CANCELED Conservation Leadership School

Update 4/21/20: Due to COVID-19 concerns, we are canceling this program. Please contact Katie Tipton at with any questions. Thank you for understanding!


Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is offering a week-long conservation “school” June 8-12, 2020 for upcoming high school juniors and seniors interested in the conservation of natural resources in northern Indiana.

People need food and water to live and prosper. But how do we grow food, work, and still make sure we have clean water and healthy habitats for wildlife? Sustainability is complex but we will explore these ideas and more through a variety of workshops, activities, and learning experiences. Lodging and meals are provided. Please contact us with any questions: 260-799-5869

When: Monday, June 8th – Friday, June 12th, 2020

Where: Merry Lea Farmstead Barn Site (2152 S 425 W, Albion, IN 46701)

Who: High school juniors and seniors (You must be a junior/senior in the 2020-2021 academic year)

Cost: $25.00 total – includes primitive lodging and meals (full scholarships available)

Registration: Application and letter of recommendation required by May 8th (see forms below)

The week will feature many exciting opportunities:

  • Hands-on field and research experiences
  • Learning about conserving and protecting a variety of ecosystems (wetlands, forests, prairies, lakes) and animals (amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles)
  • Canoeing, macro-invertebrate dipping, camping, swimming, and more!
  • Exploring and hiking our 1200-acre nature preserve
  • Building leadership and communication skills
  • Learning with and from your peers

Teacher/Mentor Letter of Recommendation: Letters need to be either emailed directly to Katie Tipton at or attached using the Teacher/Mentor Letter of Recommendation form below. Please have a teacher or mentor who knows you well write a short letter of recommendation (5-10 sentences) that responds to the following:

This student is applying to participate in Merry Lea’s Conservation Leadership School. If accepted, the applicant will spend a week learning about conservation of natural resources and sustainability through a variety of workshops, activities, and projects. The student will be working with his/her peers and Merry Lea staff to develop leadership, communication, and research skills. In 5-10 sentences, please describe whether or not you believe this student would succeed in this program. Please consider his/her maturity, initiative, ability to communicate effectively, and proficiency in working well with others.