The Water Rocks! team traveled to the State Capitol in Des Moines earlier this week for a special recognition ceremony with Governor Terry Branstad. We were honored to receive Special Recognition Award in the Environmental Education category as part of the 2016 Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards!
This year, 22 total awards were given out to organizations, businesses and communities across the state working to protect and enhance our natural resources. It was interesting and inspiring to hear about the many great projects that are happening statewide – from the Fighting Burrito’s use of electric cars and bicycles for food delivery, to Spirit Lake’s Pure Fishing establishing acres of pollinator habitat, to high school students in Central Community Schools’ Global Science class establishing a school/community food compost program!
At the awards ceremony, we were recognized for our outstanding efforts to educate youth and adults across the state of Iowa on water quality and environmental issues, whether that be through school visits, county fairs and community outreach events, Water Rocks! Summit teacher training workshops, and our collection of outstanding (and sometimes outrageous) music videos. While handing out the awards, the DNR’s Deputy Director Bruce Trautman even asked when he could sing in a music video!
Joining us at the awards ceremony were several of our partners that believed in Water Rocks! early on and have been really instrumental in making this program a reality – Allen Bonini, Steve Hopkins, and Jeff Berckes from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Mark Rasmussen from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Melissa Miller representing the Iowa Water Center. Thanks to these folks and all of you out there who have helped to support Water Rocks! in one way or another over the years.
As 2016 continues, we are on track to have another record-breaking year in terms of outreach! There is a huge need for water quality education in our state, and the Water Rocks! team will continue to do our part to help meet that need as best we can.