The Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP CEP) has awarded more than $43,000 in funding to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Teens Take CAARE (Conservation Action through Advocacy, Research and Engagement) program.
The student-driven, student-led conservation program will engage teens in exploration, stewardship, and scientific inquiry as part of the River Museum’s overarching Take CAARE initiative. While focusing on teen engagement, the program will be facilitated by conservation professionals and experts.
“We have the privilege of being part of a community with amazing talented young leaders whose voices need to be heard,” stated Jared McGovern, Curator of Conservation Programs. “We can provide a platform in which to amplify these voices while at the same time helping build conservation leaders and innovators who will carry these efforts into the future.”
As a lead up to formal recruitment efforts, the River Museum is currently hosting a series of teen, partner, and parent focus groups to better understand attitudes, knowledge, and interests around conservation. These focus groups also aim to understand what barriers teens face to participation in extracurricular opportunities like these and what the River Museum can do to ensure the program model is of value to teens and serves their needs.
The REAP program is supported by the state of Iowa, providing funding to public and private partners for natural and cultural resource projects, including water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation, parks, trails, historic preservation, and more. It’s efforts invest in Iowa, its outdoors, its heritage, and its people.
For more information on the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s Take CAARE program, visit rivermuseum.com. For more information on REAP CEP, visit iowadnr.gov.