ICCS 2023: Living with Loess


This page includes details on a past event. For a current list of upcoming Pottawattamie Conservation events, please visit our calendar.
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 to Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mid-America Center
1 Arena Way
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

County conservation staff, board members, and interns are welcome to attend.


Living with Loess ICCS 2023 LogoThis year's Iowa's County Conservation System (ICCS) Fall Conference, Living with Loess, is hosted by Harrison and Pottawattamie County Conservation.

Conservation professionals, county conservation board members, staff, and more are invited to join us as we work together to build a stronger future for conservation in Iowa and preserve public lands for generations to come.


Tuesday, September 19th:

  • Pre-Conference Activities:
    • Hike Brent's Trail I 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Bike the Wabash Trace Nature Trail I 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Float on or Fossil Hunt the Nishnabotna Water Trail I 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • History Tour in Council Bluffs I 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Golf Council Bluffs Counrty Club  I  Tee Times 10:00-11:30 AM
  • Conference Welcome Social I 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Join us at Meyer's Landing for Bison BBQ Along the Muddy Mo featuring bison barbeque, live music, activities, and more. A shuttle will be provided to and from Mid-America Center.

Wednesday, September 20th:

  • Breakfast + Welcome I 7:00 AM - 9:15 AM
  • County Park Tours I 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Tour Harrison and Pottawattamie County's top park attractions including Harrison County's Historical Village and Willow Lake Recreation Center and Pottawattamie County's Arrowhead Park and Hitchcock Nature Center.
  • Social Hour I 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  • Banquet I 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Keynote Speaker: Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Thursday, September 21st:

  • Breakfast I 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
    • ICCS Business Meeting
    • Raffle Drawing
    • 2024 Conference Invite
  • County Park Tours I 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Tour Harrison and Pottawattamie County's top park attractions including Harrison County's Historical Village and Willow Lake Recreation Center and Pottawattamie County's Arrowhead Park and Hitchcock Nature Center.
  • Optional Evening Event: Go Wild for Conservation Fundraiser | 5:30 PM - 8:30PM
    • Conference attendees are invited to join Pottawattamie County for their 20th Annual Go Wild for Conservation fundraiser benefitting the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation
    • Beer Tasting / Local Bites / Auction / Social
    • Location: "The Plaza" Courtyard by Full Fledged Brewing Company, just outside the Mid-America Center


  • Country Inn & Suites | Main Lodging - $99/night
  • Springhill Suites | Overflow Lodging - $96/night


About Your Keynote Speaker:

Joel Sartore | National Geographic Photo Ark

Joel Sartore

National Geographic Photo Ark logos.

In 2006, world-renowned photographer Joel Sartore started the National Geographic Photo Ark in an effort to document every species living in human care, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. For more than 15 years, he’s traveled to zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries around the world in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity. Sartore is a National Geographic Explorer, public speaker, author, educator, conservationist and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. In 2018, he was named the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year.

Sartore has produced several books including Photo Ark Wonders: Celebrating Diversity in the Animal Kingdom, RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, The Photo Ark, Animal Ark and The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals.

In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Sartore has contributed to Audubon magazine, Life, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and numerous book projects. Sartore and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts, including National Geographic’s Explorer, NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the PBS documentary series, Rare: Portraits of the Photo Ark. He is also a regular contributor on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Sartore’s hallmarks are a sense of humor and a midwestern work ethic. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in journalism. He currently lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and children.

2023 programming is sponsored by the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation.

The Pottawattamie Conservation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other legally protected status in its employment, programs or activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Human Resource Director 227 South 6th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

Map to ICCS 2023: Living with Loess

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