UPDATE: 9/8/20 The Derecho wind storm that blew through the state of Iowa on Monday, August 10th, left behind a substantial amount of debris in our parks and on our trails.
The Jester Park Nature Center will remain closed until further notice to align with Polk County’s COVID public facility operations plan. However, the Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center is open due to the open air nature of this facility.
UPDATE: JULY 27, 2020 | Parks, trails, and campgrounds are open! Read below for the most up-to-date COVID-19 notifications.
Let your imagination run wild with this fun, nature-themed story time! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets or a craft.
Does your company offer Volunteer Paid Time Off (VTO)? Join us as we collect seed from plants ready to harvest from one of our county parks. Come and go between your allotted hours.
A naturalist will walk you through the bison and elk exhibit and share the history of these giants of the prairie. We’ll also introduce you to the resident herds of Jester Park and provide an opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close.
Discover how horses help humans heal mentally and emotionally through the Jester Park Equestrian Center's free demonstration for first responders & health care workers, Retreat With Horses.
Join us and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for a moonlit evening as we hand harvest native prairie seed under the sunset at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt. Afterwards we'll gather around the campfire at the Youth Camp Area to enjoy s'mores and celebrate fall with new friends.
This fall, special use permits allowing bowhunters to participate in a controlled bowhunt for antlerless deer will be issued by the organizations listed at the bottom of this information.
Learn how diverse the insect world really is! We’ll cover basic insect characteristics, the different orders of insects, and the amazing adaptations insects have for survival.
View the latest construction update on the Lauridsen Skatepark here!
Explore the natural healing path of Shinrin Yoku or Japanese Forest bathing with Crystal Berkens or Brandy Case Haub, certified forest guides. This mindful walk will invite you to use your senses to enhance your well-being.