Volunteer Appreciation Day is held 10 a.m. the first Monday of every month.

Volunteer Appreciation Day began with a fun Okoboji Osprey Migration Mad Libs, available in our new Okoboji Osprey Activity book at the Dickinson County Nature Center or on our website. It is always funny to see how Mad Libs ends up.

As summer comes upon us, there was plenty to cover in the What’s New section:

  1. Glacial trail exhibit: The entrance of the Dickinson County Nature Center now has a brand new interactive exhibit. Bounce on a replica of a fen, climb a kame, view of model of a kettlehole, walk along an esker balance beam and go through a glacier, complete with a mammoth tusk fragment and fossil dig area!
  2. Summer schedule: Our facility hours will change as summer comes. Hours will be as follows:
    1. Abbie Gardner Cabin: Noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, beginning May 26
    2. Dickinson County Nature Center: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, beginning May 26
    3. Westport Schoolhouse: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, June 12-Aug. 30
  3. Nature Tots: An additional 9 a.m. session of the monthly Nature Tots program will be added June-August.
  4. Pollinator Paradise: A design company has been contracted to come up with children’s museum-quality exhibits for the new addition. They will be created as funding allows. Some exhibits as well as temporary displays will be up in the addition this summer!
  5. Osprey update: The Okoboji Osprey camera is up, and the female should begin laying eggs any day now. Keep watching!
  6. Swan update: The Kenue Park trumpeter swans for an unknown reason went to the Pearson Lakes Art Center wetland in April. Both swans are flightless and rehabilitated, and it is the duty of the Dickinson County Conservation Board to care for these swans. The Kenue Park wetland has an aerator to keep open water for the swans all year and also has a feeding station to make sure the swans receive correct nutrition all year. We were also concerned about the swans walking to Highway 71 next tothe Pearson Lakes Art Center and being hit by a car or causing an accident that could harm people as well. For these reasons, after checking that the swans had not made a nest in the art center wetland, this morning conservation board employees carefully and safely gathered the swans and returned them to the Kenue Park wetland. They have been fed and are safe and sound back home.
  7. Volunteer bingo: All current/active volunteers should have received an invitation to Volunteer Bingo Monday, June 4. This activity will replace the typical morning Volunteer Appreciation Day. Please RSVP by June 1 if you plan to attend and/or bring a guest. If you did not receive an invitation and think you should have, please contact the nature center at 712-336-6352.

Volunteer trainings will be held for nature center volunteers 9 a.m. May 23 or 11 a.m. May 24 and for schoolhouse volunteers 11 a.m. May 23 or 9 a.m. May 24. Even if you are already trained or experienced, please attend one of these dates if you can. This allows us to update volunteers on changes and answer questions before the summer season starts.

Volunteers should have also received a newsletter (click on the photo below to view a PDF of the newsletter) with information on our new gardening group. Come to the nature center 8-10 a.m. Wednesdays June-August and help us keep our landscaping looking beautiful. A staff member will meet the group each week to discuss that week’s assignment.

Volunteer opportunities
  • Front desk
  • Westport Schoolhouse
  • Events

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, download our volunteer form and please contact Kiley Roth:


Office: 712-336-6352

Cell: 712-339-1153