This podcast was produced by Polk County Conservation and funded by Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education program or REAP-CEP.
Hi! My name is Heidi Anderson, naturalist with Polk County Conservation. Many of us enjoy taking a vacation far from home. But have you ever considered staying closer to home and exploring the area where you live?
In the heart of Iowa, Polk County Conservation offers over 11,000 acres of prairies, wetlands, woodlands, trails and parks. We have something for everyone. Plan a family picnic at Thomas Mitchell Park. Golf 18 holes on a championship course at Jester Park (golf club hitting a golf ball). Canoe down the river at Yellow Banks Park. Reel in a trophy fish at Easter Lake (reeling in a fish sound). Ride horseback along Saylorville Lake in Jester Park. Utilize public hunting areas at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt. Or get some exercise biking on the Great Western Trail.
If you enjoy camping, check out the full service campgrounds at Jester Park, Yellow Banks Park, Thomas Mitchell Park, or Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt. You might also consider checking out a nature themed Park Pack to take along with you. These backpacks come with a field guide and a variety of activities and fun facts to assist in the discovery of a specific nature topic. The Park Packs are available for a free two week check out.
You’ll also want to take time to explore the new Jester Park Natural Playscape. This play area is constructed using natural materials such as boulders, earth mounds, and water features, avoiding plastics, metals, concrete, or signs explaining how to play.
Take the time to play local. You might be surprised what you can find in your own backyard. To find out more about the county conservation board parks in your area, visit mycountyparks.com. Iowa State Park information can be found on iowadnr.gov.
This podcast was funded by REAP-CEP which is a program the State of Iowa invests in to enhance and protect the state's natural and cultural resources. REAP provides money for projects through state agency budgets or in the form of grants. For more information about REAP, visit iowareap.com