Check out the latest park and conservation news from Des Moines County.

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April 2024 Department Updates

Here are some updates on what's happening and what's to come at YOUR county parks.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Monday, April 8, 2024

Ready, Schedule, Go

It's a great time to go outside now, but even better days are coming. Get your outdoor activities on the calendar now so you don't miss out.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, March 15, 2024

March 2024 Department Update

Hello, nature enthusiasts and curious minds! March has arrived, bringing with it a burst of energy and excitement at the Conservation Department. As we step into spring, we're looking forward to opening parks and our calendar is brimming with engaging activities and programs for all ages. Let's dive into the exciting updates for this month!

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posted Tuesday, March 5, 2024

I Heart County Parks Fundraising Banquet

We know you love your county parks. Here's a great way to support them.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Monday, February 12, 2024

Owl See You Outside

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, February 9, 2024

February 2024 Department Update

Here's what's going on at Des Moines County Conservation lately...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, February 2, 2024

Exploring the Wonders of Environmental Education: A January-February Update

Greetings, nature enthusiasts! As we embrace the new year, our environmental education (EE) programs have kicked into high gear, bringing a blend of outdoor adventures, wildlife encounters, and educational initiatives. Let's dive into the exciting highlights of January and the upcoming plans for February.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Friday, January 26, 2024

Winter is here, let's play outside!

Even in winter, there’s lots to get out and see and do. Don't use the cold as an excuse to stay inside. Here are some ideas for winter fun.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, January 12, 2024

January 2024 Department Update

Here's your monthly update on what's happening at Des Moines County Conservation.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Monday, January 8, 2024

A December Update from Starr's Cave Nature Center

'Tis the season at Starr's Cave! As winter settles in, our days may be shorter and the weather colder, but our spirits are as high as ever. With the holiday cheer in the air, let's take a moment to recap what's been happening and what's on the horizon at Starr's Cave Nature Center.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Monday, December 18, 2023

December 2023 Department Updates

What's new with Des Moines County parks? Find out here...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Gift the intention to get outside in 2024

Don't let "busyness creep" keep you out of the woods or off the trails

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, December 8, 2023

Wrapping Up November and Embracing December's Delights!

As the year draws to a close, our nature center has been buzzing with activity and excitement! November was a month packed with thrilling programs, adventures, and successful initiatives. Let’s take a look at all that we accomplished last month and gear up for the wonderful lineup awaiting us in December.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hickory Bend expands by 19+ acres

The 19.4 acres were purchased 100% with grants and donations.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Monday, November 27, 2023

November EE Monthly Update

November has been an exhilarating month for our environmental education team, filled with engaging programs, insightful partnerships, and impactful initiatives. As we stride through this vibrant season, here’s a glimpse into our journey and a preview of what lies ahead.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Monday, November 20, 2023

November is fickle, and that's good

November is one of those fickle months that kind of defines life in the Midwest. But while it's hard on the sinuses, there’s opportunity here. Here's how and where to take advantage of it.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, November 10, 2023

November 2023 Department Updates

Here's some of what's been going on at YOUR county conservation department lately...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, November 3, 2023

Monthly EE Program Update

October has brought with it the crisp embrace of autumn, and Starr's Cave Nature Center has been abuzz with activity. From fascinating bat programs to spooktacular Holloween events, the center has been a hub for all things nature and adventure. And the good news is that November promises even more exciting adventures for nature enthusiasts of all ages. Let's take a closer look at what's been happening and what's in store.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Tuesday, October 24, 2023

October Update: A Month of Nature and Community

As the colorful foliage of autumn graces the parks, DMCC has been bustling with activities and initiatives to engage the community with the wonders of nature and sustainability. Here's a recap of what we've been up to this October:

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Fall is a great time to get into your county parks!

With many events coming up to get you outside, there's no excuse to stay indoors.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, October 6, 2023

EE Monthly Report - September Highlights and October Excitement

September has been an exciting month for our Environmental Education (EE) program, filled with program launches, field trips, classroom program sign-ups, program planning, and maintenance activities. Here's a recap of the key highlights for this month and what is to come.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Environmental Endeavors

As summer gives way to the enchanting hues of autumn, our environmental initiatives continue to thrive. With a heart full of accomplishment, we're delighted to share the highlights of our August Environmental Education endeavors.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Thursday, August 31, 2023

August EE Update

As we reach the midpoint of August, it's the perfect moment for an Environmental Education (EE) update! This month has been quite eventful so far. We wrapped up our final camp, the Young Naturalists, marking the official end of this summer's camp season. Reflecting on the summer camps, Naturalist Jacklyn and EE Manager Marcus had an insightful discussion about the highlights and lessons learned. Excitingly, we're already brainstorming innovative ideas for the upcoming summer camp season.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Hidden gems within local county parks

A guide to some of the most visit-worthy "hidden gems" within Des Moines County's parks.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, August 11, 2023

August 2023 Department Updates

Here's what's happening with YOUR county parks.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Monday, August 7, 2023

July's Adventure-Filled Month at the Nature Center!

Summer is a time of exploration and discovery, and at our nature center, July has been an absolute blast! From exciting summer camp activities to public programs that brought the community together, we've been busy connecting people with the wonders of nature. And that's not all – we have fantastic news to share! Thanks to the generosity of Walmart, we were awarded a $1000 grant, which will be used to create rentable program backpacks for our nature center visitors. Let's dive into the highlights of this incredible month and see what we have in store for August!

