2023 Conference

To Hinųkwaseja: Restoring connections to land and each other

November 2-4, 2023, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Place and Land (with a capital ‘P’ and ‘L’) have always been relevant to environmental education. This year, our conference will highlight the increasing importance of place-based relationships to a sustainable future. This requires particular attention to justice for Indigenous people. The theme serves as a call to support communities that must fight against displacement. Likewise, we must address the linkages between such displacement and environmental degradation. Hinųkwaseja is the Ho-Chunk name for the settlement at La Crosse. With this language, we show gratitude to our meeting Place.


Stoney Creek Hotel La Crosse – Onalaska

The 2023 Midwest EE Conference is hosted at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Onalaska, Wis., about 15 minutes from downtown La Crosse. Stoney Creek features access right outside the door to miles of hiking trails along the La Crosse River, and is in easy to access location close to I-90. Parking is onsite and free. Reserve your room at Stoney Creek before October 1st to ensure you get the conference rate. Use the Group Code (2311MEEC) to get a discounted rate for your stay!

Keynote Speaker

W. QuackenbushWilliam “Nąąwącekize” Quackenbush

William “Nąąwącekǧize” Quackenbush, Ho-Chunk Deer Clan Tribal Member, serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) and Cultural Resources Division Manager for the Ho-Chunk Nation. As the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Historian, Mr. Quackenbush has presented extensively on Ho-Chunk history and culture. He is invited to provide a keynote address on Friday, Nov 3rd.




Featured Speaker

Ruth WilsonDr. Ruth Wilson

Dr. Ruth Wilson worked as an educator for over 30 years and currently works with the Children & Nature Network as curator of the Research Library. She has several published books, including Nature and Young Children, Learning is in Bloom, and Naturally Inclusive. She also co-authored Creating Quality of Life for Adults on the Autism Spectrum. Her consulting projects have included work with Sesame Street Workshop, California’s Education and Environment Initiative, and the Chicago Zoological Society. She also serves as a consulting editor for the International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education. Dr. Wilson’s focus on connecting children with nature started in the early 1990’s while she was teaching environmental education and early childhood education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Dr. Wilson will host an interactive dialogue on Thursday titled “What is nature?” This sharing session engages participants in a discussion about what we mean by nature, the human/nature relationship, and how we present nature to different audiences. She will also provide opening remarks at The Nature Place event on Thursday evening with a talk titled “What We Yearn For/What the World Yearns For.”

Schedule Overview

The conference begins on Thursday, November 2nd at noon and ends on Saturday, November 4th at 4:30 p.m. This year for the Midwest EE Conference, we’re using Sched, an online platform that allows you to view the conference schedule and registration information in one place with all the details. Access the conference schedule and register on Sched here.

Thursday Night Celebration at The Nature Place

The Nature PlaceJoin us in the beautiful venue at The Nature Place for live music, fun, networking, foods that reflect Hinųkwaseja and the lands around La Crosse, and opening words from educator and scholar Dr. Ruth Wilson. This event is limited to 200 conference attendees.

The Nature PlaceDr. Wilson’s opening talk is titled “What We Yearn For/What the World Yearns For.” What tugs at our hearts as we gather to learn, to share, and to celebrate our work as professionals dedicated to creating positive change in our troubled world? An educator and writer who has wrestled with this question for over 30 years will share some thoughts about why we’re here and what we’re still called to do.

Friday Night Film Screening of “Breaking Trail

Emily Ford and Alaskan huskyJoin your fellow educators at La Crosse’s historic Rivoli Theater for a screening of the groundbreaking short film “Breaking Trail”. Emily Ford sets out with Diggins, a borrowed Alaskan Husky sled dog, to become the first woman and person of color to thru-hike the 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail in winter.

Pizza, drinks, snacks and a social hour will open this event. The social hour is sponsored by Teacher-Powered Schools.