NORTH IOWA OUTDOORS: Learning About Wildlife Through Competition

Iowa 4-H is partnering with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Agriculture and Natural Resources to bring a new youth program to the state.

The National Wildlife Habitat Education Program is a hands-on environmental education program. WHEP also provides participants an opportunity to test their wildlife knowledge in a friendly competition, as each state supporting WHEP conducts an annual contest where teams of three to four similarly aged individuals gather.

The winning senior (14-19 years of age) WHEP team from each state earns the right to attend the annual National WHEP Contest, typically held the last full week of July. The national contest moves to a different state each year and Iowa hopes to host this event in 2022.

Iowa 4-H WHEP is seeking individuals with interest in becoming a volunteer coach. To find out more about WHEP and the coach’s role within this program, consider attending the 2020 Iowa WHEP Coaches Workshop to be held Tuesday, Nov. 10 and Thursday, Nov. 12, from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom. The registration link is https://form.jotform.com/202683590727967.

“This is an exciting program for Iowa’s youth to learn more about the wildlife we find throughout the state, the places they live, and how wildlife biologists and landowners can work to improve those places,” said Adam Janke, assistant professor in natural resources ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State.

Participants will learn about animals, plants and their relationships in Iowa’s major ecosystems, along with a wide range of habitat management practices that improve those ecosystems for the animals and plants they depend on.

Students interested in a wide range of topics from biology, zoology, botany, ecology and agriculture will learn valuable skills in this program and meet fellow wildlife enthusiasts from around the state.

Registrations will be accepted until 5 p.m., Nov. 10. Visit the national program page to learn more.

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