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Environmental Education

DNR brings Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring program to nature center

March 14, 2017
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Photo of a northern leopard frog

While the winter wind whips and the snow keeps falling it is hard to imagine spring but March brings a glimmer of hope. March is when Iowa’s dedicated frog and toad survey volunteers start listening to their call CD and sharpening their pencils in preparation for the first warm(ish) night in ...

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Spring photography contest accepting entries

March 10, 2017
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The smell of grilled salmon wafted through the trees off West Lake Okoboji. Small black noses twitched and mouths watered as four small raccoons peered over the limbs of a tree to see who was cooking such deliciousness. It was at that exact moment that David Curry, 61 of Dakota Dunes, SD, ...

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If you’re passionate about water quality, check out this program

March 3, 2017
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Photo of a dirty stream

Water quality is a murky issue. Clear it up by participating in the Master River Stewards Program April-May in the Iowa Great Lakes area. “It’s going to be an in-depth program with conservation professionals going over most aspects of water quality,” said Charles Vigdal of the Dickinson County Conservation Board. “Water quality ...

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Summer camp registration opens March 1

February 27, 2017
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Photo of a girl running through a tunnel

Sunshine and summertime — admit it; it’s what’s on your mind. Plan ahead for how much fun your kids can have this summer at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji as registration for summer camps opens March 1 online. Ages 4-18 have the opportunity to get outside with a variety of ...

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Do bugs freak you out?

February 10, 2017
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Photo of an earwig

“Bugs just freak people out.” Entomologist Emily Fontenot has seen this happen time and time again, people shuddering at the thought of insects, but that reaction is usually not warranted. And the way people deal with bugs is not always the best either. Instead of a spray-first mentality, Fontenot will give alternative ...

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Tips for birding in northwest Iowa

January 6, 2017
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Photo of a house finch catching a worm

A flock of small gray birds appears in your yard, hopping around in the snow eating some seed that has spilled from your backyard bird feeders. Another red-headed bird sits on the feeder, pecking at the sunflower seeds inside. But do you know the names of the species that you see? Local birder ...

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Nature Tots expands to two sessions in 2017

December 30, 2016
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Photo of a child touching a bird's nest

Humans don’t hibernate, so it’s time to get out of the house. Bring your toddler, ages 2-5, to the next Nature Tots Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and go for a Wintertime Walk. “We will focus on snow and how animals survive through the winter,” said ...

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Celebrating the days getting longer

December 1, 2016
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Making yin yangs in the snow Burning a yule log, a yule log cake, yule log ornaments on our Christmas trees — but do we really even know where the yule log tradition came from? Naturalist Charles Vigdal will explain to all those who attend the Winter Solstice Hike 3 p.m. Thursday, ...

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December’s supermoon and the Geminids meteor shower

December 1, 2016
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Photo of a full moon

The closest supermoon since 1948 showed up in November, but was it really that big of a deal? Supermoons actually aren’t all that rare. The term just means a full moon the closely coincides with the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, and to most people, a supermoon ...

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Wildlife love Little Sioux Savanna and you should too

November 18, 2016
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Photo of a river overlook in fall

  Walk into Little Sioux Savanna, a beautiful park just west of Milford, and take a seat on the mowed trail. Watch. Listen. Wait. A honeybee buzzes beside you as it gathers pollen in the prairie. A northern leopard frog jumps into the Little Sioux River just below where you’re seated. An eight-point ...

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