Women in Nature

October 21, 2023

Registration is closed.

Cost: Members $70; Non-Members $75. The ticket price includes breakfast and a catered lunch.

*Ticket cost increases $10 after September 18.

What to Bring: Bring a yoga mat and any props you prefer. There will be a complimentary yoga practice at the end of the day. Dress for both indoor and outdoor experiences, including comfortable layered clothing, sturdy shoes, refillable water bottle, hat, and sunglasses. We think the best part about Women in Nature is being outdoors in all weather! Feedback from previous participants has been outstanding regarding the experience of hiking in the rain. Please bring a rain jacket and rain boots if appropriate. We will have a limited number of ponchos to borrow. Some participants bring extra clothing if wet weather is anticipated so they can change into dry clothing after a hike.


Van Meter Logo

Carlson College of Massage Therapy

Nurture your mind, body, and soul at one of the Nature Center’s longest-running events: Women in Nature.
During this day-long experience participants will hear from speakers sharing nature-inspired messages and stories that are sure to motivate. Partake in two guided hikes on ICNC trails, a complimentary light breakfast and boxed lunch, and special extras like complimentary chair massages, social time, and giveaways. Enjoy a day exploring and learning with like-minded people and leave feeling refreshed and connected to nature.
Women in Nature is a gender inclusive and gender affirming event open to all people who self-identify as women and those who identify as non-men. This includes cisgender women, trans women, gender nonconforming people, and nonbinary people.

Guest Speakers

Jodi Stepanek

Big Heart Meditation and Mindfulness 

Title of talk: Your Mental Health Matters (35 minutes)

Jodi Stepanek will share her journey on restoring peace within her body, and dive into how impressive nature’s healing powers can be and the science behind what happens in our bodies when we alleviate stressors. Jodi is certified as a Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor through McLean Meditation Institute and is now the owner and founder of Big Heart Meditation and Mindfulness, LLC.  Through athletics, in the office and in life Jodi has been described as a leader with a big heart who lives in her integrity and always finds ways to help others rise. Compassion, love and kindness have been instrumental keys in Jodi’s success and with her meditation and mindfulness certification she is creating a ripple of peace in the Midwest.

                                           Emma Barber

Rhubarb Botanicals 

Emma Barber (she/her) is a farmer, community herbalist, massage therapist, and dance artist based in the Midwest. Shortly after completing her herbalism training at the Terra Sylva School near Asheville, NC, Emma launched Rhubarb Botanicals in Mount Vernon, IA- a farm-to-bottle herbal apothecary that creates vibrant and healing remedies from the medicinal herbs grown on their farm. Over the last two years, she & her partner Jeremy have converted a 40-acre property to their organic farm where they grow a wide variety of medicinal & culinary herbs for their herbal apothecary, grow cut flowers for farmer’s markets and their Flower Bouquet CSA, and raise 100% pastured lambs. Through herbal products and education she aims to help folks re-connect to themselves and introduce them to the herbs that can be allies along their health journey, all while inspiring reverence for the intelligence and complexity of the natural world. Emma is grateful to be a steward of this land and to be your local herb farmer.

                                        Lynette Tasset

Lynette TassetThe Studio on Third

Lynette is a native Cedar Rapidian, studio owner, Pilates instructor and mom to a very active 1 year old. She does it all with Pilates. Pilates helps her find energy, mobility and deep breathing to keep up with her schedule, and give her some zen when life gets crazy. She opened The Studio on Third in 2020 with Angela Decker and Courtney Jasper. And in 2022, she gave birth to her son. Pilates helped Lynette through pregnancy, labor and post partum. She received her education with Bonnie Benesh at Collins Rec Center. She became a certified instructor in May 2022 with Balanced Body. Pilates started Lynette’s love for fitness and functional movement. It has given her the tools she needs to stay active and keep up with her toddler. She loves Pilates because she has found nothing else that works the deep core muscles and makes her feel real good!

Schedule of Events

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Check in/registration, social time + breakfast

8:30 – 8:40 AM: Welcome message from Jan Aiels

8:40 – 9:15 AM: Guest Speaker #1: Emma Barber from Rhubarb Botanicals 

9:25 – 10:10 AM: Guided Hikes

  • Leisurely, Medium and Fast options


  • FREE Chair Massages from Carlson College
  • Visit the Vendors

10:20 – 10:55 AM: Guest Speaker #2: Jodi Stepanek from Big Heart Meditation and Mindfulness

10:55-11:20 AM: Seated guided meditation: “Connecting with Earth Energy, Mother Nature and our own Heart” with Jodi Stepanek in pavilion or indoors

Alternative options: 

  • FREE Chair Massages from Carlson College
  • Visit the Vendors

11:30 AM – 12 PM: Catered lunch, visit vendors, chair massages, get outside!

12:10 – 12:45 PM: Speaker #3: Lynette Tasset

12:55 – 1:40 PM: Guided Hikes

  • Leisurely, Medium and Fast options

Alternative options: 

  • FREE Chair Massages from Carlson College
  • Visit the Vendors

1:50 – 2:50 PM: Outdoor Yoga

  • Yoga with Stacey Tagoni – Patio
  • Yoga with Stephanie Neighbor Kubic (Vella Yoga) – Amphitheater

3:00 PM: Door Prizes and Closing Comments

Maple Syrup Festival