Our Parks and Places

Welcome environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman

Photo of Bryanna Kuhlman

“We were messy little critters.” Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman’s memories of her childhood spent outdoors in Menomonie, WI, have shaped her into who she is today. “We had forts in trees; we would catch frogs in retention ponds,” Kuhlman said. “I had my red bucket full of worms.” She and her sister would race…

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It’s time to think about spring planting

Photo of a honeybee on a flower

Bring back the bees. Bring back the butterflies. With pollinator populations dropping drastically in recent years, the push to bring them back has spread. But how do we do that? One of the best ways is to plant native flowers and grasses in our landscaping, providing pollinator habitat and food sources. Native plantings also offer…

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Tips for birding in northwest Iowa

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 Lee Schoenewe…

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Wildlife love Little Sioux Savanna and you should too

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 buck and…

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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…

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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…

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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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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.…

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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…

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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…

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