Lessons for Fall

Rachel Krzton-PressonOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Sun on the lake

For many of us, buying new pencils, pumpkin spiced everything, football, and warm socks mark the beginning of fall! But for teachers autumn ushers in a wellspring of environmental education themes. Three topics are especially interesting this time of year–resilience, migration, and animals we love to hate.  Perhaps our strongest instinct is for self preservation. Even in the most difficult conditions, living … Read

Gotta Have a Coach

Martha McCormickCoaching for Growth1 Comment

Beauty Berry Bush in Autumn

Over the last four years or so, I’ve let my backyard get more than a little overgrown. One reason–an Amur Maple that we planted the first spring I lived here took a huge hit in an early snow storm. I wept over that tree the next morning when I found every branch either broken or split down the middle from … Read

Our Sunflower Fort

Sara LockieOutdoor Education1 Comment

Feet in the sunflower fort

My children love forts. But a sunflower fort? It exceeded every expectation. Inspired by Eve Bunting’s Sunflower House, we planted sunflower seeds in a circle last spring. My nine-year-old couldn’t decide on just one variety of sunflowers at the garden store, so we planted two circles of seeds – an inner ring of mammoths and an outer ring of a … Read

Alone on the Prairie

Rachel Krzton-PressonOutdoor Education1 Comment

Rachel alone on the prairie

Last week I packed my bags and headed on a vacation with my parents and siblings. Our destination was Lake Florida in Minnesota. While we were there we volunteered at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center! One of my projects was clearing trails around the prairie. Early in the morning, a little grumpy and weary from such an early start, I … Read

Experiencing the solar eclipse

Sara LockieOutdoor Education2 Comments

Sara at Alpha Mission Training

Monday, August 21, 2017 will be a memorable day.  Not since 1918 has a solar eclipse crossed the United States from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans, giving us a rare opportunity to observe one of nature’s biggest coincidences. A few tips as the big day nears… Never look directly at the sun. Solar eclipse glasses block out everything except for … Read

Unexpected Turns in Life

Kyla CoxCoaching for Growth, Philosophy & MusingsLeave a Comment

purple woodland flowers

When asked where we live, I joke that my husband & I live in a halfway house. We are renting a place located half way between our previous life and our next life. You see, we sold our home in Beaverdale, where we’ve lived most of the last 20 years. We are building a new home in the country but … Read

There’s Always More

Martha McCormickMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

The ghats in Mumbai

So many reasons to be excited about yoga. I teach it. I practice it. I study it. There truly is always more! Excited–check out this article about some preliminary research on how yoga may help with recovery from stroke and lessening the impact of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. I teach at Shakti Yoga Shop and we have some … Read

Let’s Figure It Out

Martha McCormickCoaching for GrowthLeave a Comment

Grant Park, Chicago

As we go spinning around the sun, we tend to mark anniversaries. I have one coming up tomorrow. It’s been 11 years since I cleaned out my desk at Iowa State University Extension in Polk County and started my work here at Next Step. I was there til 8 pm on my last day! Who does that? Someone who is … Read

Run for Office

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Women's March 2017--Iowa State Capitol

The loss of the 2016 election seems to have galvanized women to activism. The year of our next presidential election will be the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Just 100 years ago, our foremothers were still fighting for full citizenship in this country. The US has terribly few women in leadership positions. It’s a problem from … Read