Our mission is to awaken an awareness of the wildlife and natural ecosystems in our area, develop an appreciation of the natural world, and encourage a balanced environmental ethic and caretaker attitude concerning the earth.     

The Iowa Wildlife Camps started during the summer of 1991. It was a compliment to the environmental education field trip program offered during the school year to local elementary schools. As the camps developed and we recognized the significant positive impact of a week-long day camp experience as opposed to one-day programming. Our next step was to create a week-long environmental education experience for area schools.

The pilot program began as Wild 2000, a week-long nature experience for schools. The Wild 2000 pilot program, completed in the spring of 1999, has led to the development of the School of the Wild. In 2000, we became the first NCA accredited special purpose school, the first accredited environmental school in Iowa. The school experience is a week-long program in the fall and spring, and a two-day program in the winter. As the success of our program continues to grow, so does the expanse of our programming.

Each year, more than 1,200 students participate in the School of the Wild. Students attending the School of the Wild will have a unique opportunity to explore the outdoor setting with small group sizes and experienced naturalists and teachers. 

Contact Us

Jay Gorsh
Director, School of the Wild 


Or email COE-SOW@uiowa.edu