Leaf Pigments

Leaf Pigments

November 14, 2023

Leaf Pigments Fall is arguably the best season, especially for the vibrant colors we see in leaves! What causes deciduous leaves to change color? As temperatures drop at night in September and October here in northern Iowa, deciduous trees (trees that lose leaves) decrease the amount of chlorophyll produced in…

Little Foote Forest roadside

Little Foote Forest: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

May 23, 2023

Little Foote Forest: A Nature Lover’s Paradise in Dickinson County, Iowa Nestled in the heart of Dickinson County lies Little Foote Forest, a stunning natural area that offers visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This forest boasts an array of activities that cater to nature…

Prescribed Burning

April 29, 2023

Prescribed burning is a tool used by land managers to maintain and improve the health of grasslands and other natural areas. In Northwest Iowa, prescribed burning is typically conducted in the spring and fall. Spring burns are typically conducted in March or April when the weather is cooler and there…

swans on the pond

Kenue Park: A Hidden Gem in Okoboji

April 14, 2023

Kenue Park, a 70-acre park, is a hidden gem tucked away in Okoboji, Iowa, located at 22785 Nature Center Road, just a short mile heading west off highway 71. Established in 1986 by the Dickinson County Conservation Board, the park has expanded from its original 40 acres through land acquisitions.…

bearded dragon held in hand

Creatures & Critters: Bearded Dragon Edition

December 23, 2021

Meet Steve! Steve is a bearded dragon and is the Nature Center’s newest animal ambassador! Bearded dragons are native to Australia. Therefore, Steve is named after Steve Irwin, the Australian wildlife expert and environmentalist. Bearded dragons live in a variety of habitats including deserts and woodlands. The average size of…

Nature Center's Rabbit

Creatures & Critters: Rabbit Edition

December 21, 2021

Meet Bindi! Bindi is a mini rex rabbit. Mini rex rabbits are domesticated rabbits with a calm and friendly temperament. This means that they are bred to be pets. Mini rex rabbits only grow to be 4.5 pounds and they can be litter trained. Bindi is! The mini rex has…

close up of green and white snake

Creatures & Critters: Snake Edition

December 21, 2021

Meet Rosie, Courtney, and Olive, the Nature Center’s three snakes! Rosie is a corn snake and Courtney is an albino corn snake. The corn snake is slender with a length of 24 to 72 inches. They are usually orange or brownish-yellow, with large black-edged red blotches down the middle of…

Nature Center's Toads

Creatures & Critters: Toads Edition

December 21, 2021

Meet Al and Wally! Al and Wally are the Nature Center’s Great Plains Toads. The great plains toad is covered in red and yellow wart-looking spots that actually contain glands that secrete poison. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt if you touch them! The poisonous milky fluid makes them taste bad…

Nature Center's hedgehog

Creatures & Critters: Hedgehog Edition

December 21, 2021

Meet Luna! Luna is our African Pygmy Hedgehog. They are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, but not to Iowa. We got her from a breeder and she was born on October 24, 2019. A full grown hedgehog will grow to be between 6-11 inches long and weigh between 18025…

turtle crawling on white background

Creatures & Critters: Turtle Edition

December 21, 2021

Meet Ada, Darling, and Teddy! Ada and Darling are red-eared sliders and Teddy is a ornate box turtle. The Nature Center is home to these three turtles. Red-eared sliders are brightly marked and their carapace looks like a bowl turned upside down. The shell of a red-eared slider is divided…

Tiger Salamander

Creatures & Critters: Salamander Edition

December 20, 2021

Meet Sy and Manny! Sy and Manny are tiger salamanders. Tiger salamanders are the largest and most wide-spread salamander in North America. They like to live in deep burrows, up to two feet below the surface. They can be found in forests, grasslands, or marshy areas, near ponds, lakes, or…

Nature Center's tarantula

Creatures & Critters: Tarantula Edition

December 13, 2021

Meet Pink! Pinki is a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas are exotic to Iowa and they would normally be found living in the dry grassland region at the edge of the desert in South American countries such as Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. They are the most common…

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