Free Resources

We have several nature trunks, teaching materials, and park packs available for check out. Materials may be checked out for a two week period FREE of charge.

All resources are free and require pick-up at the Jester Park Nature Center unless other arrangement are made in advance. Please call at least one week in advance to reserve these materials: 515-323-5339.

  • Animal Trunk: Watch out, this trunk is wild! We managed to cram amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals all in the same trunk. The trunk is filled with furs, skulls, books, posters, and a teaching guide.

  • Insect Trunk: This trunk is full of those six-legged critters we call insects. Real (non-living) insects, big plastic insects, books, posters, and videos are just a few of the things you’ll find in this creepy crawly trunk.

  • Prairie Trunk: Open this trunk to get a glimpse of what Iowa used to look like! This trunk is as diverse as the prairie itself. Your students will get a chance to look at real samples of prairie grasses, feel furs of animals that once roamed Iowa, and learn why this incredible habitat has almost vanished.

  • Water Quality Trunk: Where does rain go when it falls in your yard? What can a stonefly tell you about water quality? Take a virtual ride through a storm drain or experience the power of a flashflood and become a stormwater sleuth while exploring the water quality trunk.


  • EnviroScape: EnviroScape is a desktop model which demonstrates point and non-point source pollution as well as pollution prevention in a watershed. The EnviroScape includes a 65-page user's guide. The model is easy to clean and the materials come in a lightweight case.

  • Fishing Poles: Take your students fishing! Polk County Conservation Board has over 80 poles to be used. A $10 deposit fee will be required per rack (eight poles per rack) If more than 5 racks are checked out, a deposit fee of $50 will be required. If all poles are returned without tangled lines or broken reels, the deposit will be returned.

  • Park Packs: Thirteen nature themed backpacks were designed to help families, scout groups, home schoolers, and other groups explore the wonders of nature around them. Each pack comes with a field guide and a variety of activities and fun facts to assist in the discovery of the specific nature topic. The nature themed park packs include: Animals of Iowa, Birds, Creatures of the Night, Geology Rocks, Insect Safari, Life in a Pond, Outdoor Skills, Prairie, Water Quality, Treeific Trees, Wildflowers and Plants, Geocaching, and Winter Wonders (seasonal pack.) To reserve a park pack, call the Jester Park Nature Center at 515-323-5350.