Climate change exhibit in Dyersville May 26

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The BUS-eum featuring two exhibits, "Hidden or Forbidden No More" and "Heartland's Future," will be at the James Kennedy Public Library in Dyersville on May 26. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

A weekend stay in Guttenberg at Hayden's Hideaway, a vacation rental owned by Andy Reimer of Garnavillo, created an opportunity for me to visit with three University of Erfurt students on a mission to raise awareness and promote action on climate change. 

Katharina Herz, of Bavaria, and Svea Benett and David Bernhardt of northern Germany, are participating in a whirlwind tour across the Midwest as part of an extra-curricular student project. 

BUS-eum exhibits

From April to July the three students are traveling with Dr. Michael Luick-Thrams on the BUS-eum, which features two exciting exhibits, one on history, Hidden or Forbidden No More: Prequels to the “Greatest Generation,” 1914-39 by Dr. Luick-Thrams, and the students’ exhibit on climate change, Heartland's Future: How Can We Live Together on a Changing Planet?

Stop in Dyersville

The BUS-eum will be in Dyersville at the James Kennedy Public Library located at 320 1st Ave. East, Dyersville, on Friday, May 26, from 3-7 p.m. 

Exhibit details

 Inside the non-profit BUS-eum, regional history will come alive with related films, presentations, publications and story sharing. 

The students' exhibit is situated on the exterior of the bus and focuses on environmental shifts and extremes facing all of us today. Through dynamic presentations and panels the students will help visitors explore the latest research, innovative solutions, and practical actions that can help us mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Offering opportunities for positive change

"We started in Spencer where the bus was located for the past couple years," Svea explained. "We aspire to bring awareness and share ideas concerning local and communal approach to climate change activism that goes to governmental action." 

"We hope to inspire and engage local citizens and students to take action on climate change," Bern-hardt commented. "We believe that by fostering open and honest discussions about the challenges we face, we can work together towards a sustainable future." 

"We would like to offer visitors an opportunity to explore how we can live with nature that is not exploiting – but restorative," noted Herz. "We are here to share  information and positivity about all the forward-thinking, beneficial action that is being taken."  

Rewarding experience

The students' hands-on approach has added depth to their project. "Thus far, our most rewarding experience was at Drake University. We also took part in a community cleanup at Humboldt Park in Chicago on Earth Day," they excitedly shared.  

The three students executed the research, and designed the panels utilizing funding from the University, as well as with other students, some of whom partly tour with the bus. Their hands-on experience has also taught them organizational skills, and how to set up a non-profit project. 

Discussion and panels include such topics as: 

• Agriculture and food.  

• Neighborhoods and housing 

• Energy and transportation 

• Work and fashion

• Physical health

• Mental health 

• Social justice 

"Our desire is to create a safe space for people to communicate and discuss climate change," they shared. "We are not interested in changing the mindset of individuals with fixed opinions. We respect their point of view as well. We are promoting optimism. We hear much gloom and doom, but we are here to motivate people to find an approach looking to the future for hope. To take some small aspect of their lives or communities that they can implement positive change today." 

For more information on the exhibit and its schedule, please visit,, or Follow the tour on Facebook: TRACESpuren, and Instagram:@heartlandsfuture.

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