The Waste Trac Education Team partners with a variety of governmental agencies, non-profits, coalitions, universities, libraries, and cities to provide public programs and educational opportunities for county residents of all ages. We hope you can join in the fun!
Online Calendar of Events
Check out the selected public events below or visit the calendar of events for a full listing of Waste Trac Education Team public outreach opportunities, spring and fall drop-off events, monthly Solid Waste Management Commission Meetings, and landfill holiday closures. *Youth and adult educational programs may be scheduled with specific schools or groups, but are not listed on this calendar. Please contact the Waste Trac Education Team to inquire about scheduling with your group.
Upcoming Public Programs
The Waste Trac Education Team is excited for these up upcoming public programs and educational opportunities!
Halloween Themed “Trash to Treasures” Craft Activities at Local Libraries
Join the Waste Trac Education Team for a fun, free “Trash to Treasures” repurposing craft program at a local library. Stop in to make a Halloween haunted house from old milk cartons and junk! The program is suitable for crafters grades 1st-8th, but older siblings and adults are encouraged to stay and help the younger ones.
The library programs will be open house style, so drop in anytime or stay for the whole program time and get your craft on! No registration required. Four dates to choose from:
- Wednesday, October 9th from 4:00 – 5:30 PM at the Evansdale Public Library
- Thursday, October 10th from 3:30 – 5:00 at the Dunkerton Public Library
- Wednesday, October 16th from 2:15 – 3:45 PM at the Hudson Public Library
- Thursday, October 24th from 2:30 – 4:00 PM at the Hawkins Memorial Library in La Porte City
A PRACTICAL BACKYARD TOUR of Waterloo & Cedar Falls!
- Save the Date: Saturday, June 15th!
- Tours from 10 AM – 1 PM at various locations in Waterloo & Cedar Falls
- Finale and Prize Drawing at 1:30 PM at SingleSpeed Brewing
(325 Commercial St., Waterloo)
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The Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition & community partners are proud to present “A Practical Backyard Tour” of Cedar Falls & Waterloo. Organizations and homeowners will be opening up their green spaces and backyards to share various sustainable and Earth-friendly practices! Visit 6 creative, sustainable backyards and green spaces at your own pace and in any order. This educational event is FREE and open to the public! Tours will take place (rain or shine) on Saturday, June 15 from 10 AM – 1 PM at various locations. Then, join us for the finale and prize drawing at 1:30 PM at SingleSpeed Brewing (325 Commercial Street, Waterloo)
- No pre-registration required, however…
- Receive 1 EXTRA prize drawing ticket when you log into Facebook by 3pm on June 14th to RSVP. Simply click “Going” on the Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition’s Facebook event!
- On the day of the event, sign a waiver at your first stop. Receive one ticket at EACH site that you visit, then enter them into prize drawing at the finale! The more locations you visit, the better your chances are of winning. You may not make it to all 6 locations during the 3-hour event, so pick your favorites to visit first.
- The finale prize drawing will feature a 55-gallon hand painted repurposed rain barrel with converter kit, a rain garden plant package, a pollinator-friendly plant package, and a potted fruit tree. *Must be present to win!
This event is sponsored by the Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition’s Sustainability Theme Group in partnership with Green Iowa AmeriCorps, Land and Water Stewards AmeriCorps, Black Hawk County Soil & Water Conservation District, Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project, City of Waterloo, City of Cedar Falls, Waste Trac Education Team, Cedar Falls Seed Library, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Black Hawk County Conservation, Good Neighbor Iowa, Petersen & Tietz Florists and Greenhouses, Meyers Nursery, & SingleSpeed Brewing.
Visit these creative, sustainable backyards & green spaces at your own pace and in any order that you choose (between 10 AM – 1:00 PM):
Pick a place to start and sign a participation waiver for the day at this first location. You will get 1 ticket at EACH site that you visit, which you can enter into the prize drawing during the finale at SingleSpeed Brewing at 1:30 PM.
Perennial Landscaping on the Cheap
4805 South Main St, Cedar Falls (Side street parking available nearby. Follow signs.)
Learn how the homeowners created a gardener’s oasis with over 1,000 Iowa hardy lilies and 1,000 hostas, milkweed patch, pollinator garden, art sculptures, & free edging materials through resourcefulness, Green Scene plant sales, & free city compost! Hartman Reserve will also have a booth here with information about Monarchs & pollinators. Learn how you too can register your yard with the Black Park Zoo’s Plant.Grow.Fly Program! Please note: Cedar Falls prohibits parking along Main Street. Please follow the event signs to the designated side street parking areas. Four parking spots will be provided in the homeowner’s driveway for those needing closer access.
Green, Clean, (and not so Mean)
Wesley Foundation GreenHouse, 2421 Olive St, Cedar Falls (Corner of Olive St & W 25th St)
Although featured on the first backyard tour, there is always something new and sustainable going on at the Wesley Foundation. Newly added is a rain garden, as well as a grass paver system the GreenHouse. You can also stop by next door at the Wesley Foundation’s ThreeHouse to view rain barrels, a bio-retention cell, and two sets of permeable pavers to learn all about the ways their property aims to protect the water quality of Dry Run Creek.
