Events coming up this week

If you know of an event I’ve left out, please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT

Monday, February 23:

From Iowa Global Warming:

February- Leadership for Coal and Climate

A chance for informed and concerned citizens to take concrete action.

This is your Invitation:

An Iowa Activist Evening

Iowa Global Warming Offices

Monday, February 23rd, 2009


505 5th Avenue Suite 333

Des Moines

   Limited Seating

Please RSVP (515) 244-3113

Implemting ICCAC Recommendations

How we can stop the Marshalltown Plant

Send your voice to Washington

Get High Speed Rail Service to Des Moines

Screening of “Fighting Goliath” A short film about the fight for coal in texas. Food and film snacks will be provided.

Sponsors: Sierra Club, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Global Warming Campaign, Sierra Student Coalition.

There is a PFLAG meeting featuring One Iowa regional organizer, Ryan Crane, at  St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 309 W. Main St. in Decorah, 7 pm.

Wednesday, February 25:

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having its lobby day at the state capitol from 10 am to 3 pm. To register, or for more information, email, or click here:


Thursday, February 26:

From One Iowa:

As Iowa Goes So Goes the Nation Symposium: Varnum v. Brien and its Impact on Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples

Sponsored by the Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice and featuring a keynote by Dan Savage

University of Iowa School of Law, Iowa City

Click here for more information or to register.

Someone post a diary afterwards to tell us how Dan Savage did!

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

Leadership Forum on Sustainable Building With Marc Richmond Thursday, February 26, 2009, 9:45am – 2:00pm

LOCATION: Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.

PROGRAM: As Iowa’s leading resource on sustainable building education, COSC is conducting a Leadership Forum with Marc Richmond for Iowa’s business leaders, community leaders, state agency leaders, and policy makers.  The session will define the key components of sustainable building and illustrate strategies for building sustainable communities based on national models.

You will find more information at

Friday, February 27:

The symposium on Varnum v Brien continues at the University of Iowa law school.

Saturday, February 28:

Democracy for America is holding its acclaimed Training Academy in Des Moines on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Click here for more details. Iowa blogger noneed4thneed will be there!

The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a “sustainable living seminar” for “everyone interested in gardening, landscaping, conservation, and the environment” at DMACC from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. I put the full agenda after the jump–looks like a great program.

Saw this on the Sierra Club Iowa Topics list:

Plymouth Church UCC, Des Moines, Green Team will sponsor the showing of the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” after the Saturday evening Service (service 5:30-6:30) on February 28. “This 2006 documentary film explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the 1990s.  The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the US government, the Californian government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology.” Admission is free. Plymouth Church is located at the corner of 42nd and Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines.  The church is 2 blks south of the 42nd St exit of I-235.  The Green Team has a new blog on the Plymouth website: where they discuss “our own struggles with adopting a greener lifestyle and welcome your comments.”  Plymouth Church is a Cool Congregation.

February 28, 2009 Backyard Conservation~

A Sustainable Living Seminar

 A seminar for everyone interested in gardening,

 landscaping, conservation, and the environment.

February 28, 2009 9:30am-2:30pm


Des Moines Area Community College

Building 7 – Conference Center

2006 South Ankeny Boulevard

Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Pre-Registration Fee:



or $30/couple from same household

Lunch and refreshments included!


9:00 a.m. Registration, Exhibits, & Refreshments

9:30 Welcome & Introduction to Sustainable Living

10:00 Featured Speaker–Eileen Robb

11:00 Breakout Session 1

11:45 Lunch & Exhibits

12:45 Breakout Session 2

1:45 Breakout Session 3

Featured Speaker, Eileen Robb

 Conserve Your Piece of the World and

 Your Peace of Mind

Eileen Robb is the co-host of Gardening Today

on 1040 WHO Radio on Sundays from 10 to noon.

She has degrees in Agricultural Science and Plant

Pathology and a PhD in medicine and is a retired

Internist. In addition to working in her own gardens,

Eileen volunteers as a Polk County Master Gardener.

