Participants will choose from a variety of workshops or playshops shown below.  After you register you will be e-mailed a form to sign-up for workshops that interest you the most.
 
Right Brain (your art/visual/music creative part of your brain)

               Left Brain
                       (your logical/rational/information
                                    part of your brain)

                                                                                              Out of the building (enough said)

Workshop/Playshop Schedule
Monday, October 2
Five Easy Steps to a "Near-Zero" Waste Lifestyle 
2:00 to 3:00 PM, Monday, 10/2
Right Brain

Simplify your life while reducing the amount of waste you set on the curb, haul to the recycling bin, and send down the drain.

Leigh Neary, owner of Exist Green, is an environmental engineer She spent the first decade of her career cleaning up contaminated sites. Frustrated with the perpetual cycle of pollution, she changed her path to open the first zero-waste lifestyle store in the Midwest (Exist Green, located in Dundee Omaha, opening Fall 2017).  
Green Building: Local Church Model
2:00 to 3:00 PM Monday, 10/2
left Brain

 Join us for a conversation about the values and process that led to the "green" renovation of the Lincoln Unitarian Church. "Green" features include solar and geothermal.
​​Becky Seth was a member of the renovation team 2016. She is a member of the church's Green Sanctuary Committee and Co-leader of the Lincoln chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby.

Linda Brown is a member of the church Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Green Sanctuary Committee.


Mindful Walking
2:00 to 3:00 PM  Monday, 10/2
Out of the building

The key to the practice  of walking meditation is mindfulness. Dwelling in the present moment we are  fully aware of our surroundings, of our breath, and the precious contact of our  feet with the earth. Our lives often seem to be bound up in getting somewhere  and reaching some future goal. In walking meditation there is no destination. We  walk in order to walk; we have already reached our destination; it is the here  and now; we can move slowly, relax and smile. “Breathing in, I dwell in the  present moment. Breathing out, I know this is the only moment.”
Mike McMahon is a long-time practitioner in both the Christian (Catholic) and Buddhist Traditions.  He has been ordained as a lay member of Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing, and has been certified as a spiritual director through Creighton University. He is a founding member of the Honey Locust Sangha- a group in Omaha, NE which practices mindful living in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
Let's Play: Fun Eco Activities for Children/Grandchildren 
3:30 to 4:30 PM, Monday 10/2
Right Brain

This workshop will involve a bunch of activities - some for you and even more for grandchildren (or any youngster).  You will leave this workshop with lots of ideas, patterns, and things to do to help kids be environmentally aware.
Tim Fickenscher has degrees in art, teaching special education, Montessori and is a former elementary educator, church youth director and secondary Montessori teacher.  He is passionate about his garden and the environment.
Planned Giving-
Your Financial Decisions with the Earth in Mind

3:30 to 4:30 PM, Monday, 10/2
Left Brain

From fossil fuel divestment, to impact investing, to values-based estate planning, this workshop will describe many of the opportunities to align someone’s financial assets with their intentions to care for the world around them.

Tyler Mainquist, CFP®, CAP® - Financial Advisor
 
Tyler is a lifelong Nebraskan and a grandfather of five.  He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner with a specialty in Sustainable, Responsible and Impact (SRI) investing, based in Lincoln.  He also earned his Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation.

Just a Bird Walk in the Park
3:30 to 4:30 PM Monday, 10/2
Out of the building

We will walk for an hour looking for and talking about birds. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Carol Beaty has been a birder since 1989.  She has birded extensively in Nebraska and surrounding states.  She has birded internationally in Canada, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Italy, Australia and Vietnam.  She frequently purchases a field guide for the area in which she travels.  The photo was taken on a trip to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior in 2015.  This summer her birding adventure was in Hawaii.  She loves sharing her experience with birds with anyone interested in learning.
Music for the Soul!   
5:00 to 6:00 PM, Monday, 10/2
Right Brain

“Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We will enjoy an old fashioned sing along with lyrics focused on the beauty of the earth! And we will unleash our own creativity as we write new lyrics to familiar tunes.
Carol Windrum loves music.  She has traveled the United States working in United Methodist Churches  bringing messages of peace and justice.  One of the ways to do that is through music. Participants will write their own songs of justice to familiar tunes and sing reworded songs to fit our environmental focus.
Lessons from Eight Years of Energy Audits
5:00 to 6:00 PM Monday, 10/2
Left Brain
An interactive lecture/discussion about how to make our older homes more comfortable and energy-efficient. Mark Loscutoff shares lessons learned from eight years testing and inspecting existing homes and homes under construction.

Mark Loscutoff After 20 years designing machinery to automate factories, mechanical engineer Mark Loscutoff started an "encore" career consulting and testing for residential energy efficiency. He started his own company, O-HEAT, in 2009. He has certified many new Energy Star-qualified homes and audited hundreds of existing homes for energy efficiency. Last year, Mark completed a major energy-efficiency makeover of his own residence.
Yoga
5:00 to 6:00 PM Monday, 10/2
Out of the building

Bring your body, mind and breath (along with a yoga mat, blanket or beach towel, as we will be outside, weather permitting) and learn to open all of the above. We will work our bodies and minds with poses, and readings, and then relax deeply with a structured relaxation exercise. Dress in layers so you can adjust for differing levels of exertion.


Alan Vovolka is transitioning from a 30+ year career in information technology to massage therapy, obtaining his license to practice massage in 2009. He has been studying and practicing (hatha) yoga since the early 90s.
 
Tuesday October 3
Neva Wolf, No More Empty Pots
UNO graduate and lover of food, Neva has worked and volunteered in the Omaha food scene since 2013. At NMEP, she organizes community cooking demonstrations and coordinates Project Localize, an educational program for K-12 students to learn about sustainability.
Harvest Bounty Celebration
A Cooking Demonstration
2:00 to 3:00 Tuesday, 10/3
Right Brain

A harvest celebration! Learn how to use fresh, local produce to create a healthy, budget-friendly meal incorporating seasonal foods.
Elders Climate Legacy
2:00 to 3:00 Tuesday, 10/3
Left Brain

“Everyone leaves a footprint - Elders leave a legacy.” In this workshop, discuss and discover how multi-faceted and powerful our elder voices can, and should, be.

 

Bruce Johnson is Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural Economics, UNL.

Alan Moeller is Professor Emeritus, institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UNL.


Soil Health & Composting
2:00 to 3:00 Tuesday, 10/3
Out of the building

Join Cait Caughey of The Big Garden as we discuss how to protect and build one of our most important resources: soil. We will also learn the basics of composting at home and do a hands-on project.

 Cait Caughey​ Education Director, The Big Garden

Cait Caughey started as a community gardener, grew into an organic farmer, and now is focused on her work as Education Director at The Big Garden. Cait is passionate about soil health, protecting native and wild lands, seed saving, getting children in nature, and most of all being a mama to her two young children.
Preserving Our Personal Earth Stories
3:30 to 5:30 PM Tuesday, 10/3
(this is a two hour workshop)
Right Brain

In this two-hour session, participants will hear stories from well known authors who care passionately for the natural world. Participants will share and write their own legacy stories using a series of experiential and writing exercises. Bring a notebook or journal.
Becky Breed has cared deeply about the earth since she lived on a farm when she was a child. She co-publishes a blog, www.writeincommunity.com, where many of her essays focus on the care and preservation of the natural world. She recently attended a workshop where the facilitator asked the important question, “What can I do to leave my legacy of protecting the earth”?
Ken Winston and Penny Greer,  Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light Board members
 
Penny Greer is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ having. She retired in January to be the President of the Board of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, an organization devoted to advocacy and education about climate change within communities of faith and beyond. She is also a scientist with a B.S. in Geology and is working toward an M.S. in Applied Climate. Penny is part of a research group at UNL specializing in extreme events. Her specific research is on extreme rain events lasting less than a day – the fastest growing type of event we are experiencing with climate change.
 

