Ames’ EcoFair


City of Ames 2020 Virtual Earth Day Gathering


On April 25th, 2020, on the 50th anniversary of Earth day, the City of Ames held its 10th annual ecofair virtually on KHOI. The program featured a wide variety of guests, and it aired from 9 AM to 6 PM. The customary, in-person gathering was not possible due to the COVID-19 crisis. You can find all of the features from the program below organized by what time they aired in the sections below.


Hosts: Liz Calhoun, Don Kom, Merry Rankin, and Pat Schlarbaum


9 AM to 11 AM: ISU, Students, CIty of Ames Collaborate for Sustainability & Looking Ahead

Host: Merry Rankin, Director of Sustainability for Ames and Iowa State University

Topics of discussion: Student activity and cooperation between Ames and ISU


Segment time: 9:05 - 9:10 AM

Guest: John Haila, Mayor of Ames 

Mayor Haila gives an opening welcome and a vision for carbon reduction in Ames.


Segment time: 9:10 AM

Guest: Merry Rankin

Mary gives an introduction.


Segment time: 9:10 - 9:20 AM

Guests: Merry Rankin with Sunny Camacho, and Scott Nemec (ISU students)

Mary, Sunny, and Scott Nemec have a virtual scavenger hunt.


Segment time: 9:25 AM - 9:40 AM 

Guests: Merry Rankin (host), RJ Green (Grad student and Live Green member), Stan Rabe (ACTORS), Lydia (Student sustainability group)

A live Rummage Rampage hosted via video sharing.


Segment time: 9:40 AM - 9:55 AM 

Guests: Merry Rankin (host), RJ Green (Grad student and Live Green member), Stan Rabe (ACTORS), Lydia (Student sustainability group)

Paige and Krishaun discuss UN Sustainable development goals and ISU students that support sustainability.


Segment time: 10:00 AM - 10:25 AM

Guests: Ayodeji Oluwalana (Iowa State Recycling and Events Coordinator)

Ayodeji discusses cardboard recovery and other recycling methods.


Segment time: 10:30 AM - 10:55 AM

Guests: Win Cowger (PhD Student at UC Riverside and ISU Alum)

Win discusses the consequences of improper waste disposal, especially in ditches and waterways.


11 AM to 1 PM: Our Yards, Gardens, Monarchs, & Water

Host: Liz Calhoun (Ames Smart Resource Analyst and Coordinator of Rebate Watershed Program)

Topics of discussion: Yards, gardens, resources, and local ecosystems


Segment time: 11:00 - 11:05 AM

Guests: Liz Calhoun

Liz gives an introduction.


Segment time: 11:05 AM - 11:20 AM

Guests: Liz Calhoun

Liz discusses Smartwater shed rebate programs.


Segment time: 11:20 AM - 11:35 AM 

Guests: Lonna Nachtigal and Ursula Reudenberg

Lonna discusses gardening tips for novices in an interview given with KHOI General manager Ursula Reudenberg.


Segment time: 11:35 AM - 11:55 AM 

Guests: Mike Meetz

Prairie farmer Mike Meetz talks about the development of native Iowa environments and the elements necessary to maintain them


Segment time: 12:00 PM - 12:20 PM

Guests: John Pleasants (Associate Professor of Ecology at Iowa State University) 

Dr. Pleasants details the importance of the Monarch Butterfly and discusses our relationship with it.


Segment time: 12:20 PM - 12:45 PM

Guests: David Stein (Prairie, Rivers, and Watershed Coordinator for Prairie Rivers of Iowa)

David highlights the importance of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in the local ecosystem.


Segment time: 12:45 PM - 12:55 PM

Guests: Dan Haug (Watershed Educator with Prairie Rivers of Iowa)

Dan discusses his conservation work with Prairie Rivers of Iowa nonprofit.


1 PM to 3 PM: Sustainable Infrastructures, Yards, Water, & Wildlife

Host: Tracy Warner (Ames Municipal Engineer)

Topics of discussion: Ames and ISU collaborations for sustainable infrastructure


Segment time: 1:00 PM PM 

Guests: Tracy Warner

Tracy gives an introduction.


Segment time: 1:00 PM - 1:20 PM 

Guests: Tracy Warner

Tracy discusses municipal projects pertaining to storm water, street improvements, and the Squaw Creek.


Segment time: 1:20 PM - 1:30 PM

Guests: Rich Iverson (City of Ames Fleet Supervisor) 

Rich Iverson elaborates on a partnership to acquire snow plows.


Segment time: 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM 

Guests: Daniel Neubauer (Professor of Industrial Design) 

Dr. Neubauer talks about how students design equipment and ergonomic storage of equipment for the ISU police.


Segment time: 2:00 PM - 2:10 PM 

Guests: Pat Schlarbaum and John Howe (Retired DNR Wildlife Diversity Program, Director of Raptor Resource Project and Decorah EagleCam)

Pat Schlarbaum and John Howe talk about Decorah’s famous BirdCams.


Segment time: 2:10 PM - 2:25 PM 

Guests: Todd Burras (Wild Birds Unlimited) 

Todd gives ways to help sustain the wild bird life in your backyard.


Segment time: 2:25 PM - 2:35 PM 

Guests: Dana Schweitzer (Professor of Entomology at Iowa State University)

Dr. Schweitzer discusses a consortium dedicated to the survival of the monarch butterfly and how you can help


Segment time: 2:35 PM - 2:45 PM

Guests: Mike Todd (Leader of Community Academy, Ames High Science Teacher)

Mike Todd gives tips on energy use reduction and water saving.


Segment time: 2:45 PM - 2:55 PM

Guests: Lynn Campbell (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)

Lynn, a professional development at Iowa State University, talks about Hands-on opportunities for improving water quality.


3 PM to 5 PM: Infrastructure & Big Picture Environment

Host: Don Kom (Director of Electric Services)

Topics of discussion: Ames and ISU collaborations for sustainable infrastructure


Segment time: 3:00 PM 

Guests: Don Kom

Don gives an introduction


Segment time: 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM 

Guests: Kayle Barrios-Lain (Energy Services Coordinator) 

Kayle discusses Solar farm rebates, running a self-energy audit, and the electric vehicle program.


Segment time: 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM 

Guests: Bill Schmitt (Professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Superintendent of Resource

Recovery Plant), Laura Witzling, and Gretchen Henningsen (ISU Students)

Dr. Schmitt, Laura, and Gretchen discuss Ames Resource Recovery’s food waste reclamation program and ISU’s collaboration to prevent food waste.


Segment time: 3:30 PM - 3:55 PM 

Guests: Carissa Moyna & Engineers for a Sustainable World

Merry Rankin, ISU and Ames Sustainability Director, interviews the student club Engineering for a Sustainable World.


Segment time: 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Guests: Dennis Todey (Director - USDA Midwest Climate Hub)

Dennis presents trends in climate and discusses the positive impacts of the COVID-19 crisis due to reduced human activity


Segment time: 4:15 PM - 4:25 PM 

Guests: Jim Pease (Iowa Rivers)

Jim discusses his four-decades of experience in waterway conservation and what is needed to protect the state’s streams and rivers.


Segment time: 4:25 PM - 4:45 PM 

Guests: Leah Serales (Spokesperson for the BeWildReWild Program)

Leah talks about the concept of re-introducing wildness into landscapes in the context of Iowa and the Mississippi River watershed.


5 PM to 6 PM Erv Klaas on Ada Hayden Park


Segment time: 5:00 PM to 5:55 PM 

Guests: Erv Klass (Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University) 

Ecologist and Biologist Erv Klass gives information on Ada Hayden park, and all of the elements that go into its maintenance