclusive Programs for Sensory Needs
Aszya Summers - Racine Zoo
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Creating educational programming and opportunities for individuals with sensory needs is essential to inclusion. Learn how to account for sensory needs in your formal and informal programming, and how to partner with them as volunteers to increase your impact and spread conservation messages to groups that are often overlooked.Participants will learn about the nonprofit organization, Kulture City, and how their facility can become a certified sensory inclusive facility – for free!
Tried, True, and New: Curriculum Redesign in the Age of Accountability
Melanie Stewart-Clarke - Trees For Tomorrow
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas Round Table - Round 1
Trees For Tomorrow recently strengthened our elementary curriculum to provide thematic, inquiry-based, NGSS-aligned, and data-driven lessons for visiting students. This presentation will provide an overview into our curriculum design and assessment process to help you apply the same principles to your own programming.
Impacts of the Scientist in Residence Partnership
Kendra Swanson with Carly Jo Hintz - Riveredge Nature Center
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas Round Table - Round 1
The Scientist in Residence partnership, developed by Riveredge Nature Center, serves schools by funding a full-time outdoor educator to serve as a curricular and instructional resource with the goal of increased outdoor learning integration. Completing its second year in the Cedarburg School District, this presentation will highlight the strategies, systems, and impacts of this innovative model.
Connecting Community Partners for Healthy Communities, Engaged Learners, and Empowered Leader
Cheryl Schnell & Sandy Benton - Wisconsin Green Schools Network
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas Round Table - Round 1
Creating healthy natural and social systems requires developing connections with others and the environment to support students’ critical thinking and actively engage them in learning. Learn how the F.I.E.L.D. (Fostering Inquiry and Empowering Learners through Discovery) Corps, a program of the Wisconsin Green School Network, is addressing challenges and supporting success of place-based, field-based learning experiences with community partners throughout the state.
Access of Sustainable Changes – A Look at Home Energy Use
Melissa Alexander - Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Round Table - Round 2
While living sustainably provides benefits for families, many have not adopted changes in their homes. Join KEEP as we explore the barriers of home energy efficiency. Discuss and uncover ways to meet families halfway on their journey to becoming energy efficient and sustainable. While this is energy efficiency specific, participants will walk away with the ability to communicate with families about the benefits and barriers to making changes at home.
What Could Be Wisconsin's Just Solar Guiding Principles?
Huda Alkaff - Wisconsin Green Muslims
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Round Table - Round 2
Join “Faith Communities for Equitable Solar Initiative” in generating guiding principles for the solar industry, rooted in Wisconsin's values of justice, equity and inclusion. What are our Just Solar Principles? What are the barriers and bridges for a just and equitable solar power for all?
Forestry and Forestry Kits for Environmental Educators
Kate Flick - Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education
Sharing Innovative Teaching Ideas Round Table - Round 2
Wisconsin’s forests are important to our ecological, economic, and social well-being. This session will present principles, activities, and techniques to integrate hands-on forestry education into nature centers and other non-formal education settings. Familiarize yourself with LEAF forestry curriculum, and the ten traveling forest product kits that allow students to learn about forest products, and associated careers, through hands-on exploration.
DOTS: Engaging Wisconsin Students and Teachers in Community Water Quality Monitoring
R. Justin Hougham with Marc Nutter & Caitlin Graham - Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Round Table - Round 2
DOTS is an environmental education project that engages K-12 students across Wisconsin in water quality monitoring activities using digital mobile tools. The session will highlight successes and learning opportunities from year one of the project and will discuss their significance for best EE practice. This session will concern an ongoing project in which Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center and partners across Wisconsin collaborate to engage K-12 students from diverse backgrounds.
Youth and School Gardens and their role at Nature Centers, Summer Camps, and Youth Programs
Stefanie Scopoline with Sam De Roche - Community GroundWorks and the Wisconsin School Garden Network & UW -Stevens Point, Central Wisconsin Environmental Station
Farm to School
Nature centers and summer camps are a great medium for youth/school gardens and garden-based educational programs. Join us for a presentation and discussion about the importance of garden-based education and how nature centers, summer camps, and youth programs, can partner with local schools to support one another.
Early Childhood Education and Nurturing Connection with Nature for Sustainability Champions of the Future
Gerry Slater - Wisconsin Nature Action Collaborative for Children and Design4Kids
Early Childhood Education
Panelists representing a variety of early childhood programs in diverse settings will present information about their programs and how they serve to connect young children with nature. A question and discussion period will enable participants to further explore these various programs and consider how broader collaborations with other environmental educators could increase outreach to young children and families. :
#StoryTelling: Shaping Your Story & Cultivating Connections on Social Media
Renata Solan - Community GroundWorks/Wisconsin School Garden Network
Administrator’s Track
The stories you tell through social media have a large impact on how people will interpret the work you are doing and the audience you are serving. Explore how social media can help you shape and share your story and build your community. We will discuss best practices for building relationships and community and story telling on a variety of social media platforms (with a focus on Facebook and Twitter). :

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Conference Location: Upham Woods