Help fund family fun at Pollinator Paradise

We love pollinators at the Dickinson County Nature Center.

And we want to share that love with you.

That’s why the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County is continuing to raise funds to complete the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the nature center in Okoboji.

(See construction updates here.)

Construction began on the $1.7 million addition in July, and Poppema-Sikma Construction of Sheldon is scheduled to complete Phase 1 by March 1.

Photo of the interior of construction area

The building is currently enclosed and heated, and the electrical wiring and mechanical rough-in are both completed. The interior is ready for sheetrock, and the wood ceiling boards are on site. The stone work on the exterior of the addition is finished, and the siding installation is in progress.

Photo of stonework completed on construction project

“The Pollinator Paradise addition is continuing wonderfully, and we have some really great concepts moving forward for interactive educational displays,” said Lee Sorenson, Dickinson County Conservation executive director. “This addition will be something that families will want to visit in the coming summer.”

Funds are being raised for Phase 2, which will include the installation of children’s museum-quality interactive exhibits about pollinators. Planned exhibits include a human-sized honeycomb for kids to crawl through to explore the life cycle of a honeybee, an indoor bee hive, a pollen-collecting game and a monarch-rearing enclosure.

Pollinator Paradise will also house an indoor greenhouse where pollinator-friendly plants will be grown and sold to encourage people to plant native plant species in their own landscaping for butterflies and bees.

“As the project progresses it becomes even more exciting to envision the unique exhibits that will be in the space,” said Rebecca Peters, Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County president. “Pollinator Paradise will be the first pollinator-centric educational building in the state, and it will be a fun place for people of all ages to learn about the importance of butterflies, bees and other pollinators to our environment.”

Once complete, the lower level of the addition will be utilized as additional classroom space for the year-round programming offered to the public and to regional schools by the Dickinson County Conservation Board.

Approximately $400,000 is still needed to complete Phase 2 of the Pollinator Paradise project, and you can donate by sending a check made out to the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County to 2279 170th St., Okoboji, IA 51355. Please mark Pollinator Paradise in the memo line. All donations are tax-deductible.

(You can also make an online donation by clicking here. Then e-mail naturecenter@co.dickinson.ia.us to alert us to the donation amount so that it goes toward the Pollinator Paradise project and not into the general account.)

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