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Thursday, March 14, 2019
For updates on Polk County Conservation park and trail closures due to flooding, please refer back to this post, as it will be updated as information is received.
- Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt | Campgrounds are closed until further notice due to flooding.
- Gay Lea Wilson Trail | High water and large ice chunks from Four Mile Creek have the Gay Lea Wilson Trail at NE 54th Ave, I-80, and Broadway closed.
- Mally's Park | Mally's Park will reopen when the roadways are clear.
- Trestle to Trestle Trail | The Trestle to Trestle Trail bridge over Lower Beaver in Johnston has been washed out by an ice jam. The Johnston P.D has flagged it off. Please maintain a safe distance from the bridge when recreating.
- Lower Beaver Tunnel along the Trestle to Trestle trail is closed until further notice.
- Jester Park | Camp Areas #2, #3 and #6, Shelter #4, Lincoln Access boat ramp, and Jester Park boat ramp are closed due to flooding. The north and south gates are closed. Please enter the park through the main entrance near the Jester Park Nature Center.
- Yellow Banks Park | The boat ramp and the group camp area near the Des Moines River are closed until further notice due to flooding.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Hosted by Polk County Conservation and Cumulus Media, this family friendly-event is fun for all ages! Glow Wild is held at the Jester Park Nature Center in Granger, Iowa right outside of the Des Moines metro area.
Join us on Saturday, August 24 from 4 - 10 p.m. for live music by the Georgia Satellites with local Des Moines band, Suede, as their opener, fun programs, canoeing, horse-drawn wagon rides, signature bonfire, glow-in-the-dark climbing walls, tethered hot air balloon rides, and many more fun activities throughout the evening!
• Children (ages 3 - 17) | $5
• Adults (ages 18+) | $15
• Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides | $28/person
• 1 Night Camping (limited number of sites) | $25 per Tent
• Children 2 & Under | FREE
*All campers must purchase a Glow Wild ticket.
*Each additional tent must purchase a camping pass.*
DAY OF EVENT [Prices increase at the gate & online @ 4p.m.]
• Children (ages 3 - 17) | $8
• Adults (ages 18+) | $20
• Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides | $28/person
• Children 2 & Under | FREE
Buy tickets online or at the event entrance with cash or credit. For more information on festival camping click here.
TETHERED HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES
*Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides are not included within the ticket prices and must be purchased separately.* Option included within ticket link.
Limited number of rides | MUST purchase Glow Wild tickets to Participate
• 3 slots per ride
• Tickets are sold in hour time blocks
*Please be present for the time block you purchase. If there are only 2 people
in your party, you may be asked to share your ride.*
*There is a 600 lb. weight limit per balloon ride. Please give this consideration when booking your reservation time. Families with more than 3 people may be able to fit more people in the basket as long as 600 lbs. isn't exceeded. No additional charges will be assessed beyond the 3-person per time slot maximum. For questions and concerns please call Polk County Conservation at 515.323.5363.
FESTIVAL CAMPING TICKETS
2019 Camping passes are not included within the ticket prices and must be purchased separately. Option included within ticket link.Limited number of sites | ALL campers MUST purchase Glow Wild tickets.
• Saturday Night Camping | $25
*Maximum number of people per tent: 6*
*Each additional tent must purchase a camping ticket*
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Looking for a venue for your next corporate or personal event in a beautiful park setting? Consider the Jester Park Nature Center in Granger, Iowa! The Jester Park Nature Center is an eco-conscience building immersed in prairie and surrounded by woodlands. The nature center offers many different areas of the building for your next event.
Rental reservations are now being accepted as of January 2, 2019. Reservations can only be made six months prior to the reservation date.
View Rental Contract and Application Form here.
*Application forms may be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed. However, payments for reservations cannot be accepted via e-mail. To pay with a credit card, please call (515) 323-5317 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Monday - Friday).
For hours of operation, fees, and more visit the Jester Park Nature Center's website here.
Monday, October 29, 2018
Beginning in July of 2013, the Easter Lake Watershed Project started taking on improvement projects to restore Easter Lake and improve water quality to make Easter Lake a sustainable resource providing diverse outdoor recreational activities for all visitors.
Throughout the Project’s life we have been working on completing projects as set by the Easter Lake Watershed Management plan while also taking on additional projects to reach our water quality goals. See below for what we have accomplished so far and where we are headed for the future.
Regular updates on individual projects will be added as more information is available.
Monday, October 8, 2018
Friends of Jester Park is a collaborative program of Polk County Conservation and the Great Outdoors Foundation that provides more opportunities for outdoor fun and nature adventures!
Friends of Jester Park benefits include exclusive members-only events and programs, equipment rental discounts, a yearly gift of local nature-inspired art, discounts on reserveable campsites and designated fee-based programs, and tips to make the most of your Jester Park outings.
Your membership support provides supplemental funds needed for operations to keep Jester Park beautiful and enhance conservation and outdoor recreation programming.
Choose the membership level that fits the
outdoor memories you want to create.
Individual | $25 Annual
Family (Immediate) | $100 Annual
Individual or Couple | $100 Annual
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
The 6.2-mile Mark C. Ackelson Trail winding around Easter Lake provides an ideal place for outdoor recreation and scenic views for park visitors. Cycling, skating and hiking opportunities along the trail lie adjacent to playground equipment, fishing piers, a boat ramp, and several picnic areas. Parking and trail access is available from any of the shelters and parking lots located throughout Easter Lake Park as well as at the beach. The north side of the trail is accessible from Ewing Park.
The trail will have many bridges, but the one that will be remembered by trail users is the new 440’ bridge that spans the western arm of the lake. This multiple span bridge mirrors the bow-string design concept of the other bridges on the trail, but the two twin piers with observation bump-outs will make the already scenic bridge an enjoyable spot to pause and enjoy the quiet beauty of Easter Lake.
The trail’s namesake, Mark C. Ackelson, served as President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) for 18 years where he provided leadership in several conservation efforts. Ackelson’s devoted passion for land, water, and wildlife served in helping INHF to protect and restore 145,000 acres of Iowa’s natural areas. Additionally, he spearheaded efforts to establish hundreds of miles of trails in an effort to support local trailside communities and get Iowans outdoors.
Along the railing of the pedestrian bridge, individual bridge plaque sponsors are recognized with a plaque bearing their name or company name, friend or loved ones’ name(s).
- A $125 - $130 donation entitles you to a plaque until all spaces have been sold.
- Each plaque is an engraved aluminum with satin brush finish measuring 4”w x 2¼” h.
- Sponsors may include up to two lines of text with 17 characters each, including spaces, for a total of 34 characters per plaque.
- An additional line at the top of the plaque, reading — In Memory of — may be added upon request at no charge.
TWO WAYS TO ORDER:
1) Download, print and complete the Bridge Plaque Request Form from HERE. Write the text exactly as you would like it to appear on the Mark C. Ackelson Bridge. Mail the form, along with your check for $125, to:
Great Outdoors Foundation,
PO Box 8071, Des Moines, IA 50301
2) OR... order plaques for the cost of $130 online HERE.
QUESTIONS, please call: (515) 323-5300
Your gift is tax deductible according to current tax law. Your donation confirmation email should be used as your tax deductible receipt.