The majority of programs are free of charge for schools within Des Moines County unless otherwise noted. For out-of-county schools, the fee for a field trip to Starr's Cave Nature Center is $1/kid. For EE staff to come to out-of-county classrooms, the fees are $1/kid in addition to mileage to the location. If additional fees apply, they will be noted.
Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. For the first part of the school year August - December, we will take program reservations beginning in early August. For school programs from January - June, we will take program reservations beginning December 1.
To schedule, a program or field trip contact Starr's Cave Nature Center at 319-753-5808.
View a full list of programs and descriptions we offer!
If you can't make it out to Starr's Cave for a field trip, don't worry, we can always come to you! We have many programs written and ready for the classroom. We are also more than happy to create new ones upon request to compliment what science topics your classroom is currently learning about. We have furs, skulls, tracks, fake scat (animal droppings), fossils, birds, and an insect collection (just to name a few items) that we would love to share with your students. Most programs are a half an hour to an hour in length.
Each field trip, depending on the number of participants, is divided up into smaller groups. Each group will simultaneously attend a separate session either taught by a Des Moines County Conservation naturalist or by a teacher. Most fieldtrips occur from 9 a.m. - Noon or 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. depending on how many sessions there are and how long each session is. Fieldtrips designed for your group based on what you are learning at the time.
Field trips most often take place at Starr's Cave Nature Center, but our other parks offer new experiences and adventures as well.