Photo of trail in Kenue Park

What is an oak savanna?

August 22, 2018

Kenue Park has three different ecosystems in its 70 acres, which makes it a great place to explore. You can see a wetland with rehabilitated trumpeter swans, prairie with native tallgrass species and a restored oak savanna. (Four ways to tell apart swans and snow geese) Iowa is not really…

Photo of snake sticking out its tongue

Can she do it? Community relations coordinator attempts to hold a snake for the first time

August 20, 2018

From not being able to shelve any books with snakes on them while working at a library as a teenager to holding a snake — community relations coordinator Kiley Roth has changed a lot! See her first time holding a snake and perhaps learn how to overcome your own fear…

Photo of pipe cleaner snakes

Make a bendable snake with pipe cleaner and beads

August 20, 2018

In honor of my big day today, holding a snake for the first time (you can see the video here), we made a fun snake craft. Whether you love snakes or hate them, this craft is cute and simple. You’ll need: Pipe cleaners Beads Googly eyes Liquid glue Start  by…

Photo of larvae in honeycomb

What’s happening in the hive? How a queen develops

August 15, 2018

Where is the queen is probably the No. 1 question that we are asked about the indoor bee hive. You can read a little bit about that here, but the next question often comes up as “What makes a queen bee?” The short answer is, queens are fed royal jelly…

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…

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 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.

We’re interested in your ideas. Tell us what blog topics you would like us to address and we will do our best to follow through. You ask, we answer!
Please enter your name.
Please enter a subject.
Please enter a message.