Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville, South Carolina will host the 2016 Project WET USA Annual Conference and Training at Aloft Hotel from August 8-12. This is a time to connect with fellow coordinators, shape the future of the Project WET National program and have FUN!
The Project WET USA Annual Conference and Training will include the annual USA business meeting for Project WET Coordinators and offer trainings and content sessions through presentations and discussions on relevant water education topics. Download the Call for Presentations by clicking on Submit a Presentation under Documents in the box on the right side of the screen.
This year’s conference will feature a Sustainable Manufacturing Tour to Sierra Nevada and New Belgium breweries in Asheville, NC to learn about sustainability practices in action, a nature walk/birding experience at Lake Conestee and a fun night where we will learn about Greenville’s historic textile industry (which created a river with ever-changing colors) while dying silk fabrics.
Download the agenda by clicking on 2016 Conference Agenda under Documents.
Closed meetings for Project WET USA Host Institutions and Coordinators only will be held on August 9th and 10th. Following these closed meetings, open sessions will take place August 10th through 12th.
August 8: New Coordinator Training. This all-day training allows any coordinators new to or unfamiliar with running their own network of facilitators to learn about and ask questions from Project WET staff and experienced coordinators. Like any Project WET training, it is an interactive and hands-on session.
Opening dinner at the Commerce Club (just a couple of blocks from Aloft Hotel).
August 9-10: USA Business Meeting. These sessions are closed sessions for Project WET coordinators only. This is time to discuss your program with other coordinators, learning what is happening from the National office and help shape the future of Project WET over the next year.
August 10-11: General Conference Sessions. Open to anyone these sessions share presentations and activities submitted by participants and vetted by the conference planning committee. Local guest speakers may also be included as well as Advanced Training by the Instruction and Training WETteam.
August 12: Optional field experiences around Greenville or travel home.
Cost and Logistics
The cost for Project WET USA Coordinators to attend the entire conference is $480 and includes most meals. The cost for participating in the content sessions only from August 10-12 is $320 and includes most meals Wednesday through Friday morning. Download a full agenda with a schedule of meals under Documents. Deadline for registration is July 7, 2016.
Cancellation policy: Cancellations are available for a full refund through July 1, 2016. No refunds for cancellations after July 1, 2016.
Lodging is not included but has been negotiated at a rate of $139 per night. Participants must book their own rooms at Aloft Hotel by contacting the hotel at 864-297-6100 or booking online at https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/projectwet. (To cut costs, you can choose to share a room with others.)
Opening dinner will be Monday evening at the Commerce Club, located just a couple of blocks from the conference hotel, Aloft. Attire is dressy casual.
Sustainable Manufacturing Tour
The Sustainable Manufacturing Tour to Sierra Nevada and New Belgium breweries in Asheville, NC on Tuesday afternoon includes roundtrip transportation and dinner and costs an additional $25. Be sure to check the box you will be attending this event to reserve your spot. Dinner for this event is sponsored by Spartanburg Water Quality Partners and the bus ride there will feature a round table discussion on glass recycling as a sustainable resource. Click here to learn more about Spartanburg Water Quality Partners. Thank you for your support of Project WET!
Aloft Hotel is located 13 miles from Greenville's aiport. Greenville Soil and Water Conservation District (Project WET South Carolina) will provide shuttles at certain times. To coordinate your shuttle please contact Lynn Pilewski at LPilewski@greenvillecounty.org. Taxis are also readily available for approximately $25-30. Please check back for more information.
The Greenville Soil and Water Conservation District's Shuttle is pink! You shouldn't have trouble finding it! (see picture).
This year Project WET is happy to announce we will offer conference scholarships for conference registration ($400) to three coordinators. Scholarships will be awarded to at least one new coordinator (of less than 3 years) who needs to attend to the New Coordinator Training and at least one existing coordinator who is active on a WETteam(s). Scholarships to be awarded in May. Scholarships are now closed for the 2016 conference.
Greenville has combine traditional southern charm and natural beauty in a city that is ranked in “America's Ten Best" by Forbes Magazine. However Greenville wasn’t always the thriving city it is today. Industrial pollution that contaminated the city’s river and abandoned warehouses and storefronts left Greenville in need of serious revitalization. Reimagining Greenville: Building the Best Downtown in America is a book about a community that banded together to build something special from a decaying city center. The authors John Boyanoski and Knox White share their experience and difficulties rebuilding Greenville into the city it is today. Buy or download the book today at Amazon.
Knox White will be the guest speaker for Wednesday lunch, opening the general sessions at the conference.
Project WET Coordinators Silent Auction
Please bring something to contribute (and your money to bid in the auction!) for the Project WET USA Silent Auction. Proceeds go to providing scholarships for the 2017 Project WET USA Conference—it could be YOU needing a scholarship in 2017! Ideally, we are looking for water and other environmental education-related items (fun and functional) that can be used by educators but anything to raise money is helpful. Think about bringing a basket representing the best of your state. Let’s make this the best silent auction ever!
Email Project WET at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.