Photo of golf carts

Brooks Golf management agreement signed for 2019

April 2, 2019

Dickinson County Conservation has reached an agreement with Brooks Management LLC to run the former Brooks National Golf Club through 2019. The management agreement received its final approval at the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, April 2, and the Okoboji-based management company, owned by Rick Carlton, immediately takes…

Photo of a wild rose

Iowa’s state symbols

April 2, 2019

Peering out the window of the Dickinson County Nature Center, I can see birds at the feeders in the avian courtyard. One of them is a brilliant yellow color with black wings, and it is right at home here. That’s because the American goldfinch is the state bird of Iowa.…

Printable spring scavenger hunt

April 1, 2019

It’s officially spring, and that means that I officially want to get outside. I can’t always get outside, because sometimes the computer ropes me in to work, but I am thankful that I have a job that I get outside more than most. If you’re looking for something to do…

Photo of compost being moved

Dickinson Recycling Center summer hours begin April 1

March 29, 2019

The weather is warming up, and people are beginning to spring clean both inside and outside. To help citizens, the Dickinson Recycling Center begins its extended summer hours April 1. It is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday April 1-October 31…

Photo of a honey possum on a flower

11 pollinators from around the world

March 27, 2019

The pollinator world goes beyond just butterflies and bees, and it also goes beyond the borders of Iowa and the United States. Pollinators come in many shapes, sizes, colors and species, and they help plant communities around the world survive. (Eight forgotten pollinators) Let’s take a look at some interesting…

Seasonal positions available

March 26, 2019

Naturalist Intern $10-$13 per hour, based on experience — 40 hours/week Qualifications Either be enrolled in or have a degree in parks & recreation, wildlife biology, ecology, natural resource management or a related field of study. Have an interest in educating youth and adults about our natural world. Relevant experience…

Make your own lava lamp

March 25, 2019

Sometimes we move away from nature-specific principles and teach more general science principles during Dickinson County Nature Center programs. We use science experiments in many of our programs to teach about natural reactions and to help kids learn to hypothesize and test out their theories. (Learn about permeable skin through…

Photo of a coyote

Five Iowa predators

March 25, 2019

As Iowa was settled, its landscape and demographics changed, and that meant that its wildlife changed as well. Many species, such as deer, turkeys, trumpeter swans and bobcats were extirpated or close to extirpation. However, increasingly positive conservation attitudes has helped to bring back many species. Here are some of…

Photo of kids crawling in honeycomb

Pollinator Paradise exhibits are being fabricated

March 22, 2019

The human-sized honeycomb climber inside the Dickinson County Nature Center has been a hit since it was installed in Pollinator Paradise. “The honeycomb climber helped us increase our visitor numbers to more than 15,200 in 2018, and we’re excited for the many other children’s museum-quality exhibits that will be installed…

Photo of a bee fly on a daffodil

Eight forgotten pollinators

March 20, 2019

Slugs to flies, moths to beetles — pollinators come in many shapes and sizes beyond butterflies and bees. These pollinators help one-third of human food sources to grow, but some have become so common that they are seen more like pests instead of beneficial insects, and some have even been…

Photo of kids watching a mud volcano

Build a mud volcano

March 18, 2019

If it’s springtime and muddy, like it is in Iowa right now, it’s the perfect time to get outside! Just wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and put your imagination to work with all of the fun mud around. If you need a little inspiration, try making a…

Photo of a swamp

Four types of wetlands

March 18, 2019

Bog, marsh, swamp, fen. Often these words are used interchangeably, but in reality, each is its own type of wetland, which is a word used to refer to water-saturated landscapes. (Watch: What is a wetland?) A marsh is a wetland that is continually full of water. If you have been…

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