Conservation

News and Announcements

Monitoring Water Quality at Easter Lake
Conservation Promoted
Monitoring Water Quality at Easter Lake

During the summer recreation season, Polk County Conservation staff are regularly monitoring the water in Easter Lake, taking samples weekly for testing. Every week on Thursday or Friday, weekly results will be posted here.

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7/22/2024

Plotting a Comeback
Conservation Promoted
Plotting a Comeback

Growing, harvesting rare native plants

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6/25/2024

Construction Roundup: Summer Projects
Conservation Promoted
Construction Roundup: Summer Projects

This summer Polk County Conservation Parks are getting upgrades! As the temperature increases, stay informed on all the projects and closures happening in the parks.

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5/31/2024

Flooding Closures 2024
Conservation News
Flooding Closures 2024

Recent heavy rain has caused flooding at various sites across Polk County Parks.

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6/27/2024

Scavenger Hunt at Strasser Woods State Preserve
Conservation News
Scavenger Hunt at Strasser Woods State Preserve

Fun ways to enjoy Strasser Woods State Preserve.

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4/26/2024

Invasive Buy Back Program
Conservation News
Invasive Buy Back Program

Polk County Conservation is implementing a Callery (Bradford) Pear and Burning Bush “buy-back” program for residents of Polk County, Iowa.

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4/19/2024

2024 Prescribed Burning Season
Conservation News
2024 Prescribed Burning Season

Prescribed burn season is upon us! Our Natural Resource Crews will be conducting prescribed burning in our parks and trails as weather allows this week and extending through the spring season.

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2/27/2024

No Snow, No Problem
Conservation News
No Snow, No Problem

Slide down a 600-foot-long hill tubing starting this spring at Sleepy Hollow.

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2/26/2024

What is a Wetland?
Conservation News
What is a Wetland?

A wetland is an area of land that is continuously or periodically wet during the year. Also called swamps, marshes, bogs, or prairie potholes, Iowa was once dotted with thousands of wetlands.

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1/29/2024

Timber Stand Improvement
Conservation News
Timber Stand Improvement

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) is a form of restoration work that occurs in degraded woodlands with the goal of improving the quality of native tree and plant species. Often this involves reducing the quantity of trees, especially non-native varieties.

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1/22/2024

Thrills, Chills, And Gills
Conservation News
Thrills, Chills, And Gills

Ice fishing is a great way to take advantage of the cooler months and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Polk County has resources for you to have a safe and satisfying experience.

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12/19/2023

Long-time Conservation Volunteer Wins 2023 Hagie Heritage Award
Conservation News
Long-time Conservation Volunteer Wins 2023 Hagie Heritage Award

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) has selected Dr. Ron Eckoff to receive the 2023 Hagie Heritage Award.

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11/28/2023

Serenity at Fort Des Moines Park
Conservation News
Serenity at Fort Des Moines Park

An itinerary for a peaceful day at Fort Des Moines Park. A way to explore the park while finding peace; improving both your physical and mental health.

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10/31/2023

A Day at Carney Marsh
Conservation News
A Day at Carney Marsh

Listening to the sounds of nature one might hear while enjoying the beauty of Carney Marsh.

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9/27/2023

New, Year-Round Recreation Feature Coming to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park
Conservation News
New, Year-Round Recreation Feature Coming to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

Polk County Conservation announces phased approach to re-launching the winter sports destination.

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7/7/2023

Crane Meadows: 300+ Acres of Potential
Conservation News
Crane Meadows: 300+ Acres of Potential

After several years of extensive restoration work, the wildlife area is now part of Polk County Conservation's family of parks.

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5/18/2023

The Lockards: Looking Back on the Legacy of Two Caretakers
Conservation News
The Lockards: Looking Back on the Legacy of Two Caretakers

The story behind the couple who gave away over 8 acres of land to Polk County Conservation.

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3/28/2023

Scent Detection Dogs: The Fluffy Face of Conservation
Conservation News
Scent Detection Dogs: The Fluffy Face of Conservation

How Polk County Conservation uses scent detection dogs to aid in the restoration of Ornate Box Turtles.

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3/28/2023

Seeking public input on updates to Riverwalk Dog Park, new parking lot.
Conservation News
Seeking public input on updates to Riverwalk Dog Park, new parking lot.

Meeting scheduled for March 7 at 5:30 pm.

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2/23/2023

Seeking public input on proposed mountain bike park and related re-zoning.
Conservation News
Seeking public input on proposed mountain bike park and related re-zoning.

View virtual presentation on the project.

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2/17/2023

Long-anticipated bridge over Beaver Creek opens along Trestle to Trestle Trail.
Conservation News
Long-anticipated bridge over Beaver Creek opens along Trestle to Trestle Trail.

A major artery between the cities of Johnston and Des Moines is once again flowing with cyclists and walkers.

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9/15/2022

Trestle to Trestle Bridge Replacement Begins
Conservation News
Trestle to Trestle Bridge Replacement Begins

We are excited to announce that construction for the Trestle to Trestle Bridge replacement has begun. This bridge is the connector between the cities of Johnston and Des Moines and a key element of the very popular urban Trestle to Trestle Trail.

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8/29/2022

Prescribed Burning Season
Conservation News
Prescribed Burning Season

Prescribed burn has begun in Polk County Conservation’s parks and trails. Natural resource crews will be conducting prescribed burning as weather allows from starting the third week of August.

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8/16/2022

Striving to make Easter Lake Park's north shore the most accessible park in America.
Conservation News
Striving to make Easter Lake Park's north shore the most accessible park in America.

$8.1 million park enhancements will offer universal access to nature, recreation for people of all abilities.

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7/13/2022

Polk County Designated a Bird Friendly Community
Conservation News
Polk County Designated a Bird Friendly Community

Bird Friendly Iowa announced that Polk County is among the first counties in Iowa to be designated as a Bird Friendly Community.

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6/10/2022

Invest in the Environment with Conservation Credits
Conservation News
Invest in the Environment with Conservation Credits

With help from the Great Outdoors Foundation, you can now invest in the environment and feel good about your choices with Conservation Credits.

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6/10/2022

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park to Join Polk County Conservation’s Family of Parks
Conservation News
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park to Join Polk County Conservation’s Family of Parks

We are excited to welcome Sleepy Hollow to Polk County Conservation’s family of parks and trails! Sleepy Hollow is a 76-acre sports and family recreation complex located on the east side of Des Moines. Learn more!

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6/10/2022