Our Parks and Places

Kickstart Those Kayaks

Photo of a youth kayaking

You’re out on the lake, and there’s no sounds of motors; all you hear is the lap of small waves, the chatter of nearby birds and the plunk of a turtle diving back down into the water. Sometimes it’s hard to think of such peace and solitude on the larger lakes in the area, but…

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From warblers to Roosevelt, Wings & Wetlands Weekend is packed full

Photo of a blackburnian warbler

Two male scarlet tanagers, ablaze in fiery red feathers, flitted about in front of a group of birders during a Warbler Walk for Wings & Wetlands Weekend. “The gasps and oohs and aahs were just unbelievable,” said Ed Thelen, who helps lead the Warbler Walk for Dickinson County Conservation each year. The little birds were…

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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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Color In Nature art exhibit opens in April

Photo of a heron painting

A family boating get-together. A butterfly flitting through the prairie. A walk through wildflowers. Outdoor experiences such as these deeply influence Eagle Grove resident Diane O’Hern’s artwork, which will be evident in her multi-media exhibit featured April-June in the eARTh exhibit area at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. O’Hern began work on the…

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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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If you’re passionate about water quality, check out this program

Photo of a dirty stream

Water quality is a murky issue. Clear it up by participating in the Master River Stewards Program April-May in the Iowa Great Lakes area. “It’s going to be an in-depth program with conservation professionals going over most aspects of water quality,” said Charles Vigdal of the Dickinson County Conservation Board. “Water quality is important, and…

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Summer camp registration opens March 1

Photo of a girl running through a tunnel

Sunshine and summertime — admit it; it’s what’s on your mind. Plan ahead for how much fun your kids can have this summer at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji as registration for summer camps opens March 1 online. Ages 4-18 have the opportunity to get outside with a variety of summer camps offered…

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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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Nature Tots expands to two sessions in 2017

Photo of a child touching a bird's nest

Humans don’t hibernate, so it’s time to get out of the house. Bring your toddler, ages 2-5, to the next Nature Tots Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and go for a Wintertime Walk. “We will focus on snow and how animals survive through the winter,” said naturalist Charles Vigdal.…

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Celebrating the days getting longer

Burning a yule log, a yule log cake, yule log ornaments on our Christmas trees — but do we really even know where the yule log tradition came from? Naturalist Charles Vigdal will explain to all those who attend the Winter Solstice Hike 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at Kenue Park in Okoboji. “Most cultures…

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