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Beat the heat at these local waters

It’s the peak of summer. It’s hot. It’s sunny. It’s the perfect time to go out and play in or on the water. Here are some of the best county parks in the area to float, paddle, splash, or swim.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, July 14, 2023

Celebrate with us on August 12!

In just over a month, we're going to celebrate! And we hope you can join us.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July EE Update

As the summer heat continues to blaze, our team at EE (Environmental Education) is thrilled to share the exciting highlights of June and the upcoming events in July. From Outdoor Youth Jamborees to public programs, our aim is to provide unforgettable experiences that connect people with nature. So, let's dive into the action-packed adventures that await!

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, June 28, 2023

June EE Update

Exciting Adventures in Environmental Education: June Update June has been a month filled with thrilling adventures and educational experiences in the field of environmental education. From captivating wildlife encounters to engaging outdoor events, the Environmental Education team has been dedicated to creating unforgettable memories for participants of all ages. Let's take a closer look at what has happened so far and what exciting activities lie ahead!

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Paddle. Fish. Earn Prizes

Earn points this summer for paddling and fishing on Iowa's waters via Iowa DNR's Hook n' Paddle Passport. Redeem points for prizes. Score!

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, June 9, 2023

May 2023 Conservation Updates

Here's what's happening in your county parks.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, June 2, 2023

May Environmental Education Update

From field trips to summer camp! As field trip season wraps up we are shifting gears as June arrives. We have public programs, open nature center hours, and summer camp on the horizon.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Embracing the Outdoors: The Youth Jamboree Experience Powered by Our Community

 The Outdoor Youth Jamboree is a remarkable event that not only provides young people with the opportunity to connect with nature but is also made possible by the dedicated volunteers from various conservation organizations. From Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever to the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Iowa DNR to the Astronomy Club, these volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that the jamboree is a memorable experience for the participants. In this blog post, we will explore the vital role played by these conservation organizations and the dedicated volunteers in making the Youth Jamboree a resounding success.

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Thursday, May 18, 2023

You only get so many summer breaks...

Nobody ever gave a commencement speech saying they wished they’d played more video games

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, May 12, 2023

April Environmental Education Update

What is going on in the Environmental Education Department?

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Friday, April 28, 2023

Flooding closes boat ramps

Most Mississippi River boat ramps are inaccessible due to high water.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Beware those daffodils

Anybody who says, "I'm bored" now should be throttled with a large bundle of daffodils. So in the interest of flower protection, here’s some of what you can do in the coming weeks to get outside.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, April 14, 2023

April 2023 Conservation Updates

Here's some of what's happening at your county conservation department...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, April 7, 2023

Campsite details for October & "Big Holloween" event

With "Big Holloween" having become the biggest event of the year, the Conservation Board is trying to allocate the limited number of campsites as equitably as possible. Here are the details...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, March 31, 2023

Take A Hike

Take A Hike this spring!

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Inalienable Right to Go Outside

"For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television. And the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech."

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, March 10, 2023

What's new at Conservation - March 2023

With spring arriving soon, here's some of what's happening at your local county parks.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, March 3, 2023

Spring Cleaning

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written by Jacklyn Goodman, Naturalist
posted Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Ice, Ice, Maybe

A marmot told us winter is going to hang on a while. But Mother Nature can't decide which side of the freezing point she wants to stay. No worries, we have options...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, February 10, 2023

February 2023 Conservation Updates

Here are some things going on in the world of conservation lately...

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, February 3, 2023

Volunteer Camp Hosts needed for 2023 camping season

DMCC is looking for volunteer camp hosts for 4th Pumping Station and Welter Recreation Area campgrounds

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Buggin Out

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written by Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
posted Monday, January 16, 2023

Winter is for the birds!

With multiple owl prowls and an eagle watches to choose from, this part of winter really is for the birds! It's the perfect opportunity to get outside and learn about some truly magnificent raptors.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Friday, January 13, 2023

Number of donors to the Chickadee Tax Check-off Continues to Decline

As you prepare for this tax season, be sure to include a contribution to the Fish and Wildlife Fund.

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posted Wednesday, January 11, 2023

January 2023 Department Updates

Here's your monthly update about what's been happening lately at Des Moines County Conservation.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Monday, January 9, 2023

DMCC Blog Replacing Quarterly E-Newsletter

Now that the new county website has a blog function, the quarterly Wild River Ramblings e-newsletter has been scrapped. The content normally found in the newsletter will be delivered in regular blog posts.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Thursday, January 5, 2023

Watershed Coordinator is the Next Step for Big Hollow's Water Quality

The next step in the Big Hollow Lake water quality process to get someone hired to be the "point person" for the improvements in the watershed.

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written by Chris Lee, Executive Director
posted Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Fall 2022

Celebrate our volunteers, staff accomplishments, and upcoming autumn events!

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posted Monday, October 3, 2022

Summer 2022

This summer, show your support for our parks!

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posted Friday, July 1, 2022

Spring 2022

Summer is nearly here! Help us prepare for the warmer season in our parks by volunteering and supporting our programs.

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posted Friday, April 1, 2022

Winter 2022

Save the date for upcoming events, volunteer, and learn about our latest improvement projects.

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posted Monday, January 3, 2022

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