Environmental Education | Dickinson County Conservation Board
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Environmental Education

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Environmental education isn’t just for kids, we want to get all ages interested in the environment and outdoor activities.

Kids can take part in summer camps, our monthly Nature Playtime for Tots and special events, or our naturalists will come right to your school or community group to talk about nature.

Adults will enjoy Birding on the Greens, Hike the Wild and plenty of other special events such as the Bee & Butterfly Festival throughout the year.

Keep our annual schedule of events right at your fingertips by downloading and printing this printable refrigerator calendar !

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Special events 2017

Earth Day Celebration

Hear an actor portraying John James Audubon tell the life story of this incredible man that left a lasting impact. This free show will be held at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji. Free will donations accepted.

6:30 p.m. April 21

Wings and Wetlands Weekend

May 13

Kickstart Your Kayak

Beginners classes: 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. June 13, $20 per person

Intermediate classes: 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. June 14, $20 per person, must have own kayak, PFD and kayaking experience

Disc Golf clinic and tournaments

June 23-25

Bee & Butterfly Festival

Sept. 1


Youth camps

Register for camps starting in March 2017. Register online or at the Dickinson County Nature Center; deadline two weeks before each camp. Price includes T-shirt.

Kayaking Adventures

9-11 a.m. June 20-21 (ages 10-12)

9 a.m.-noon June 27-28 (ages 13-18)

$40 for Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County members, $50 for non-members

Outdoor Discoveries

8 a.m.-4 p.m. July 18 (ages 4-5)

8 a.m.-4 p.m. July 19 (ages 6-7)

$50 for CFDC members, $60 for non-members

Science Quest

8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 1 (ages 8-9)

$50 for CFDC members, $60 for non-members


Birdwatchers Anonymous

5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 — Birding in northwest Iowa program, Dickinson County Nature Center

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 17 — Great American Backyard Bird Count, Dickinson County Nature Center

9 a.m. Feb. 18 — Great American Backyard Bird Count, meet at the nature center and caravan to different sites

9 a.m. March 25 — Birding Trek, meet at the nature center and caravan to different sites

9 a.m. April 22 — Birding Trek, meet at the nature center and caravan to different sites

Birding on the Green

Meet at the Brooks National Golf Club for this all-ages birding opportunity.

7 a.m. May 1, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Sept. 11


Nature Tots (second Wednesday of the month)

Pre-register, Ages 2 to 5, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., maximum 25 children per session

Jan. 11 — Wintertime Walk

Feb. 8 — Warm Fuzzies

March 8 — Wake Up Sleepyhead

April 12 — Nature’s Babies

May 10 — Busy Bees

June 14 — Wonders of the Wetlands

July 12 — Raindrops Falling On My Head

Aug. 9 — Caterpillars and Chrysalis

Sept. 13 — Colors of the Wind

Oct. 11 — Icky Animals

Nov. 8 — Nature’s Blessings

Dec. 13 — Discover Dinos


Hike the Wild (fourth Tuesday of the month)

No registration, All ages, 9:30-11:30 a.m., difficulty rating Easiest 1-2-3 Hardest

Feb. 28 — Lower Gar State Recreational Area, 2

March 28 — Freda Haffner Kettlehole, 2

April 25 — Kettleson Hogsback, 3

May 23 — Milford Creek Wildlife Area grand opening, 1

June 27 — Judd Wildlife Area, 3

July 25 — Pillsbury Point and Abbie Gardner Cabin tour, 1

Aug. 22 — Reeds Run Wildlife Area, 2

Sept. 26 — Fort Defiance State Park, 3

Oct. 24 — Loon Lake Cemetery, 2

3 p.m. Nov. 22 — Native Thanksgiving Hike at Kenue Park, 1

3 p.m. Dec. 27 — Winter Survival Hike at Kenue Park, 1


Art & Nature

January-March: TBD

April-June: Diane O’Hern, mixed media

Reception: 5-7 p.m. April 6

Sculpting classes: 9-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June 17 *pre-register

July-September: Mary Jo Daniels, mixed media

Reception: 5-7 p.m. July 6

Family art class: 2 p.m. July 26 *pre-register

October-December: Shelley Cords-Swanson, cartographics

Reception: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 5

Cartographics for kids class: 10 a.m. Oct. 21 *pre-register


Young Nature Explorers (Thursdays in June, July, August)

Pre-register, Ages 6 to 9 years, 10:30 a.m.

June 8 — Fishing

June 22 — Scavenger Hunt

July 6 — Game Day

July 20 — Yoga

Aug. 3 — Art in Nature


Young Naturalists (Thursdays in June, July, August)

Pre-register, Ages 10 to 12 years, 1 p.m.

June 15: Fishing

June 29: Geocaching

July 13: Disc golf

July 27: Yoga

Aug. 10: Art in Nature


Family Nature Night (second Monday of month in June, July, August)

Pre-register, All ages, 6-7 p.m.

June 12 — Fishing skills

July 10 — Camping skills

Aug. 14 — Disc Golf Challenge


Beach Yoga

7 a.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month June-August

Bring your own yoga mat and come to Ainsworth-Orleans Beach for a peaceful morning practicing yoga with our certified instructor. Open to all ability levels. $10 per person, cash only


Lake Friendly Lawn Care series

6 p.m. Feb. 22 —Natural pest management program

6 p.m. March 23 — Using native plants in landscaping program

July 26 — Native planting workshop, Spirit Lake Farmers Market

11 a.m. Oct. 21 — Seed collecting program