Funding Needed for New Jester Park Nature Center Exhibit


Donations are being sought to create a lithic (stone) artifact exhibit at the Jester Park Nature Center to educate visitors about Iowa's archaeological past. This $60,000 exhibit is anticipated to open to the public in the spring of 2022. Over the past 30 years, private collections of artifacts have been donated to Polk County Conservation. All of the artifacts originated from S.E. Polk County and represent over 12,000 years of human inhabitance in this area.

How to Donate

  • IMPORTANT: Upon donating, type “ARTIFACT” in the comments box. If you would like to be recognized on our website, be sure to include your name/group/organization.
  • Click here to make a donation for this exciting project.
  • For more information or questions, contact

About the Exhibit

Private collections of lithic (rock) and historic artifacts have been donated to Polk County Conservation (PCC) from families and individuals. The combined collections include over 600 artifacts collected in or around what is now Yellow Banks Park in SE Polk County. Artifacts include a wide variety of projectile points, axes, celts, mauls, pottery sherds, grinding slabs, and a rare banner stone. The artifacts represent four distinct archeological time-periods spanning over 13,000 years of human inhabitance in the area.

Learn more about this collection:

Land Acknowledgement

We recognize that Polk County Conservation properties sit on land once occupied by numerous different groups of Iowa’s Indigenous People. Through several treaties with the United States, Tribal Nations ceded land in Iowa to make way for the State of Iowa. Dealings between the United States and American Indian Tribal Nations were not always honorable, and some of the provisions of these treaties have been broken. A new community now thrives on these lands and we owe a debt to the Tribal Nations that occupied this land previously. These Tribal Nations are an important part of our national and regional heritage; many of them persist today and continue to be recognized formally by the U.S. government.

We hereby acknowledge those Tribal Nations and Iowa’s Indigenous People, and express our appreciation and respect. Please see the University of Iowa Native American Council’s Acknowledgement of Land and Sovereignty, which lists the names of each of these Tribal Nations and all of the treaties between the United States and Indigenous Peoples involving lands in Iowa.

Thank You to the Artifact Donors

PCC would like to express sincere gratitude to the families and individuals that generously donated the following artifacts. Without their thoughtfulness, this cultural and historic resource would not have been possible. These artifacts will help to educate and inform our community about Iowa’s cultural heritage and the people who called this land home long before it was called Iowa.