Polk County Conservation

Senior Programs and Trips

OWLS having lunch at the Lodge
Click here for a Desk Aid on how to register for a public program or event.
OWLS - Older, Wiser, Livelier, Seniors

Looking for an excuse to get out of the house, make some new friends, enjoy a good meal and learn about the exciting world of nature? Then join us!

These programs are held the first Tuesday of each month. The nature program will start at 11:00 a.m. at the Jester Park Lodge. An optional luncheon follows the program at noon in which pre-registration is required. Registration deadline for lunch is the Friday before the program. The cost of the catered lunch is $10.00.

Bobcats and Large Carnivores in the Midwest Landscape

December 6, 2016 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. William R. Clark, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University will discuss the return of predators to the Midwest. He’ll cover the recent sightings of bears, pumas, and wolves and talk in some detail about how biologists study large carnivores using the Iowa bobcat research as an example. He will also discuss the future, conflicts and conservation of these incredible animals. Luncheon registration is December 2. To register for lunch, click here.

Conservation at the Zoo

January 3, 2017 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. What does your visit to Blank Park Zoo have to do with conservation? A LOT, as it turns out. Rhinos, snow leopards, giraffe and even the monarch butterfly are in trouble. Blank Park Zoo is proud to be an organization committed to conservation and is making a huge impact to save wildlife around the world as well as in our own backyards. Come join Angela Tague, Education Specialist from Blank Park Zoo, as she brings to light the impact this Iowa zoo is having saving animals in the wild. Register for lunch only; deadline is December 31. To register for lunch, click here.

Bluebirds of Iowa

February 7, 2017 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Joel Van Roekel with Des Moines Park and Recreation along with David Johnson and Rodgers Shell, Polk County Blue Bird Trail Ambassadors, will talk about blue birds and their important role in the environment. They will share beautiful pictures and discuss how to attract them by building nest boxes and establish habitat for wildlife. Register for lunch only; deadline is February 3. To register for lunch, click here.

Iowa Phenology

March 7, 2017 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Simply put, phenology is an awareness of the natural rhythms of life. Most people already have some awareness of those rhythms: flowering plants, migrating birds, seasonal changes. Starting with this knowledge, it’s possible to go further in understanding what is going on around us and how those happenings fit into cycles. What signals do migrating insects follow? When will mushrooms pop up from the woodland soil? How far do small birds like hummingbirds and warblers migrate to breed or overwinter? Why do all those boxelder bugs and Asian lady beetles seem to wait until frost to mob the windows of the house and sneak inside? This program may not answer every question, but it will help you become a detective and observer who can puzzle out some of the answers. Register for lunch only; deadline is March 4. To register for lunch, click here.

South Georgia Island

April 4, 2017 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. In the Southern Atlantic Ocean, nestled half-way between the tips of South America and Africa, is a 100 mile long island archipelago featuring unrivaled alpine beauty. It’s also a wildlife paradise, with beaches crowded with battling bull Elephant and Fur Seals, vying for space with several species of penguins, often numbering in the hundreds of thousands! This British protectorate, once a headquarters for the South Atlantic whaling fleet, is now  managed as a pristine environment, serving as home to more than 100 million birds, including several species of Albatross and  myriad other bird species.  We will see and learn about the many animals inhabiting this magical place, as we ply the scenic bays, aboard the Ortelius, an expedition ship, built to navigate some of the roughest seas in the world. Come join us for an educational and stunningly beautiful presentation. Register for lunch only; deadline is April 1. To register for lunch, click here.

Learning how to carefully spot and identify nests is a challenge welcomed by a growing number of experienced and beginning birders alike. From huge platform nests located high in trees to neatly woven cup nests hidden in the grass, the amazing diversity of nests nearly matches the diversity of the birds themselves. Join Iowa DNR biologist Bruce Ehresman as he discusses nest sites, nest types, and nest materials of birds in Iowa and beyond. Bruce will show how this information can help a keen observer determine the type of bird that made a particular nest - and how important those nesting aspects are to a bird's life cycle. In addition to photos, he will bring in various examples of nests for first-hand views. Bruce participated in both of Iowa’s Breeding Bird Atlases, during which time he spent several thousand hours locating nests across the state. He is excited to share what he has learned with others who appreciate wildlife. - See more at: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Polk/Park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park/Events/6785/OWLS-Bird-Nests-a-Tour-of-Avian-Architecture-a.aspx#sthash.PvLo6Y6Q.dpuf
Learning how to carefully spot and identify nests is a challenge welcomed by a growing number of experienced and beginning birders alike. From huge platform nests located high in trees to neatly woven cup nests hidden in the grass, the amazing diversity of nests nearly matches the diversity of the birds themselves. Join Iowa DNR biologist Bruce Ehresman as he discusses nest sites, nest types, and nest materials of birds in Iowa and beyond. Bruce will show how this information can help a keen observer determine the type of bird that made a particular nest - and how important those nesting aspects are to a bird's life cycle. In addition to photos, he will bring in various examples of nests for first-hand views. Bruce participated in both of Iowa’s Breeding Bird Atlases, during which time he spent several thousand hours locating nests across the state. He is excited to share what he has learned with others who appreciate wildlife. - See more at: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Polk/Park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park/Events/6785/OWLS-Bird-Nests-a-Tour-of-Avian-Architecture-a.aspx#sthash.PvLo6Y6Q.dpuf

Senior Eco Bus Tours in 2016 (flyer)

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.

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