Posts by kiley

Thumbprint bees

Photo of thumbprint bugs

One of our volunteers made coffee filter butterflies with her granddaughter, and in exchange, her granddaughter showed her how to make thumbprint bees. We thought they were so cute, we would try them ourselves. And just to make it more exciting, we did a variety of thumbprint invertebrates! All you’ll need is: White paper Washable…

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Are there bears in Iowa?

Photo of a black bear

The grizzly bear in the lower level of the Dickinson County Nature Center has huge paws. At least, it seems like it. However, grizzly bears actually have an average of 15-inch paws, not even including the claws. But here in Iowa, we don’t realize how big grizzlies and other bears are. We just don’t get…

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Dispose of household hazardous materials at the recycling center

Graphic about HHMs

Cleaners, pesticides, oil-based paints — how do you dispose of these items when you’re done with them? The Dickinson Recycling Center in Milford accepts household hazardous materials such as these and disposes of them responsibly. HHMs, or household hazardous materials, are chemicals that are reactive, flammable, corrosive or poisonous. “Basically, it’s something you’re not supposed…

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Why worms surface after rain

Graphic about earthworm types

  After it rains, people often step outside and think, “It smells like worms.” (The dead worm above looks like an S. Take the kids for a shape walk to see what else you might discover.) The smell is more likely caused by soil bacteria released after heavy downpours, but perhaps we think it smells…

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Make a coffee filter butterfly

Photo of coffee filter butterfly

It’s not any surprise that we love butterflies at the Dickinson County Nature Center. We also love butterfly crafts! This coffee filter butterfly is one that we made at the 2018 Bee & Butterfly Festival. It’s simple, but kids really love the colorful creations they can make. Plus, you can glue them to a magnet…

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Fast frog facts

Photo of northern leopard frog

Leo the northern leopard frog — named after conservationist Aldo Leopold — is always a hit with kids when he comes out during programs. That is often because he makes the programs more exciting when he escapes from the grasp of the naturalist with his squirmy, slippery body. But visitors also love to see his…

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Get glowing with the second annual Family Glow Walk

Poster about the glow walk

Glow outside with the second annual Family Glow Walk 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. “A partnership among the Bedell Family YMCA, Dickinson County Conservation Board and Pearson Lakes Art Center, the Family Glow Walk will be an evening of fun outdoors for families of all ages,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator for the conservation…

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Tiger salamander fun facts

Sy the tiger salamander is huge. The Dickinson County Nature Center has two tiger salamander animal ambassadors, named Manny and Sy, and they are members of the largest land salamander species in North America. Tiger salamanders usually grow 7-13 inches long, but Sy is around 14 inches in length from head to tail. That’s one…

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If you like calla lilies, plant Jack in the pulpit

Take a walk through a garden center, and it’s easy to get swept away by all of the exotic flowers that you can plant in your yard. However, we always encourage people to think native when planting a garden, and fall is a great time to plant native prairie seedlings in your yard as they…

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Recycled T-shirt bags are an environmentally-friendly craft

Photo of side view of cut t-shirt

Planning the 2018 Bee & Butterfly Festival, we decided that it would be a good idea to have bags for people to carry around their crafts and other goodies. We could purchase bags, or we could decorate bags. Then naturalist Ashley Hansen brought up the idea of making bags out of old T-shirts. We’re grateful…

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