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.

Our State Fair – Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Story is the book that chronicles 150 years of Iowans who have collectively made up our unique August experience. You’ll discover a bit of yourself in their stories – from watching two locomotives collide in front of a packed Grandstand to riding the Roller Coaster or sneaking a smooch with your sweetheart while gliding through Ye Old Mill, from parading your Charolais around the ring to watching judges test your piecrust, from camping in Tent City to eating your noon meal beside your car. Author Mary Kay Shanley shares best-of-the-best tales, which are accompanied by a few of the book’s 500 brilliant photographs. There’ll be time for sharing because everybody has a great State Fair story to tell. Program sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. - See more at: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Polk/Park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park/Events/9366/O-W-L-S-Older-Wiser-Livelier-Seniors-Our-State.aspx#sthash.pEoLWYWQ.dpuf
Iowa Underground Railroad

January 7, 2020 - 11:00am - 12pm. “Preacher,” “congressman,” “negro-stealer”: Josiah Bushnell Grinnell was called all of those things during his life. He was called a negro-stealer because he participated in the Iowa Underground Railroad. J.B. Grinnell and other Grinnell residents helped at least 37 fugitive slaves who passed through their town before the Civil War. But some residents opposed this work. David Connon will tell a story of racism, noble actions and conflict. He will highlight abolitionist John Brown’s visit to Grinnell, and Grinnell’s first riot over the presence of fugitive slaves in the public school. Register for lunch only; deadline is January 3. To register for lunch, click here.

Climate Change

February 4, 2020 - 11:00am - 12pm. Climate change is headline news! Join presenter Denise Frank for a presentation on the impacts and solutions of the global crisis that is affecting us here in Iowa. Colorful slides and clear explanations will make a tough topic easier to understand. Register for lunch only; deadline is January 31. To register for lunch, click here.

Okefenokee Swamp

March 3, 2020 - 11:00am - 12pm. The great Okefenokee Swamp evolved from the depths of the ocean and has existed for thousands of years. The ancient peat bog, first inhabited by the Native Americans over 4,000 years ago, encompasses 700 square miles in South Georgia and North Florida. Land of the Trembling Earth, the Okefenokee Swamp is famous throughout the world for its alligators, cypress trees and colorful history. Naturalist, Missy Smith will take you on a virtual tour of this vast undisturbed swamp, introduce you to some of it’s amazing inhabitants and share a few stories as well. Register for lunch only; deadline is February 28. To register for lunch, click here.  

Plant Predators: Carnivorous Plants and their Adaptations

CANCELLED - April 7, 2020 - 11:00am - 12pm. Through ingenious pitfalls, traps and evolutionary strides carnivorous plants have some of the most interesting adaptations in the biological world. Join Sydney Algreen-Hunter, assistant director of education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, to explore and see these fascinating plants in person. Register for lunch only; deadline is April 3. 

2020 Senior Bus Tours

May 28 - Rock, Planes & Prairies to Greenfield, Iowa

June 23 - Cruisin' into Summer to Forest City and Clear Lake, Iowa

July 23 - Music on the Mississippi to Moline, Illinois

August 11-12 - Myster Cave, Bily Clocks & More to Forestville, MN and Decorah, Iowa

October 21 - Scenic Valley Railroad to Boone, Iowa

Our State Fair – Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Story is the book that chronicles 150 years of Iowans who have collectively made up our unique August experience. You’ll discover a bit of yourself in their stories – from watching two locomotives collide in front of a packed Grandstand to riding the Roller Coaster or sneaking a smooch with your sweetheart while gliding through Ye Old Mill, from parading your Charolais around the ring to watching judges test your piecrust, from camping in Tent City to eating your noon meal beside your car. Author Mary Kay Shanley shares best-of-the-best tales, which are accompanied by a few of the book’s 500 brilliant photographs. There’ll be time for sharing because everybody has a great State Fair story to tell. Program sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. - See more at: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Polk/Park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park/Events/9366/O-W-L-S-Older-Wiser-Livelier-Seniors-Our-State.aspx#sthash.pEoLWYWQ.dpuf
Our State Fair – Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Story is the book that chronicles 150 years of Iowans who have collectively made up our unique August experience. You’ll discover a bit of yourself in their stories – from watching two locomotives collide in front of a packed Grandstand to riding the Roller Coaster or sneaking a smooch with your sweetheart while gliding through Ye Old Mill, from parading your Charolais around the ring to watching judges test your piecrust, from camping in Tent City to eating your noon meal beside your car. Author Mary Kay Shanley shares best-of-the-best tales, which are accompanied by a few of the book’s 500 brilliant photographs. There’ll be time for sharing because everybody has a great State Fair story to tell. Program sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. - See more at: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Polk/Park/Jester-Lewis-A-Park/Events/9366/O-W-L-S-Older-Wiser-Livelier-Seniors-Our-State.aspx#sthash.pEoLWYWQ.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
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

Contact Us

Administration Office
12130 NW 128th St
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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