Conservation Stations

Iowa Learning Farms partners with Water Rocks! to bring audiences the Conservation Stations—three mobile learning centers that educate audiences of all ages on different conservation aspects.

 Conservation Station Trailer Conservation Station 3 Trailer Conservation Station On The Edge

Conservation Station Trailer at Badger Creek Conservation Station 3 Trailer at Ames Farmers Market Conservation Station On The Edge Models

The Conservation Stations travel the state visiting field days, county fairs, farmers' markets, and outdoor classrooms.  It is staffed by the Iowa Learning Farms team and is available for single-day events. When visiting outdoor classrooms, the team uses age-appropriate learning modules about soil, water quality, and wetlands for grade school, middle school, high school, and college students. The Conservation Stations house a rainfall simulator demonstrating the effects of rainfall on undisturbed soils with a variety of soil covers and impervious and porous surfaces.  

The Conservation Station may be able to be part of your event at no charge.

Due to COVID-19, the Conservation Station is not traveling in 2020.

The video below shows Matt Helmers, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, demonstrating the relationships between land management practices, surface runoff, subsurface drainage, and sediment/nutrient transport with the Conservation Station's Rainfall Simulator.


This video offers a sneak peek of the Conservation Station's educational opportunities.


Dr. Matt Helmers demonstrates the Conservation Station On The Edge. The mobile education trailer features models of a saturated buffer and bioreactor. These edge of field practices are key tools in reducing nitrogen loss and meeting Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Goals.