Our Parks and Places

Big Spirit Lake’s perfect south shore

Photo of shelter house by the lake

Only two years after the Dickinson County Conservation Board was established, it took on the care of a beautiful recreation area on the south side of Big Spirit Lake. The conservation board worked on an agreement with the State Conservation Commission for 25 years of management of Orleans Beach. The area east of the spillway…

Read More

REAP grant awarded to Dickinson County Conservation for new property

Photo of a river overlook

The Dickinson County Conservation Board has been awarded a grant of $71,500 from Resource Enhancement and Protection, commonly referred to as REAP. REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. Twenty percent of REAP is set aside for grants to county conservation for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage…

Read More

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…

Read More

Landscaping that makes a difference for our lakes

Photo of purple spiderwort plant

A plant that improves soil health, filters water, is drought-resistant, doesn’t need fertilizer and requires little, if any, pesticide use — sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, these plants do exist. They’re native plants, from milkweed and spiderwort to wild bergamot and blazing star. Come to the Dickinson County Nature Center 11 a.m.…

Read More

Learn how YOU can help water quality in your own backyard

Clean water for the Iowa Great Lakes. We all want it. How do we get it? Come to the East Okoboji Beach work day 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21, and learn how rain gardens and swales assist in the water quality process. Dickinson County Conservation maintains the East Okoboji Beach subdivision rain gardens and enhanced…

Read More

View the Eta Aquarids meteor shower May 6

Photo of a starry night

Halley’s Comet won’t return to the Earth’s vicinity until 2061, but people will be able to see its remnants this week. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the orbital path of the comet. “The meteors are basically the Earth going through the tail of Halley’s Comet,” said Dickinson County naturalist Charles…

Read More

David Thoreson photography on display May-June

Photo of pelicans

Explorer, photographer, sailor — David Thoreson has had adventures all around the world, but he always ends up back home. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, Thoreson learned to sail and loved the waters of the Iowa Great Lakes as a boy. Images on display May-June in the eARTh exhibit area at the…

Read More

Birding on the Green starts May 2

Photo of someone looking through a high-powered binocular

The sight of a line of golf carts driving through Brooks National Golf Course is not unusual. However, the reason these golf carts are out the first Monday of each summer month is a bit out of the ordinary. The people driving them don’t have clubs. They don’t have a balls. They don’t even have…

Read More

Dickinson Recycling Center helps with your spring cleaning needs

Photo of man demanufacturing an oven

We all have it — that terrifying place in the basement or garage that is full of items we don’t know what to do with. Bulky TVs, a broken washing machine, scrapped tires, half-empty cans of paint, aerosol cans, used motor oil. The Dickinson Recycling Center can dispose of all the items that you just…

Read More

Spring photography contest winners

Congratulations to the winners of the spring photography contest.     Winners receive a Nature Store gift certificate, are featured on the nature center website, are the June Facebook photo cover and will be on prominent display in the nature center’s photography exhibit area. Entries for the next photography contest will be due Sept. 1. More…

Read More