Experiential Learning Opportunities_ELOs

Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are intended to advance conference objectives by giving participants the opportunity to see and explore sustainability projects on local campuses or sustainability-related attractions in the community. They offer attendees additional content-rich experiences that enhance learning and provide a forum to engage with each other. ELOs are not included in the conference registration price and are offered for a separate fee.

All ELOs leave from the Spokane Convention Center.

Sunday, Oct. 27

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Explore Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Swans in a lakeGrab your most comfortable walking shoes and come ready to discover the unique ecosystem throughout the 20,000 acres that make up the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (TNWR)! Participants can expect an interactive experience that explores the characteristics that distinguish TNWR from other National Wildlife Refuge Systems throughout the world. 

The more than 3,000 acres of wetlands on TNWR represent some of the last quality breeding habitat available in eastern Washington for waterfowl, which have experienced tremendous population declines across North America due to loss and degradation of breeding, migration and wintering habitat. Refuge staff will lead this trip exploring habitats and looking for the many native bird and mammal species. Participants will also learn about refuge management programs, and how the refuge is able to educate the surrounding community about these unique ecosystems using partnerships with local universities, schools and non-profits.

Bus transportation to and from TNWR is included in the cost, as well as a light snack. Buses will depart from the Spokane convention center at 8:30 am sharp to ensure a prompt start time and will arrive back at the convention center at 12 noon. This is a walking tour. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. TNWR has limited drinking water facilities, so remember to bring your water bottle! Learn more about TNWR.

Sunday, Oct. 27

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Discover Sustainability at Lazy R Beef Ranch

Courtesy of Lazy R Beef RanchGain an up close and personal view of how livestock, when properly managed, can be used to mimic the millennia-old symbiotic relationship between the world’s grasslands and herds of ruminants. By using rigorous planning and ecosystems monitoring, we can actually use livestock to improve soil health, increase carbon sequestration and decrease desertification. 

The Lazy R Ranch is nestled in the channeled scablands ponderosa forest and rich sub-irrigated meadows of the West Plains, just west of Spokane, WA. The ranch is part of the ancestral homeland of the Spokane Tribe which has adopted the principles of Holistic Management, as both a framework for truly sustainable (triple bottom line) decision making and a method of pasture management that allows them to mimic the natural symbiotic relationship between grazing animals and grasslands. They have seen a dramatic shift both in the health of the land and in the health of the business. 

Bus transportation to and from Lazy R Beef Ranch is included in the cost, as well as a light snack. Buses will depart from the Spokane convention center at 8:30 am sharp to ensure a prompt start time and will arrive back at the convention center at 12 noon. This is a walking tour. Please wear comfortable shoes, clothing appropriate for the weather and ranch conditions. Learn more about Lazy R Beef Ranch.

Sunday, Oct. 27

11:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Co-Creating Sustainable Economies through Campus Action at Gonzaga University
Participants will discover the rich partnerships that Gonzaga fosters regionally and on campus to co-create a culture of sustainability for our students, faculty, staff, and community members. Beginning with a discussion and tour with Zag Dining and LINC Foods and accompanied by a light meal featuring food from LINC farmers, participants will learn about Gonzaga’s Real Food Challenge commitment, our Bee Campus USA designation, and tour our roof top greenhouse that provides food on a daily basis to Gonzaga students. This will be followed by a campus tour that will dive into the intersections of fostering behavior change with campus projects and the execution of long-term strategic planning. Finally, participants will hear from community leaders about partnerships and projects that involve Gonzaga University and contribute to the co-creation of sustainable economies in Spokane.