Enjoy the outdoors with Hike the Wild

Photo of people walking on a snowy trail

If you have hay fever after what seems like a long winter and are just itching to get outside, the Dickinson County Conservation Board has the answer. Its monthly Hike the Wild program restarts for 2018 on Tuesday, Feb. 27, with a special snowshoe hike at Elinor Bedell State Park. “Snowshoeing is always weather dependent,…

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Add some color to your snowy world with ice balls

Photo of colored ice balloons

Our naturalists are incredibly creative, and it’s fun to watch their ideas take shape. For Nature Tots in January, Bryanna Kuhlman, our environmental education coordinator, and Ashley Hansen, our naturalist, put together snow activities that included snow volcanoes, snow painting and playing with ice balloons. If you’re looking for a way to make the snow…

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Learn about the butterflies and moths found in Dickinson County

Photo of a monarch butterfly hanging from its chrysalis

Five families of butterflies call Dickinson County home, including 70 different species. But how much do you know about them? Naturalist Ashley Hansen will teach people about the native butterflies and moths of the Iowa Great Lakes area during the first program in the new Pollinator Education series 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the…

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Six ways native bees differ from honeybees

Photo of a blue bee

People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has…

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What birds are at your feeder? Keep track for the Great Backyard Bird Count

Photo of two house finches at a feeder

A house finch munching on sunflower seeds in the feeder. A cooper’s hawk watching hungrily from a perch nearby. A woodpecker knock-knock-knocking on a tree trunk. Your yard is most likely full of different avian species, flying about during their busy day-to-day lives. (Did you know grackles don’t like safflower seed?) The Great Backyard Bird…

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Download FREE animal valentines to print at home

Graphic of animal Valentines

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 There’s even a special place…

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Neonicotinoids and bees: A summary of studies done

Photo of a mason bee covered in pollen

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 best to break it down…

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10 animals that you didn’t know mated for life

Photo of a barn owl

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, osprey do the same thing.…

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Giant three-dimensional paper snowflake

Photo of a giant snowflake on a door

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 similar craft idea for making…

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