New Adult Environmental Education Programming in 2017

New Adult Environmental Education Programming in 2017

Pottawattamie County Conservation is excited to offer brand new adult programming options in 2017. We have kicked off the year with a whole host of new programming designed specifically for older teens, adults, & senior learners. Take a closer look at some of these new programs and mark your calendars for fun!

TNSHNC_FlyerThe Naturalist School Pre-session Workshop: Loess Hills Ecology – Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Join us for the pre-session workshop, Loess Hills Ecology. This rugged hike and field study with Jack Phillips is designed as an introduction to the 2017 spring field season of the Naturalist School at Hitchcock Nature Center. This introductory hike will explore the distinct ecology and biodiversity of the Loess Hills. Please meet at Hitchcock Nature Center on Saturday, March 25th. This workshop will be from 9:00 a.m. to noon and will be conducted mainly outdoors at the park. There is no fee for this introductory workshop but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Please click here for more information and to register online.

The Naturalist School at Hitchcock Nature Center – Spring Field Season April/May, 2017

Be a part of The Naturalist School at Hitchcock Nature Center during the 2017 Spring Field Season. The season will include 7 individual workshops and participants may attend all sessions or only a few.  Sessions will be held on Saturdays in April and May from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Occasionally sessions may begin at 7:30 a.m. due to weather and phenology. Registered participants will received communication confirming session start time and location prior to each session.

2017 Spring Field Season Dates:
Saturday, April 1st
Saturday, April 8th
Saturday, April 15th
Saturday, April 22nd
Saturday, April 29th
Saturday, May 6th
Saturday, May 13th

Spring topics include woodland ecology, lepidopterans, odonates, pond ecology, breeding frogs and toads, migratory birds and early residents, woodland and early prairie flowers, woody plants, fungi, bryophytes, lichens, and other taxa and topics.  Cost for this event is $20.00 per person for each individual workshop or participants may register for the entire 7 week field season for a discounted admission rate of $85.00 per person. Pre-registration is required at least 5 days in advance of each session as space is limited. Please click here for more information and to register online.

2017 Speaker Series – April through October, 2017SpeakerSeries

The 2017 Speaker Series is a new programming series designed for teens and adults to provide them with an opportunity to learn from and interact with various authorities in the fields of conservation and environmental science. Programs are free with paid park admission and will be held at Hitchcock Nature Center on April 9th and then on the second Saturday of the month, May through October. Each program will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will last approximately 1 hour. After the presentation attendees may enjoy conversation with the presenter, a book signing, and refreshments provided by local vendors.
Click on each topic below for more information and to register online.
Sunday, April 9th – “Climate Change” with Connie Mutel
Saturday, May 13th – “Aldo Leopold” with Ron Cisar
Saturday, June 10th – “Prairie Flowers” with Danuta Hutchins
Saturday, July 8th – “A New Garden Ethic” with Benjamin Vogt
Saturday, August 12th – “Land Ethics” with Thomas Dean
Saturday, September 9th – “Lessons Learned from Prairie Restoration” with Keith Summerville
Saturday, October 14th – “Wild Edibles” with Kelly Kindscher

Backpacking 101Backpacking 101 – April 15th through May 27th, 2017

This brand new 4 – part series of classes is designed for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts with limited backpacking experience. The series will cover everything from basic skills (e.g. trip planning and fitness) to more advanced skills (e.g. off-trail travel and reading the weather) and will benefit even moderately experienced backpackers.  By the end of the series, students will have acquired the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to plan & execute memorable backcountry trips in a variety of settings. The series will provide a strong foundation upon which more advanced backpacking skills can be built and will culminate in a guided overnight backpacking trip at Hitchcock Nature Center’s backcountry campsites.
Join us for this informative programming series. The first three classes will be held at the Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center on the following dates:
Saturday, April 15th – 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 29th – 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 13th – 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The fourth class will be held Saturday, May 27th and will provide you with a chance to put what you have learned to the test with an overnight stay in the backwoods at Hitchcock Nature Center. This event is full to capacity but we do have an active waitlist available. Please click here for more information and to join our online waitlist.

Narrows River ParkConcert SeriesNarrows River Park Summer Concert Series – May through September, 2017

Join us at Narrows River Park the first Sunday of the month May through September for this brand new concert series. The first 75 guests to arrive will be treated to complimentary food provided by HyVee. No tickets or advance reservations are needed for this event. Free will donations & tips are accepted & CDs may be available for sale.
Click on each event below for more information.
May 7th, 2017 – Omaha MasterSingers
June 4th, 2017 – Outlaw Road Band
July 2nd, 2017 – Chad Elliott
August 6th, 2017 – Element Variety Band
September 3rd, 2017 – Josh Lawler
All events are family friendly, require no pre-registration, & are free to the public with paid $2.00 per vehicle park admission or a valid annual park permit.


Birding 101 – May 20th, 2017

birding 101

Join experienced birders Nic Salick, Jason Andersen, and Michelle Biodrowski for a beginning birding class May 20th.
Birding 101 will include a classroom and field session and will provide the knowledge and skills for amateur and beginning birders to accurately identify common and notable species found throughout the midwest. Learn to identify song birds and passerines from field marks, song and behavior at Hitchcock Nature Center. The fee for this program is $15.00 per person and includes a copy of The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America for participants to keep. Pre-reigstration is required as space is limited. Click here for more information and to register online.

Outdoor & Landscape Photography 101 – May 20th & June 3rd, 2017

Outdoor_Photography_With RBC

 Pottawattamie County Conservation and the photography professionals at Rockbrook Camera have teamed up to offer this special, 2-class workshop focused on outdoor and landscape photography. Whether you are an experienced amateur or just getting started let the staff at Rockbrook Camera provide you with the knowledge and skills to capture nature’s beauty, drama, and inspiration in this 2-class introductory series. Click here for more information and for details on how to register.

ILM_FlyerIntroduction to Land Management – May through October, 2017

All members of the public including students, land owners, and anyone interested in learning responsible land management practices are invited to join us for our new Introduction to Land Management program. This six-class series is designed to provide members of the public the basic knowledge and skills required to create and maintain a healthy environment in a Midwestern natural areas setting.
This six-class series will be held the 4th Saturday of the month, May through October at Hitchcock Nature Center. Class will be held 8:00 a.m. to noon each day, rain or shine. The fee for the entire six-class series is $75.00; Individual classes can be attended for $15.00 per class. Pre-registration is required. Due to the hands-on nature of the series, class sizes will be limited and early registration is required.
Click on each event below for details and to register online.
May 27th: Introduction to Hitchcock Nature Center, the Loess Hills, and the Guiding Principals
June 24th: When and How to Control Noxious and Invasive Herbaceous Plants (a focus on Canada thistle [C. arvense] and sweet clover [M. alba & M. officinalis])
July 22nd: Woody Invasives, Brush Management, and Timber Stand Improvement
August 26th: Birds, Invertebrates, and Small Mammals of the Loess Hills and Prairies
September 23rd: Seed Harvesting, Introduction to Prescribed Fire
October 28th: Prescribed Fire (cont.), Follow-Up on Canada Thistle, Putting it all Together
This is just a small sampling of what Pottawattamie County Conservation has to offer. 2017 will also see the return of popular programs such as our Hitch Hike series of guided hikes, our annual Monarch Tagging & HawkWatch Eagle Migration events and even the return of last year’s Nature on Tap trivia competition.  Visit our website for a full calendar of events or email katherine.simmons@pottcounty-ia.gov to receive our monthly newsletter full of of park news, upcoming events & lots more!