She strives to practice conservation and sustainability

in her gardens and likes to encourage others to do the same.

11:00 am Sessions

1. Backyard Stewardship through Landscaping

Doug Adamson, Landscape Architect, RDG

How does your property affect our ecology? Learn

how to investigate your yard for clues on where to

implement landscaping practices that create beauty

and sustainability. Transform your own backyard

into a more sustainable, eco-sensitive landscape.

2. Snakes on a Plain

Curtis Eckerman, DMACC

Have you ever seen a snake in your yard? Did you

know what kind it was, where it came from, or if it

was poisonous? Learn the answers to these questions

about snakes, their reptilian relatives, and their

distant cousins, the amphibians, found in Iowa and

in your very own backyard.

3. Turning your Backyard to Habitat

Danielle Wirth, Drake Univ. ENSP, DMACC

Your backyard can be Iowa’s field of dreams: If you

build it, they will come. Who are you planting for?

Using native plants to turn your yard into habitat.

Learn about restoration ecology and methods being

used to manage and improve habitat for a variety of

native plants, animals, insects and more!

12:45 pm Sessions

4. Pondless Water Features

Chris Thompson, Just Add Water

Relax at home by a babbling brook or a bubbling

rock birdbath. Find out about water features to fit

your lifestyle. Learn about a variety of low maintenance

water features that provide ambience and fun

for your yard and garden. These features can also

manage rainfall and can be used to harvest water

for reuse in your landscape.

5. Hardscaping

Weston Wunder, Landscapes by Design

Adding elements like paths, walkways, decks, patios and walls can add interest and appreciation to a landscape. Learn about site preparation, material selection, and design considerations for various hardscape components.

6. Attracting Backyard Birds

David Loney, DMACC

Whether you’d like a family to set up a household for the summer

or simply want birds to stop by from time to time, there are a

number of simple things you can do to make birds welcome in your

backyard. Learn some ideas to provide food, water, and/or

shelter for our feathered friends.

1:45 p.m. Sessions

7. Rain gardens and better lawns made easy Paul Miller and Jennifer Welch, Polk SWCD

Managing water on your property can be fun and

easy to do. Plus, it provides many benefi ts for your yard!

Learn more about rain gardens- where to put them in

your yard, what to look for, how to build one, what to

plant. Also learn about how to improve your soil quality,

making your lawn more beautiful and sustainable.

8. Get Edible Landscapes Growing for You

Craig Dilley, DMACC

Thinking about how to have healthy fresh fruits and

vegetables this summer? Not ever had a garden?

Get started into fruit and vegetable gardening or

improve upon your skills. Come learn how to design

the right garden for your yard. Make the most of

your yard and garden space and have the convenience

of fresh, healthy, local food at your table.

9. Whats bugging you?

Curtis Eckerman, DMACC

Did you know that roughly 73% of all animal species

are insects? Insects are so numerous yet are often

the most overlooked organism. You will learn how to

tell the difference between beetles, bugs, bees and

other insects. Learn the proper methods for catching

and preserving insects for your own collection.

Learn why insects are so important to us and to our

future. Come start a hobby and a journey of discovery

in your own backyard.


Registration Form



City, State, Zip



Breakout Session Choices

Indicate by session number

             1st Choice 2nd Choice

11:00 am    ____        ____

12:45 pm    ____        ____

1:45 pm      ____        ____

Late registrations and walk-ins welcome for additional fee of $5/person.

Please make checks payable to:

Polk Soil & Water Conservation District

Send registration and payment to:

Pam Schwartz


1513 North Ankeny Blvd Ste 3

Ankeny, IA 50023

515-964-1883 ext 3

Sponsored by: Polk Soil and Water Conservation District

1513 North Ankeny Blvd Ste 3

Ankeny, Iowa 50023

515-964-1883 x3


DMACC, Department of Arts & Sciences

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