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.

Peregrine Falcons in Iowa

January 6, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Pat Schlarbaum with the Iowa DNR has had the opportunity to link Peregrine Falcons  with quite a number of environmentalists, falconers, and citizens to return these birds to Iowa skies. From first reintroduction attempts in 1989, to assisting falcon releases at historic cliff locations in 1988-2000, it has been an exciting rejuvenation for this species. in 2009 they were removed from Iowa's Endangered Species list. Luncheon registration is January 2. To register for lunch, click here.

The Life and Times of J. Sterling Morton

February 3, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. This two-act living history program introduces the audience to the life of J. Sterling Morton, from his birth in New York to his death in Nebraska City. Within five years after his arrival at Bellevue, Morton was twice elected to the Territorial Legislature, appointed Clerk of Supreme Court, became Territorial Secretary and made acting Governor at the age of 26. The founder of Arbor Day would later become secretary of agriculture. Draper lends insight into Morton's failures and successes. This program is sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. Luncheon registration is January 30. To register for lunch, click here.

Aldo Leopold: Roots of the 'Land Ethic' in Iowa

March 3, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Join Steve Brower as he shares the life and times of Aldo Leopold. Leopold, born and raised in Burlington had an uncommon childhood that greatly influenced his career and the evolution of his 'Land Ethic' philosophy. Many of his essays and articles reflect on youthful discoveries made in the rocky ravines and bottomland woods around his home and nearby Illinois. Leopold's parents and grandparents encouraged young Aldo to find connections with nature through studies in the humanities - literature, music and art, that emerged in his great book A Sand County Almanac in 1949. Recognized as the Father of the Wilderness System and Wildlife Management, he was the first to suggest an ecological approach to conservation planning during his years with the Forest Service. And during his years in Wisconsin he began the first prairie restoration in the country in 1935. Luncheon registration is February 27. To register for lunch, click here.

Journey to the Southern Islands

April 7, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Join writer/photographer Ty Smedes for this slide presentation and lecture, as he takes us on a voyage to the bottoms of the world. We'll leave the southernmost city in the world (Ushuaia) aboard the converted Polish ice-breaker Ortelius - now an expedition ship - and will journey to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the Sheltand Islands (including Elephant Island), and the Antarctic peninsula. During this month-long tour, we will leave the ship by zodiac, to explore southern shores, teaming with nesting albatross and myriad numbers of water birds, including penguins of many species, and mammals - including southern fur seals, elephant seal, and leopard seal. We will retrace much of explorer Earnest Shackleton's historic ill-fated 1914 journey to South Georgia Island, to save his crew - marooned on Elephant Island. And we will marvel at the stunning and colorful ice formations, as we explore the shoreline of the Antarctic Peninsula. Luncheon registration is April 3. To register for lunch, click here.

Senior Bus Tours in 2015 (flyer)

Contact Us

Administration Office
11407 NW Jester Park Drive
Granger, IA 50109

P: (515) 323-5300
F: (515) 323-5354

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

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