Photo of suncatcher in the window

Floral sun catcher brings summer indoors

June 11, 2018

Summer is about sun, green grasses and leaves, brightly-colored flower blooms. This sun catcher craft takes all of summer and puts it in one simple piece. To make your own sun catcher, you’ll need: Two self-adhesive laminating sheets Flowers and leaves Scissors Twine First, make sure to use self-adhesive laminating…

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

June 11, 2018

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take…

Photo of Randall Cass

Entomologist answers all your bee questions

June 8, 2018

“People don’t seem to know very much about native species of bees. They think honeybees are native, that all bees produce honey, that all bees live in hives.” Randall Cass, Iowa State University Extension entomologist for honeybees and native bees, will help overcome some common misunderstandings like these about bees…

Photo of people hiking

Hike the Wild tours glacial landmarks

June 8, 2018

In the past, Dickinson County Conservation’s glacial landmark tour has only been open to students as a field trip. However, beginning in June, naturalists will take members of the public on monthly visits to glacial landmarks during Hike the Wild. “We enjoy doing our glacial landmark tour with our students,…

Photo of prairie smoke

Five plants to start your pollinator garden

June 6, 2018

You’ve learned that pollinator populations are dwindling and that you can help by planting native species in your garden to provide habitat and food sources. But what do you plant? It can be overwhelming to look at all the options of native flowers that you can put in your garden.…

Photo of a robber fly on dotted gayfeather

Six pollinators that aren’t bees or butterflies

June 6, 2018

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about native bees, honeybees, butterflies and moths — but did you know that there are plenty of other types of pollinators out there? Hummingbirds Hummingbirds love flowers that are tubular, brightly colored, open during the day and have prolific nectar hidden deeply within.…

Photo of a rusty-patched bumblebee

Without buzz pollination, we wouldn’t have blueberries

June 4, 2018

Most of the time bees can access pollen pretty easily on the anther of a flower, like in the video above; it is passively released by the flower and coats the hairs of pollinators that come to the flower to drink its nectar and gather its pollen. However, about eight…

Photo of the completed puppet

Make a toad hand puppet

June 4, 2018

Since we talked today about five facts that will make you love toads (read the blog post here), we decided to make a toad-themed craft. If you look up toad crafts, there are not a lot out there! Like we mentioned in the blog post, toads tend to get overlooked…

Photo of Al the toad

Five facts that will make you like toads

June 4, 2018

Because frogs are brightly colored, they tend to be looked on with more awe than toads. However, American toads have some pretty neat attributes when you get to know them. Come check out Al the American toad at the Dickinson County Nature Center and see how interesting he is in…

Graphic that says 95 football fields would it in Lake Minnewashta's surface area.

Iowa Great Lakes fun facts

June 2, 2018

We all love the lakes. That’s what makes Okoboji, Okoboji. But how much do you know about the lakes themselves? Did you know that Upper Gar Lake is the smallest lake in the Iowa Great Lakes at only 37 acres with an average depth of 3.5 feet? That is the…

Photo of bee with fingers as legs

Make a bee finger puppet with moving legs

June 2, 2018

Bees actually have six legs, but when it’s a craft, you can use your imagination right? This fat bumblebee only has two legs, but those two legs actually move, because they are your own fingers! (Make your own bee antenna or try out a pipe cleaner bee!) All you will need…

Photo of calliopsis bee

Native Bees: Gentle and buzz-worthy

June 1, 2018

The mining bees in the Andrenidae family are incredibly gentle bees. According to “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide” by Heather Holm, a park in Minneapolis is the home to thousands of Andrena nests each year, but most people have no idea that they are walking right over…

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