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2018 Annual Conference - Environmental Justice: An Iowa Value

Join fellow Iowans seeking a sustainable future for Iowa on September 27, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport for IEC's annual conference. 

Environmental threats to land, water, and climate are more likely to impact low income, minority, and tribal populations. Renowned and engaged speakers will tackle thorny issues such as economic impacts from environmental efforts, engaging resistant communities in understanding climate change impacts, food scarcity and food waste diversion, sparking energy policy that protects under-served populations, balancing economic development with natural landscapes, and more. Re-imagine a just environmental law and policy platform in Iowa by attending this event that ensure the work we do as individuals, businesses, and organizations is bringing everyone to the table. Join us for this critical conversation to improve Iowa's environment for all. 

Discounted registration available for students and Iowa Environmental Council members.  




2018 Conference Agenda

View the complete conference agenda

2018 Keynote Presentation

Opportunity in Iowa: Equity and Inclusion in Environmental Projects

Emily Rhodes, Delta Institute

Emily Rhodes

Throughout the Midwest, cities and towns are grappling with environmental challenges brought on by extreme weather events and legacy industrial and agricultural issues - and often communities of color and low income communities are hit the hardest. 

Emily Rhodes of the Midwest-based Delta Institute will share their approach to community-based work that strives to be inclusive of diverse viewpoints, oriented towards fairness and justice, and committed to mutual benefits. Through examples of local projects, including brownfield re-visioning in Waterloo and climate resilience work in a small community in Michigan, the keynote will explore the importance of equitable engagement and how to take a holistic view of community needs, assets, and outcomes when addressing environmental challenges.

Plenary Presentation

Shelley BuffaloHonoring Our Ancestors: Embracing the Challenge of Food Production and Economic Development Within a Tribal Framework

Shelley Buffalo

Red Earth Gardens, Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative, Meskwaki Economic Development

    Panel Presentations

    Food Insecurity and the Richest Land in the World: Moving to a Sustainable Future for Iowans

    Sponsored by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union


    • Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa

    • Shelley Buffalo, Red Earth Gardens, Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative

    • Derek Nelson, Kum & Go

    Clean Energy Lifts All Boats: Sharing the Benefits of Renewable Development

    Sponsored by Invenergy


    • Lana Shope, Iowa Association of Community Action Agencies

    • David Osterberg, Iowa Policy Project

    • JP Jones, Indian Hills Community College

    • Emily Rhodes, Delta Institute

    Economic Development and Wetland and Stream Mitigation: Removing the Tension, Bettering Communities, and Helping Kids Catch and Release Frogs Again

    Sponsored by Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


    • James Pray, BrownWinick

    IGNITE: Unpacking Advocacy and Empowering Champions


    • Kristin Aschenbrenner, The Nature Conservancy

    • John Cacciatore, Policy Works

    • Lindsey Friend, Simple Ray Solar


    Event Location and Lodging

    The 2018 Annual Conference will take place the Holiday Inn Des Moines - Airport on September, 27, 2018.


    Rooms are available for conference attendees on September 26, 2018, at a discounted rate of $102 + tax. Call the hotel at 515.287.2400 to reserve your room at this discounted rate by September 12. Parking is complimentary in the hotel lot. 

    Lodging is also available at hotels throughout the Des Moines metro. Visit the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau website for information about lodging.  

    Thank you to our 2018 Conference Sponsors

    Linda Appelgate

    EOR Iowa
    Houston Engineering Inc.

    The Iowa Policy Project

    Iowa Association of Water Agencies

    Iowa Association of Water Agencies

    Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
    ITC, a Fortis Company
    Neighborhood Development Corporation
    Practical Farmers of Iowa
    Raccoon River Watershed Association

    John Schmidt & Deb Wiley

    Trees Forever
    University of Iowa Community Credit Union

    Thank you to our 2018 Conference Exhibitors

    Join us as a conference exhibitor

    1 Source Solar Blank Park Zoo
    Center for Rural Affairs EOR Iowa
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC Iowa Association of Water Agencies
    Iowa Conservation Education Coalition Iowa Farmers Union
    Iowa Water Center Raccoon River Watershed Association
    Trees Forever

    Thank you to our 2018 Event Committee & Volunteers

    Katie Cownie, David Courard-Hauri, Sondra Feldstein, Jonathan Gano, Kurt Johnson, Sarah Lohmeier, Pam Mollenahauer, Jasen Nelson, John Schmidt.