Meet Karla…and EARL

karla organistKarla Organist has been with Upper Explorerland as the program manager for Transportation and Community Planning since September of 2011.  Karla enjoys her job working with community leaders and residents to create plans that guide future decision-making in a variety of areas, such as hazard mitigation, wellness, strategic or comprehensive planning.  She also serves as the Upper Explorerland core partner representative for the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative and helps facilitate the Active Living meetings. Continue reading

Connecting with Nature

Making mud pies, watching an anthill or skipping rocks on the water: many adults remember enjoying such outdoor activities as children. However, research shows that today’s children spend less time outdoors. This disconnection from nature is leading to increases in childhood obesity, an increase in behavior-regulating medications and even a fear of the outdoors, says Cindy Thompson, a family life/family finance program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

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The Top 5 Myths about Farm-to-School Programs

by Chelsey Simpson, communications associate for the National Farm to School Network
Most of us can remember a childhood encounter with chicken nuggets, Tater-Tots, and canned peaches in syrup as our lunch. But with one in three children currently considered overweight or obese, ideas about how we feed our kids at home and at school are changing, and many school cafeterias are leading the charge. Continue reading

Teacher Workshop Offered

School gardens provide the backdrop for meaningful learning for students of all ages. Gardens serve as living laboratories that provide a context for inquiry based learning that is hands-on and naturally interdisciplinary in concepts. Many of these concepts can be applied directly to the STEM framework, engaging students in learning about the natural world using science, technology, engineering and math. Continue reading