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Photo of a child touching a bird's nest

Nature Tots expands to two sessions in 2017

kiley : December 30, 2016 8:54 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of the tubing hill with little snow on it

Horseshoe Bend tubing hill not yet open for the season

kiley : December 28, 2016 10:54 am : Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
The Horseshoe Bend Winter Sports Area tubing hill has not yet opened for the season due to unfavorable snow conditions. When the hill does open, hours will be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends. Day passes are $10 per person, including the tube, and season passes are available for $45 each. For the most ...

Celebrating the days getting longer

kiley : December 1, 2016 8:41 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Making yin yangs in the snow 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, ...
Photo of a full moon

December’s supermoon and the Geminids meteor shower

kiley : December 1, 2016 8:28 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
The closest supermoon since 1948 showed up in November, but was it really that big of a deal? Supermoons actually aren’t all that rare. The term just means a full moon the closely coincides with the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, and to most people, a supermoon ...
Photo of a river overlook in fall

Wildlife love Little Sioux Savanna and you should too

kiley : November 18, 2016 10:39 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
  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 ...
Photo of a sign that says turkey and pine cone turkeys

Turkey Trot goes through Kenue Park

kiley : November 10, 2016 9:03 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
The sounds of Thanksgiving — the laughter of family members, the sizzle of delicious items on the stove, the gobble of turkeys. The gobble of turkeys? Maybe most families aren’t hearing this fall sound, their turkeys sitting a little more silently in the kitchen, but if you come to the Dickinson County ...
Photo of a yellow-headed blackbird

Do you need to attend Birdwatchers Anonymous?

kiley : November 4, 2016 9:33 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Common loons in winter plumage, a beautiful western grebe, migrating surf scoters — October’s Birdwatchers Anonymous group documented several exciting species. Dickinson County Conservation’s birding offerings have expanded this year as local birder Lee Schoenewe volunteered to lead excursions beyond the normal summer Birding on the Green programs. He wanted people ...
Photo of shelter house by the lake

Big Spirit Lake’s perfect south shore

kiley : October 28, 2016 10:19 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a river overlook

REAP grant awarded to Dickinson County Conservation for new property

kiley : October 21, 2016 11:10 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a yellow-flowered prairie area

A diamond in Dickinson County

kiley : October 13, 2016 9:09 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile
“I never knew this place existed!” Dickinson County naturalists Mary Petersen and Charles Vigdal hear this comment during almost every Hike the Wild program, which takes people to public areas throughout the county. They expect to hear this again as the next program takes people to Diamond Lake Tuesday, Oct. 25. “It ...
Photo of a starry night

Spot Orion in the sky and see some meteors this month

kiley : October 5, 2016 8:32 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Think of the constellation Orion, and we often think of the hunter’s belt, but come October, the constellation also means meteors. This year’s Orionids meteor shower peaks on the morning of Friday, Oct. 21, and naturalist Charles Vigdal will focus on the shower during his next Star Trekking program at 8:30 ...
Headshot

Barbara Tagami exhibits nature art, teaches classes

kiley : September 30, 2016 11:38 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Forager, naturalist, fisherwoman, environmental educator, eclectic nature artist. You can use a lot of words to describe Spirit Lake resident Barbara Tagami, but maybe one of the best words to use is passionate. She is passionate about the outdoors, and she will display some of that passion in her nature art ...
Photo of trees and a blue sky at Superior Marsh

Superior Marsh — Head off the beaten track

kiley : September 16, 2016 8:36 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
It was May 20, 1996, when the Dickinson County Conservation Board decided to purchase a 40-acre piece of property quite a distance from its headquarters. What is now known as Superior Marsh is located 1.5 miles northeast of Superior and 1.5 miles east of Swan Lake and originally included 31 acres ...
Photo of a girl holding binoculars

Nature Tots program continues year-round

kiley : September 9, 2016 12:17 pm : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
The laughter spewed forth as we read the book “Everyone Poops” in preparation for the next Nature Tots 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. The popular program for ages 2-5 continues year-round and has some unique themes coming up, including Everybody Poops Sept. 14, ...
Photo of a woman posing with a monarch caterpillar cutout

Best Festival of the Year! The Bee & Butterfly Festival is Friday, Sept. 2

kiley : August 26, 2016 10:53 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Mystery, comedy and audience participation — Sioux Falls, SD, magician Nathan Nassif promises to wow his audiences. Nassif will headline during the Bee & Butterfly Festival Friday, Sept. 2, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. His magic show will enthrall all ages, from children to adults, with close-up tricks using coins, ...

Westport Park: An Iowa Great Lakes gem

kiley : August 19, 2016 8:56 am : Environmental Education, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
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 ...
Photo of a boy hugging a bee mascot

Mark your calendars for the Bee & Butterfly Festival Sept. 2

kiley : August 10, 2016 9:19 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
There was standing room only in the Dickinson County Nature Center lower level last year when Marlene Boernsen began to speak. The local beekeeper had the public enthralled as she showed just how honey is extracted from the honeycomb in her hives. Boernsen will return to repeat her fascinating demonstration at 6 ...

Calling all nature photographers!

kiley : August 5, 2016 8:53 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Adult winner — Alex Miles “Spirit Lake Petunia” Colorful blooms brighten the world this time of year, but we don’t often take time to really look at them. Alex Miles of Spirit Lake takes the time to appreciate them, though. His stunning close-up photograph of the center of a bright pink petunia ...
Graphic for The Nature Center Challenge

Take on The Nature Center Challenge

kiley : July 28, 2016 9:21 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Look at the trees on the east side of the Westport Schoolhouse in Kenue Park; what kind of fruit do they produce? Come to the Dickinson County Nature Center’s next Family Nature Night 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, and see for yourself. During The Nature Center Challenge, compete with other families ...
Photo of a starry night

Learn about the best meteor shower of the year

kiley : July 22, 2016 9:13 am : Environmental Education, Events and Activities, General Information, mobile, Our Parks and Places
Just look up. Meteors will streak through the night sky at the beginning of August, and you can learn all about these upcoming celestial events during the next Star Trekking program 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. The August program will surround the upcoming Perseids ...
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