Covid-19 Updates & Operations

In response to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country as the highly infectious delta variant continues to grow in prevalence, Polk County Conservation will be re-implementing some safety protocols in our public facilities. Polk County has consistently followed CDC recommendations. The CDC is now recommending that all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, wear a mask in indoor settings in geographic areas where transmissibility rates are “substantial” or “high.”  Polk County is now at the “substantial” or “high” transmissibility threshold so we are reverting back to the policy that all individuals wear masks while in Polk County buildings.

Masks Required in the Following Public Buildings:

  • Jester Park Nature Center
  • Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center 
  • Natural Resources Headquarters
  • Chichaqua Longhouse

Polk County Conservation buildings under concession agreements have adapted their own COVID-19 operations, although all COVID-19 precautions are strongly encouraged. These facilities include:


Facility Operations

  • Jester Park Nature Center: Normal hours have commenced at the nature center. Water fountains, Park Packs, puppets, books, the Naturalist Nook, and all exhibits are now open and accessible to the public.
    • Monday - Friday | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Saturday | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Sunday & Open Holidays | Noon - 4 p.m.
  • Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center: Summer hours
    • Fall & Winter Hours (September 7, 2021 - May 29, 2022)

      • Saturday | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      • Sunday & Open Holidays | Noon - 4 p.m.
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | Noon - 4 p.m.


Volunteer & Public Programming
Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the public and the staff. In response to the ongoing development of COVID-19, Polk County Conservation facilities and programs will adhere to social distancing, smaller group sizes, increased sanitation, and face masks mandatory while indoors.

  • Indoor educational programming, including camps, nature programs, Older Wiser Livelier Seniors, field trips, in-school programs, etc. will adhere to all COVID-19 precautions.
  • Indoor volunteer events and programs will also follow COVID-19 precautions and procedures.