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.

What's New with Polk County Conservation?

August 2, 2016 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Director, Richard Leopold, will share how Polk County Conservation and the Great Outdoors Foundation are teaming up to bring one of Iowa’s leading nature centers to this area. Jester Park Nature Center will provide exceptional value and leadership through avenues of recreation, education, and conservation. Leopold will also discuss other park and natural resource improvements taking place in the county. Luncheon registration is July 29. To register for lunch, click here.

Camp Dodge: Home Away from Home, 1917-1918

September 6, 2016 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Michael Vogt, Iowa Gold Star Military Museum Curator, will share stories on the organization, construction, disease, camp life, and other facets of military training conducted at Camp Dodge during World War I. The presentation includes an accompanying slide show of period photographs from the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum collection. Sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. Luncheon registration is September 2. To register for lunch, click here.

The Brenton Arboretum

October 4, 2016 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Melissa Burdick, Executive Director of The Brenton Arboretum will describe the past, present, and future of The Brenton Arboretum, a botanical treasure in the Iowa countryside. The Arboretum is a living museum of trees, shrubs and native prairie with over 2,200 different trees and shrubs representing 486 species, hybrids and cultivars. Luncheon registration is September 30. To register for lunch, click here.

Bison, a Keystone Species

November 1, 2016 - 11:00 a.m.-noon. Bison are a keystone species in North American prairies. Through grazing, wallowing, nutrient cycling and seed dispersal, bison altered their historic range in ways that are not found in most prairie reconstructions. We’ll explore the natural history of bison in the eastern tall grass prairie and look at new findings from research in Iowa. Pete Eyheralde has been involved in bison ranching in southern Iowa for the last 18 years and is an Assistant Professor of Biology at William Penn University. Luncheon registration is October 28. To register for lunch, click here.

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.

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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