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Photo of a crayfish framed

Crayfish, shells and driftwood become beautiful in Mary Jo Daniels’ hands

kiley : June 23, 2017 12:16 pm : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
It’s not often that you see a crayfish pictured in a work of art, let alone an actual crayfish shell. Yet, Mary Jo Daniels makes it beautiful. The Spirit Lake artist is a master at taking simple objects from nature and turning them into something creative and intriguing. See her mixed media art ...
Photo of disc golfers

Boji Blowout Tournament returns in June

kiley : June 9, 2017 1:29 pm : Administrative, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Colorful discs filled the air last June as amateur and professional disc golfers competed in the annual Boji Blowout tournament. Baskets will clang again as players score when the PDGA B-tier tournament returns Saturday-Sunday, June 24-25, at the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course in Kenue Park in Okoboji. “I really enjoy the ...
Photo of interior of country school

Westport Schoolhouse and Pollinator Paradise open June 13

kiley : June 9, 2017 8:50 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Beautiful script shows the names of students enrolled at Westport No. 5, and rows of Xs represent when they attended class. One’s mind wanders at the dates that don’t have an X. What were the kids doing that day? Were they sick? Did they have to stay home and help with ...
Photo of kids tying lures

Fishing fun at Family Nature Night

kiley : June 2, 2017 12:57 pm : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Summer is all about family time. The Dickinson County Conservation Board is offering three great opportunities to create outdoor family memories during its monthly Family Nature Nights 6 p.m. June 12, July 10 and Aug. 14. “This is the second year of Family Nature Night programs, and we’re excited to offer some ...
Photo of seagulls flying above water at sunrise

Stretching out into outdoor yoga programming

kiley : May 26, 2017 9:50 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
A warm breeze, the quiet lapping of the waves, the chirping of shorebirds searching for breakfast — one of the most peaceful ways possible to start a summer day would be on the shore Big Spirit Lake. The Dickinson County Conservation Board is offering the opportunity to gently wake up with ...
Photo of kids building shelter out of sticks

It’s all free — summer programming for kids

kiley : May 19, 2017 10:46 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
There’s a big world outside of our TV, computer and phone screens, and the Dickinson County Nature Center plans to show kids just how much fun it is. Summer programming for Nature Explorers and Young Naturalists is focusing on outdoor recreation this summer. From fishing to disc golf to geocaching, youth ...
Photo of Milford Creek

Introducing Pioneer Park Nature Preserve

kiley : May 12, 2017 9:10 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Blue flag iris, dickcissels, monarch butterflies — the Pioneer Park Nature Preserve will be a haven for flora, fauna and outdoorsmen in Dickinson County. The Dickinson County Conservation Board will tour its newest area, located just south of Milford along Highway 71, during its next Hike the Wild program Tuesday, May ...
Photo of a youth kayaking

Kickstart Those Kayaks

kiley : May 5, 2017 11:40 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a blackburnian warbler

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

kiley : April 28, 2017 9:01 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Scarlet tanager, photo by leppyone 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 ...
Photo of a woman looking through binoculars

Learn from birding pros with Birding on the Green

kiley : April 21, 2017 9:20 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile
The “oo-eek, oo-eek” of a female wood duck. The “wha-wha-wha” of a white-breasted nuthatch. The “tee-yee” courtship call of an American goldfinch. Listen hard and you may hear all of these and more during the Birding of the Green program 7 a.m. Monday, May 1, at Brooks National Golf Club in ...
Photo of Brian Ellis as John James Audubon

Learn about America’s great birder

kiley : April 14, 2017 11:37 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information
John James Audubon actually had no role in the organization that bears his name — the Audubon Society. However, George Bird Grinnell was tutored by Audubon’s widow, Lucy Audubon, and when Grinnell worked to put together an organization protecting birds and their habitats, he decided that the Audubon name would be ...
Photo of Bryanna Kuhlman

Welcome environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman

kiley : April 7, 2017 9:30 am : Administrative, Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
“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 ...
Photo of a heron painting

Color In Nature art exhibit opens in April

kiley : March 30, 2017 9:19 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of Brian Ellis as John James Audubon

Celebrate Earth Day by meeting John James Audubon

kiley : March 24, 2017 8:47 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile
While Brian Ellis chatted on the phone, he watched the prairie he had planted outside his home. Grasses blew in the breeze, the soil radiated warmth from the sun and birds were nesting within view. He hopes that when people come to his one-man storytelling production about John James Audubon that they ...
Photo of a honeybee on a flower

It’s time to think about spring planting

kiley : March 17, 2017 8:43 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a northern leopard frog

DNR brings Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring program to nature center

kiley : March 14, 2017 9:26 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile
While the winter wind whips and the snow keeps falling it is hard to imagine spring but March brings a glimmer of hope. March is when Iowa’s dedicated frog and toad survey volunteers start listening to their call CD and sharpening their pencils in preparation for the first warm(ish) night in ...

Spring photography contest accepting entries

kiley : March 10, 2017 9:00 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile
The smell of grilled salmon wafted through the trees off West Lake Okoboji. Small black noses twitched and mouths watered as four small raccoons peered over the limbs of a tree to see who was cooking such deliciousness. It was at that exact moment that David Curry, 61 of Dakota Dunes, SD, ...
Photo of a dirty stream

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

kiley : March 3, 2017 9:00 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a girl running through a tunnel

Summer camp registration opens March 1

kiley : February 27, 2017 9:05 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of an earwig

Do bugs freak you out?

kiley : February 10, 2017 8:54 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile
“Bugs just freak people out.” Entomologist Emily Fontenot has seen this happen time and time again, people shuddering at the thought of insects, but that reaction is usually not warranted. And the way people deal with bugs is not always the best either. Instead of a spray-first mentality, Fontenot will give alternative ...
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