Polk County Conservation

Field Trip Opportunities

Polk County Conservation is putting more emphasis on getting students outdoors. We have developed theme based field trips. These field trips may have two or more naturalists or volunteers leading the programs. Don’t forget winter is a great time to explore the outdoors so consider a winter field trip. Check out the new opportunities and let’s try to get more students outdoors exploring nature. Our goal is to provide students with memorable experiences and to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.

Watch this short video to see what happens on our field trips.  

The Great Outdoors Foundation (GOF) has committed to sponsoring a limited number of school buses for the 2014-2015 field trip season. GOF will reimburse the cost of one bus per field trip up to $200 per school. Bus Sponsorship Form

All field trips are free except for any field trip involving canoes and/or kayaks. The $50 fee helps cover the cost of transportation and equipment replacement. To schedule a field trip, contact Patrice Petersen-Keys at Patrice.Petersen-Keys@polkcountyiowa.gov or 515-323-5359.

Habitat Discovery

Grades - 3rd - 5th
Length - 4 hours
Months - September, October, May
Locations - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Jester, or Thomas Mitchell Park

Through hands-on discovery, students will explore Iowa’s habitats including a woodland, prairie, and pond. They will constrast the features of the habitats, find the essential components of habitat, and examine how animals adapt to their habitats.

Geology Rocks

Grades - 3rd – 5th
Length - 3 - 4 hours
Season - Spring or Fall
Location - Jester Park, Thomas Mitchell Park

Through hands-on discovery, students will learn about Iowa's geology. They will learn how rocks are made, the three categories of rocks, and understand the rock cycle. 

Insect Safari

Grades - Kindergarten - 2nd
Length - 3 - 4 hours
Months - September, October, May
Locations - Jester Park, Thomas Mitchell Park.

Through hands-on discovery, students will explore a variety of insects in the woodland, prairie, or pond. They will identify different types of insects, identify the life cycle stage of the insect and examine how insects adapt to their habitats.

Trees and Plants

Grades - Kindergarten - 2nd
Length - 3 hours
Month - fall or spring
Location - Jester Park, Thomas Mitchell Park

Through hands-on activities students will explore an Iowa woodland. They will contrast trees, plants and seeds, and observe the life cycle of trees and plants.

Life on the Prairie

Grades - 3rd - 6th
Length - 3.5 hours (10 am - 1:30 pm)
Month - September 22, 23, 25, 26, 2014
Location - Red Feather Prairie (Saylorville Lake)

Tall grass prairie once covered 85% of Iowa's landscape. Most of this unique habitat has long since vanished; however, life on the prairie still lives today. Join Polk County naturalists and get a glimpse of what life was like on the prairie. Students will learn about Native American cultures and Iowa's natural history through games and hands-on activities.

Marsh Madness

Grades - 6th - 12th
Length - 3 - 5 hours
Months - September, October, May
Location - Engeldinger Marsh only

Get down and dirty as naturalists lead students into one of the last remaining wetlands in Polk County. Geological formation, wetland history, ecology and hydrology will all be explored through adventurous hands-on activities that will leave the students muddy, wet, and wild about wetlands. Students must wear old shoes and clothes that can get wet and muddy.

Outdoor Skills

Grades - 6th - 12th
Length - 3 - 4 hours
Season - spring or fall
Locations - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

This field trip is full of fun and excitement. Outdoor skills may include fishing, canoeing, geocaching, birdwatching, and hiking. A service project may be added.

Winter Adventure

Grades - 3rd – 12th grade
Length - 2 - 4 hours
Season - Winter
Location - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Come explore the great outdoors in the winter. This field trip can include snowshoeing, ice fishing, and a winter hike. Warm up indoors around a wood stove.

Wild-4-Wildlife

Grades - Kindergarten-8th
Length - 4 hours
Season - Any
Most Polk County Parks

Description - Students will learn about wildlife in Iowa and the clues they leave behind. Hands-on activities may include hiking, bird watching, and catching critters in a pond or prairie.

Optional Activities:

In addition to the above listed field trip themes, service projects and hikes can be added to any field trip.

Contact Us

Administration Office
11407 NW Jester Park Drive
Granger, IA 50109

P: (515) 323-5300
F: (515) 323-5354
pccb_info@polkcountyiowa.gov

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

More Contacts