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.

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.

Floating Through History

May 5, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. During a 25-year career with the Des Moines Register, from 1972-1997, Larry Stone traveled throughout Iowa, sharing stories and photos of the state’s natural treasures. This program is not just for paddlers, this is an entertaining look at the natural and cultural resources that canoeists, visitors, and residents may experience along our waterways. This program is funded through Humanities of Iowa. Luncheon registration is May 1. To register for lunch, click here.

Why Plant Native in Butterfly Gardens

June 2, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Jim Kessler, has been active in native plant gardening, prairie restoration, and native planting management for 40 years. His program will focus on how both urban and rural native plantings can increase wildlife habitat, increase struggling migratory songbird populations, and can reverse the current rapid decline in insect pollinators, including honeybees and monarchs. His presentation will be illustrated with photographs taken on the property he and his wife, Kathy, live on south of Grinnell. Luncheon registration is May 29. To register for lunch, click here.

Grass Between the Rails

July 7, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Denny Rehder has been a musician all his life. He has combined that ability with his love of Iowa history to produce “Grass Between the Rails,” a celebration of Iowa’s railroad heritage in words and original music. His songs cover the gamut of Iowa railroad history from the race for Council Bluffs to the Burlington Zephyr. Through his music, he visits the worst wreck ever, Iowa’s best-known railroad hero, the road through Paradise, the one elephant circus and his family’s ties to the Illinois Central. This program is funded through Humanities of Iowa. Luncheon registraion is July 3. To register for lunch, click here.

Bears of Katmai

August 4, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Katmai National Park on the Alaska Peninsula is well known as the “go to” place to see coastal brown bears. While many fear bears, and rightly so, it’s possible to share the space and get along with them too. Nature photographer, Craig Meyers, will introduce you to the bears and other wildlife of Katmai, and share why the bears aren’t always the vicious killers we hear about. Luncheon registration is July 31. 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.

More Contacts