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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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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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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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…

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Judd Wildlife Area is a prairie paradise

Photo of a stream winding through the prairie

Bobolinks nesting in the prairie, Blanding’s turtles resting by the stream, bald eagles flying overhead — a walk through the Judd Wildlife Area allows some of nature’s finest to show off. Twenty years ago, the Dickinson County Conservation Board looked to add a public recreation area south of Milford, and a Wildlife Habitat Stamp grant…

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Prescribed burning in county rights-of-way

Photo of a conservation board employee working on a prescribed burn in a prairie

Dickinson County Conservation Board’s Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program will be conducting prescribed burns in county road rights-of-way during the next few months. Prescribed burns are an effective resource management tool utilized to discourage the growth of weeds and woody vegetation while promoting the growth of desired native vegetation in roadside prairie sites. All staff…

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