Ken Winston is a lifelong Nebraskan. Both his passion and profession revolve around protecting the environment. He spent 14 years representing the Sierra Club, both as a policy advocate before the Legislature and in campaigns fighting the Keystone XL pipeline and promoting clean energy with Nebraska’s public power districts. In 2015 and 2016, he was the legislative aide to Senator Ken Haar. He currently wears several hats, including; the Policy and Outreach Director
for Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, policy advocate for protecting the planet and attorney for the Bold Alliance and Sierra Club opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. He is the parent of three adult children and loves singing in the church choir, playing guitar and running with his dog when he has time.
And Where is the Voice of the Faith Community?
3:30 to 4:30 PM Tuesday, 10/3
Left Brain

Learn about Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light whose mission is to improve environmental sustainability in the state of Nebraska by facilitating the faith community’s response to climate change through community programs, education and advocacy.

The Art of Looking and Seeing
3:30 to 4:30 PM Tuesday, 10/3
Out of the building
 
 
Bring a camera. An inexpensive camera will do if you don't have an expensive one. I will not be talking about F stops or aperture settings or metering. Good things to know if you wish to get into the art of photography, however, it is not necessary to be a photographer. Seeing is. Seeing is the one thing necessary. But first you have to look. That is what we will talk and hopefully do.


Kendall Anderson
 
I consider myself to be an artist. Photography is my medium. My goal is not to claim that I am a nature photographer, although nature, or objects and subject in nature is often included in my art. In my art I use Photoshop to edit and often change the image . Yet there are some photos that should only be altered slightly to bring out the beauty, and yes sometimes the horror of the original moment of time captured by film or digital means. Photographs are not real. Only the remembrance of what is real. So why do it? Like memories, which they often become, they can help us to understand our individual worlds. They can often help us to share small fragments or memories of our lives with others.

There is another aspect of photography that can make it a useful tool in our lives . The medium of pen and ink or paints or even poetry can offer the same thing . When we pursue the
art of, the medium of photography we begin to look for subjects. Looking is the first step in seeing. Seeing can help us to understand our subjects and are relationship to them. While I can't create a dragonfly I can take a few moments to create a relationship with a dragon fly, a tree, leaf. mountain, or a child, etc..
 
Finding Common Ground 
5:00 to 6:00 PM Tuesday 10/3
Left Brain

In our polarized society, we need to talk WITH people on the other side of issues. You will learn skills that enable people in conflict to hear each other accurately, understand their underlying interests, and find win/win solutions.

Elaine Wells, M.S., Licensed Mental Health Practitioner

Elaine is a professional marriage counselor and activist with Nebraskans for Peace, and RESULTS, a citizens’ lobby for the world’s poorest people. She developed and facilitated "Pro-Life/Pro-Choice Dialogues" and “Black/White Dialogues.” "Liberal/Conservative Dialogues” are in progress.
Earth's Water Cycle:  Precipitation and a Changing Climate
5:00 to 6:00 PM Tuesday 10/3
Left Brain

Rising temperatures will intensify the Earth’s water cycle, increasing evaporation.  Increased evaporation will result in more storms, but also contribute to drying over some land areas. As a result, storm-affected areas are likely to experience increases in precipitation and increased risk of flooding, while areas located far away from storm tracks are likely to experience less precipitation and increased risk of drought.  We will explore ramifications for Nebraska agriculture and rural and urban centers.

Rev. Penny Greer
 
Penny Greer is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ having. She retired in January to be the President of the Board of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, an organization devoted to advocacy and education about climate change within communities of faith and beyond. She is also a scientist with a B.S. in Geology and is working toward an M.S. in Applied Climate. Penny is part of a research group at UNL specializing in extreme events. Her specific research is on extreme rain events lasting less than a day – the fastest growing type of event we are experiencing with climate change.