Graphic of animal Valentines

Download FREE animal valentines to print at home

February 1, 2018

Why go to the store and buy pre-made Valentines that everyone will have for this year’s February 14 classroom party? Instead, download our free animal ambassador Valentines, print them on cardstock at home, cut them out and you have unique Valentines for the whole class. CLICK HERE FOR PDF DOWNLOADS…

Photo of a mason bee covered in pollen

Neonicotinoids and bees: A summary of studies done

January 31, 2018

You have probably heard the long name neonicotinoids when the topic of struggling bee populations has come up. But what exactly are these chemicals, and what do they have to do with bees? This is a topic that is long, in-depth and still being studied, but we will do our…

Photo of a barn owl

10 animals that you didn’t know mated for life

January 30, 2018

We often get the question, “Do ospreys mate for life?” The answer isn’t quite clear. In general, yes, they do. However, they aren’t above choosing a new mate if theirs is not longer able to reproduce or is sick or injured. Like humans are considered monogamous but sometimes change partners,…

Photo of a giant snowflake on a door

Giant three-dimensional paper snowflake

January 30, 2018

What’s more fun than making a paper snowflake? Making it three-dimensional and giant! We all made paper snowflakes as kids, folding and cutting sheets of paper and then unfolding them to see what design your snowflake came out to be. While researching snowflakes for a blog post, I stumbled upon a…

Photo of dinosaur toy in cloud dough

Easy snow dough recipe for hours of fun

January 22, 2018

I will admit that my craft ideas don’t always turn out the way that I plan them. This craft was supposed to be called “snow dough,” but because I bought unbleached flour instead of bleached flour, it looks more like sand. I thought I might just play it off and…

Graphic that says Did you know? One cubic foot of snow can contain 1 billion crystals.

Are snowflakes all unique?

January 22, 2018

We’re in the middle of a blizzard in northwest Iowa. Look outside, and the white stuff looks like a blanket, like it’s all just one mass. But it’s not. In each cubic foot — that’s a box that is 1 foot on each side — there could be as many…

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Share your nature collection with nature center visitors

January 19, 2018

Insects from around the world, antique steel traps, items found on the bottom of West Lake Okoboji — local residents have been able to show off some of their amazing nature-related collections at the Dickinson County Nature Center. (Read about a high schooler’s insect collection.) For the past four years,…

Photo of a monarch on a flower

Test your monarch knowledge

January 17, 2018

Find out if you are a monarch scholar, monarch intellectual, monarch student or monarch newbie with this quiz!

More than 160 snowy owl sightings in Iowa so far this winter

January 17, 2018

“There’s a snowy owl along Highway 71, just north of Spirit Lake.” The caller on the phone had an excited lilt to her voice, the joy of seeing a snowy owl in Iowa. It seems that plenty of people have gotten to experience the excitement of seeing the largest owl,…

Photo of a popsicle snowflake

Celebrate winter with a craft stick snowflake

January 15, 2018

During the holiday break, my mother-in-law was putting her former-teacher skills into action. After a Christmas cookie decorating contest for the family in which she gave out awards such as “Most symmetrical tree” and “Most wordy,” she broke out a snowflake craft for her three granddaughters to work on while…

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Get free stuff at the Dickinson Recycling Center Swap Shop

January 12, 2018

It’s all free, folks. Latex and acrylic paint, drain cleaner, weed control products, insect repellent — the Dickinson Recycling Center swap shop has a variety of household products that county residents can have for free. People may bring in household hazardous chemicals to the Milford collection center and dispose of…

Photo of showy milkweed blooms

Five decorative milkweeds to beautify your yard and help monarchs

January 10, 2018

It seems a little premature since there is snow on the ground and more in the forecast, but it’s the time of year that I start to think about planting my garden. One thing I’m really excited to plant in our landscaping are some native pollinator plants. When we moved…

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