Good Neighbor Lawn
1416 Madison St, Cedar Falls
Good Neighbor Iowa is an initiative coordinated by the UNI’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education. It aims to reduce unnecessary urban pesticide use and to transform lawn-culture to encourage appreciation of diverse lawns as a way to protect child health, water quality, pets, pollinators, and biodiversity. See how this Good Neighbor maintains a gorgeous yard without herbicides or insecticides, and how you can go pesticide-free, too! Pick up a few wild edible recipes from the Cedar Falls Seed Library. Learn about edible garden weeds, dandelion root coffee, and violet jelly.
Rain Gardens Galore
2421 Ashland Ave, Cedar Falls
Get a chance to view two rain gardens as well as a rain barrel in a residential setting and help spur enthusiasm to implement conservation on to your own property. Here you can see mature and established, side-by-side rain gardens implemented by UNI student and Green Iowa AmeriCorps volunteers over a two year period. Converse with the homeowner to better understand the challenges, opportunities, and maintenance requirements to implement a successful green space in your own backyard.
Boosting Veggie Production with Earth Friendly Practices
NE Iowa Food Bank Garden, 261 Vinton St, Waterloo
Check out how the Food Bank Garden uses under a quarter acre to grow 4,000 pounds of produce for our community. Master Gardeners will be on hand to share tips for maximizing production, as well as demonstrations of 3 styles of composting (backyard composting, vermicomposting indoors with redworms and Bokashi indoor fermentation). See how compost & compost tea can add vigor to any garden.
Water Quality Improvements Through Pavers & Plants
Grand Crossing Parking Lot, Jefferson St. & Westfield Ave, Waterloo (Park in the city lot across the street from Side Car Coffee)
The new owners of this property had visions of grandeur while designing these new multistory condominiums. Echo Development Group designed the property with class, but also with conservation in mind. This site presents an elegant way to manage and clean storm water using permeable pavers in the parking lot and three bio-retention cells with hardy plants. Please park in the city parking lot located across the street from Side Car Coffee. After parking, please walk to the pop-up tent to check in.
Finale and Prize Drawing
SingleSpeed Brewing, 325 Commercial St, Waterloo
Hold on to your tickets and join us for the finale at 1:30 PM. Enter all your tickets into the prize drawing featuring a 55-gallon hand painted repurposed rain barrel with converter kit, a rain garden plant package, a pollinator-friendly plant package, and a potted fruit tree. *Must be present to win!
Iowa Green Brewery Certification: SingleSpeed Brewing is a certified Iowa Green Brewery – Platinum Level
Through the leadership of its founder, Dave Morgan, SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo has adopted a culture where the environmental impact is considered with every business decision. From the installation of solar panels on the roof, to innovative ways to divert multiple waste streams from the landfill, SingleSpeed has taken a holistic approach to minimizing their environmental impact while promoting environmental stewardship to its patrons. SingleSpeed Brewery in Waterloo is currently the ONLY Iowa Brewery to have achieved the Platinum Level of certification. Learn more about this certification at https://iwrc.uni.edu/green-brewery
SingleSpeed Brewing Tours
Want to learn about the brewing process and see some of their sustainable projects? Brewery tours are offered on Saturdays at 2 PM. Tours are limited to just 15 people. To secure your spot, please pre-register online at http://www.singlespeedbrewing.com/taprooms/waterloo/tour/
Have a question? Contact the Waste Trac Education Team at 319-266-8722.
Summer Camp Partnership with Hartman Reserve Nature Center
The Waste Trac Education Team partners with Hartman Reserve Nature Center to provide a variety of youth summer camps. Program details, fee information, and registration forms can be found at: BlackHawkCountyParks.com
Composting 101 Workshops
Want to turn kitchen scraps into beautiful compost? Learn 3 ways to achieve black gold:
- Backyard Composting (3 bin, Earth Machines, Tumblers)
- Vermicomposting (Indoor Composting with Redworms)
- Bokashi Indoor Composting (Fermentation)
Join Green Iowa AmeriCorps Land & Water Stewards and the Waste Trac Education Team for one of these fun, free composting workshops, with two dates to choose from:
- Monday, May 6th at 7 PM at Single Speed Brewing (325 Commercial St., Waterloo – Party Room)
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- Tuesday, May 7th at 7 PM at the Cedar Falls Library (524 Main St., CF– CoLab Maker Space, 2nd Floor) Add this event to your Facebook Calendar
Community Conservation Workshop
This FREE workshop will provide information for homeowners on ways to save money while being more energy and resource efficient in and around the home.
- Thursday, February 28th at the Waterloo Center for the Arts (225 Commercial St, Waterloo – Peterson Town Hall Room)
- Social Hour (6:00pm-6:30pm)
- Presentations (6:30-8:30 PM), with a prize drawing to follow
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From your furnace to your yard, there are many ways energy, soil, water, trees, plants, and even food waste can be used more economically. Bring your questions and talk with local experts. Topics covered will include home energy audits, proper chemical disposal, composting, soil quality, native prairie, tree management, rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavement, renewable energy, LED light conversion, funding sources for your home projects, and more.
Refreshments will be served during the social hour (6:00pm-6:30pm) and will provide an opportunity to chat with presenters and view their informational booths. The evening will conclude with FREE prize drawing to win a rain barrel, home energy kit, or native prairie kit (must be present to win).
For additional information please contact Josh Balk at (319) 296-3262 Ext. 3 or Joshua.Balk@ia.nacdnet.net. This workshop is sponsored by the Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cedar Falls Seed Library, City of Cedar Falls, City of Waterloo, Good Neighbor Iowa, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, Rainscaping Iowa, UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center, and the Waste Trac Education Team throughout the evening.