Photo of a bunny bookmark

Recycled bunny bookmark

August 13, 2018

Bindi, named after conservationist Steve Irwin’s daughter, Bindi Irwin, is the newest animal ambassador at the Dickinson County Nature Center as of August 2018. In honor of her arrival, today’s craft is bunny-themed! (Learn about cottontail rabbits) To make this adorable bunny bookmark, you’ll need: An envelope, a used one…

Photo of a bunny

7 cute cottontail facts

August 13, 2018

The Dickinson County Nature Center’s bunny animal ambassador, named Bindi, is actually a pet rabbit species. However, this mini rex looks quite a lot like the native rabbit in Iowa, the eastern cottontail. They both have a fluffy white tail, long ears, a brown coat with lighter colors in the…

Photo of Lisa Laird with Beebo

Pockets Full of Fun to perform at Bee & Butterfly Festival

August 10, 2018

One in three bites of food that you take is due to pollinators. And BeeBo the bee is very excited to share that fact with audiences during the Pockets Full of Fun puppet show 6:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, a part of the annual Bee & Butterfly Festival at the…

What’s happening in the hive? There aren’t any drones

August 8, 2018

Are all the bees in the indoor beehive worker bees? The answer right now is 99.99999 percent of them are. All of the bees in our indoor beehive are female worker bees, except for the queen bee. There is one queen bee in each beehive, but the other 50,000-60,000 bees…

Photo of partially finished fish

These fish really pop

August 6, 2018

There’s something about making a craft three-dimensional. It just makes things more fun. Try out this three-dimensional fish craft — it really pops! You’ll need: Colored paper Scissors Glue stick Marker Cut your 8.5×11-inch sheet of paper in half the short way. Fold in half the long way and cut…

Photo of the Statue of Liberty

It would take 25 Statues of Liberty…

August 6, 2018

The glacier that sat on what is now the Iowa Great Lakes area was called the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier, and it was huge! (Read about the landform regions in Iowa) It carved out the lakes, left behind kames and eskers and created fens and kettleholes. It’s…

Photo of a starry night

Get a close up look at planets and constellations during “Stargazers” program

August 4, 2018

Sagittarius, Scorpius, Hercules, Cygnus — on a clear summer night, you can see them all. However, these constellations are sometimes difficult to identify. Where do you look? What time can you see them? What other constellations are nearby? Naturalist Ashley Hansen will answer all your starry night questions during the…

Photo of a honeybee on a flower

What’s happening in the hive? Drying down honey

August 2, 2018

A few years ago, we saw a mass of bees collected around the hole that led outside from the indoor bee hive. We thought the bees might be swarming — leaving the hive, which usually occurs when there are two queens raised and one leaves with half the hive —…

Photo of a handprint flower

Handprint/footprint flower craft

July 31, 2018

Kids like to draw on themselves — or on their siblings. Faces covered in permanent marker. Arms decorated with stripes and dots. Bellies covered in color. This craft lets kids actually paint themselves for a purpose as you create a fun handprint/footprint flower! You’ll need: Fingerpaint 11×17 paper Squirt green…

Photo of pasques flowers

Take a look at a tallgrass prairie

July 31, 2018

Although restored prairies are wonderful, preserving virgin prairie is incredibly important. Former naturalist, current recycling center manager, Charles Vigdal says that reconstructed prairie has 40-50 species, but a virgin prairie could have as many as 300 species in it.

Photo of festooning bees

What’s happening in the hive? Festooning bees

July 25, 2018

A few years ago, we saw a clump of bees in the indoor beehive inside Pollinator Paradise at the Dickinson County Nature Center. They were linked together like a chain, hanging on to each other by their feet. Since then, we have seen this happen quite often, and visitors ask…

Photo of a caterpillar name craft

Personalized paper caterpillar craft

July 23, 2018

From microscopic egg to tiny larva to chubby caterpillar to gold-flecked chrysalis to adult monarch butterfly — the majestic monarch’s life cycle is something to behold, especially up close. In honor of part of that amazing metamorphosis, try out this fun caterpillar craft that shows just how much you love…

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