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
Butterfly or Moth? How do you know?

May 1, 2018 - 11:00 a.m. - noon. Have you ever wondered how to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly? Is it how they look? Or perhaps how they behave? Are they more alike or more different? How can you tell if a caterpillar will turn into a moth or a butterfly? Come to the program by entomologist Moni Hayne to learn the answers to these questions. Register for lunch only; deadline is April 27. To register for lunch, click here.

Stories of Abandoned and Disappearing Towns

June 12, 2018 - 11:00 a.m. - noon. Thousands of towns and communities were established during Iowa’s pioneer and railroad era. In some instances, they were small towns built around the time of the height of a coal industry that just could not thrive while others supplemented the needs of the countless farmers, and still others were established for very different reasons. Many existed for a few years, some slowly faded away over time, and a few never existed except as “paper” towns. Regardless of why they originated or why they diminished, each community has its own unique story…Towns are truly windows to our past and have helped form the history of our state. Discovering and learning about them helps to keep their names and memories from oblivion…Take a tour around Iowa exploring a sampling of these idiosyncratic communities in photographs and stories. Program sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. Register for lunch only; deadline is June 8. To register for lunch, click here.

Exploring the Appalachian Trail

July 3, 2018 - 11:00a.m. - noon. Have you wondered what it would be like to hike the oldest long trail in the United States but think the opportunity has passed you by? Learn how three retirees recently hiked the Appalachian Trail in Maryland on their own terms and discovered outstanding natural, historical, and cultural history while hiking. They will share tips for route planning, transportation, equipment, clothing, and food as well as AT culture including trail features, trail names and trail magic. Register for lunch only; deadline is June 29. To register for lunch, click here.

The Tale of Iowa's Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument

August 7, 2018 - 11:00 a.m. - noon. Denise Franck tells the history of the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument, and the part Captain J.D. Brown played in the controversy surrounding the location. The tale covers the monument’s inception, design, building and controversy. Register for lunch only; deadline is August 3. To register for lunch, click here.

The Early Depression Dilemmas of Rural Iowa

September 4, 2018 - 11:00 a.m. - noon. The early depression years, during President Herbert Hoover’s administration, marked the depths of the Great Depression for the United States. For Iowa and other Midwestern States, these years actually marked the middle of two decades of agricultural depression which began shortly after the Great War. Iowans not only met the challenges but developed different ideas and plans which proliferated in the agricultural landscape—truly depression dilemmas. Program sponsored by Humanities of Iowa. Register for lunch only; deadline is August 31. To register for lunch, click here.

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

Senior Eco Bus Tours 2018 (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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