A diamond in Dickinson County

Photo of a yellow-flowered prairie area

“I never knew this place existed!” Dickinson County naturalists Mary Petersen and Charles Vigdal hear this comment during almost every Hike the Wild program, which takes people to public areas throughout the county. They expect to hear this again as the next program takes people to Diamond Lake Tuesday, Oct. 25. “It is a beautiful…

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Spot Orion in the sky and see some meteors this month

Photo of a starry night

Think of the constellation Orion, and we often think of the hunter’s belt, but come October, the constellation also means meteors. This year’s Orionids meteor shower peaks on the morning of Friday, Oct. 21, and naturalist Charles Vigdal will focus on the shower during his next Star Trekking program at 8:30 p.m. that evening at…

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Barbara Tagami exhibits nature art, teaches classes


Forager, naturalist, fisherwoman, environmental educator, eclectic nature artist. You can use a lot of words to describe Spirit Lake resident Barbara Tagami, but maybe one of the best words to use is passionate. She is passionate about the outdoors, and she will display some of that passion in her nature art exhibit October-December at the…

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Superior Marsh — Head off the beaten track

Photo of trees and a blue sky at Superior Marsh

It was May 20, 1996, when the Dickinson County Conservation Board decided to purchase a 40-acre piece of property quite a distance from its headquarters. What is now known as Superior Marsh is located 1.5 miles northeast of Superior and 1.5 miles east of Swan Lake and originally included 31 acres that was part of…

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Nature Tots program continues year-round

Photo of a girl holding binoculars

The laughter spewed forth as we read the book “Everyone Poops” in preparation for the next Nature Tots 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. The popular program for ages 2-5 continues year-round and has some unique themes coming up, including Everybody Poops Sept. 14, Super Seeds for the…

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Best Festival of the Year! The Bee & Butterfly Festival is Friday, Sept. 2

Photo of a woman posing with a monarch caterpillar cutout

Mystery, comedy and audience participation — Sioux Falls, SD, magician Nathan Nassif promises to wow his audiences. Nassif will headline during the Bee & Butterfly Festival Friday, Sept. 2, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. His magic show will enthrall all ages, from children to adults, with close-up tricks using coins, cards and everyday objects.…

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Westport Park: An Iowa Great Lakes gem

In June 1981, Dickinson County Conservation Board entered into a maintenance agreement to refresh an exhausted county gravel pit into a county park. It started as only six acres, so small it looks like only a dot on a map of the Iowa Great Lakes area. The original document included on a 10-year agreement, but…

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Mark your calendars for the Bee & Butterfly Festival Sept. 2

Photo of a boy hugging a bee mascot

There was standing room only in the Dickinson County Nature Center lower level last year when Marlene Boernsen began to speak. The local beekeeper had the public enthralled as she showed just how honey is extracted from the honeycomb in her hives. Boernsen will return to repeat her fascinating demonstration at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept.…

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Calling all nature photographers!

Colorful blooms brighten the world this time of year, but we don’t often take time to really look at them. Alex Miles of Spirit Lake takes the time to appreciate them, though. His stunning close-up photograph of the center of a bright pink petunia was the winner of the adult category in the spring photography…

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