Category Archives: Recreation

DNR Photo Contest

Deadline Extended for DNR Photo Contest; Win One of 99 Subscriptions to Iowa Outdoors Magazine
Posted: 07/02/2013
DES MOINES — The deadline for the DNR’s outdoor recreation photo contest has been extended to July 22.

This summer, the DNR is asking Iowans to capture how they enjoy the outdoors – from camping and fishing to birdwatching and trail walking – and to share their photos to create a Healthy & Happy Outdoors “photo quilt” of outdoor recreation in every Iowa county. One outstanding photographer from each county will win a one-year subscription to Iowa Outdoors magazine.

The winning photos from each county will be placed into a statewide “photo quilt” to be displayed at the DNR building during the Iowa State Fair as part of the DNR’s Healthy & Happy Outdoors initiative.

Iowans can send their outdoor recreation photos, along with their name, phone number and where they took the photo, to Photos are due by July 22 and should be 5 inches x 7 inches (horizontal or vertical) with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Jake Zweibohmer, Iowa Outdoors art director, will serve as contest judge, choosing one outstanding photo per county.

Healthy & Happy Outdoors, or H2O, connects Iowans with outdoor resources to reduce stress and improve their health. Iowans can go to and use the interactive map to find more than 30 types of outdoor activities at more than 1,600 state and county parks and recreation areas. Participants who create an account and log their activities are automatically entered into prize drawings for outdoor gear.

All submitted photos will be posted on the DNR’s Pinterest page at Follow the DNR on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for contest updates.

Additional information and contest rules are available on the DNR’s website at:

Green Day at the Market!

Join Wickiup Hill and dozens of “green” organizations at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers Market on July 20.  All organizations will be located in GreenSquare Park. The goal of “Green Day” is provide a space that is fun for kids and families, as well as educational- both as far as the environment and also about the missions of our individual groups.  We hope to see you there!

Iowa Rivers Revival’s Master River Steward Program

RRR photo 1 RRR photo 2 RRR photo 3

Program will be coming to the Cedar River Watershed at the end of July.

This will be IRR’s second year offering this program.  The eight week course will focus on riverine systems, including skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restore aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and understand policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.  The Master River Steward program will build on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations.  It will help adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa’s rivers, so that current and future generations can enjoy these resources.

Visit IRR’s website to view an outline of this year’s DM/Raccoon River Watershed program:

Feedback from 2012 pilot participants:

  • “Great class, thoroughly enjoyed each and every session.”
  • “Great leadership.  Great resources/readings.  Great speakers.  Great group.”
  • “Really enjoyed class.  Had zero expectations coming in.  Was surprised by the amount of river experience/Project AWARE tie in.  Really enjoyed meeting such passionate people.  Each week gave me something to think about and discuss with co-workers.”
  • “This was a fantastic program.  I came in with no expectations, but left every night excited to share what I learned with others… Thanks so much for putting this together.  I will become active in the stewardship of rivers at a far greater level due to this program.”

Registration Cost:  Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials.  Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be “homework” assignments following each class – materials will be provided.

Sponsorships:  There are opportunities for organizations and groups to sponsor aspects of the program, such as general program support, participant registration costs (reducing the costs for individuals you recommend or others interested in participating), a meal for one of the evening programs or program materials and supplies.    See attached document for more details.  Funding for this program has been provided by REAP, DNR IOWATER, DNR River Programs and the Northeast Iowa Community Foundation.

Program Details:


Topic Presenters Date Time TENATIVE Location


Welcome/Introductions/Geology Tour Deb Quade/Ray Anderson Wed., July 24 5:30-9:30 Hartman Nature Reserve


River Form and Function Palmer/Schilling Wed., July 31 5:30-9:30 TBD


River Chemistry and Monitoring DNR IOWATER staff Wed., Aug 7 5:30-9:30 TBD


Water policies/water treatment TBD Wed., Aug 14 5:30-9:30 TBD


Streambank Restoration/Navigation Todd Robertson Sat., Aug 24 10:00-4:00 TBD


Project Planning and review Mary Skopec-MRSP Facilitator Wed., Aug 28 5:30-9:30 TBD


Post training follow-up, project sharing, and evaluation Mary Skopec-MRSP Facilitator Wed., Oct 23 5:30-9:30 TBD

Please Rosalyn Lehman if you have any questions.  Thank you for your continued support and commitment to improving and protecting Iowa’s river resources.

Rosalyn Lehman
Executive Director
Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301
515-724-4093  |


Dear members and friends,

Just a quick note.  Here’s the CALENDAR so far for this year.  Our theme is the Civil War.  The Depot Museum will be open, free, every Sunday, from 2 to 4 (new hours), through October 13.  May 31 the Kindergarten visits the Strait Log Cabin.  June 4 the 6th Grade visits the Museum.  Sunday June 9 is Civil War “open mike” day at the Museum for people to tell their family Civil War stories.  Saturday June 15 the Historical Society has a fundraising cookout at Center Point Foods from 10:30 to 1.   Saturday July 20 is a fieldtrip to the Hoover Library Civil War exhibit–meet at the Museum at 9 a.m.  Sunday Aug. 25 is the annual Center Point Cemetery Walk at 4 (rain site—Museum).  Sunday Sept. 8 is the annual bake sale and band concert by Vinton Band at 6 p.m. (rain site—inside north end of Depot).  Also probably after school starts will be a genealogy program by Bob King on finding Civil War relatives.  Our annual harvest potluck is Tuesday October 29 at 6 p.m. at the dentist office.

MEETINGS are the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Depot Museum.  Our last regular meeting will be Nov. 26 when we elect 2014 officers.

OFFICERS this year are:  Philip Andersen – president; Bob King – vice president; Sharon Hannen – secretary; Teresa Scheeler – treasurer; Virginia Benson – historian.  Board members are Jon Novak, Lois Rowe and Linda Schlicht.

MUSEUM HOSTS are still needed for Sundays June 16, July 14 and 28, Aug. 18, Sept 1, 8 and 15.  Please call Sharon Hannen (849-1792) to sign up.

CIVIL WAR EXHIBITS include our permanent case, which has many items on loan from Jon Brendel, and special exhibits loaned by Dan Burke, CPU history teacher and football coach, and by Dean Gleason, of Denver Iowa, father of Center Point resident Christina Lahr.  Dan and his father Ed Burke of Davenport have always loved the Civil War.  Dan’s family went on Civil War vacations when he was a kid.  He and his father have also loaned a shelf full of Civil War books.  Other Civil War books are from Bob King and from Rick and Sharon Hannen.  Christina Lahr’s 3 greats-grandfather was Sayles Brown Phillips of Denver Iowa who was a musician in the 14th Iowa and was at the battle of Vicksburg.  His exhibit includes Confederate money and his fife.  Jeanette Matheny Haars also added to our 2013 theme with lists of Civil War veterans buried at Alice and Davis cemeteries.  Others helping with artifacts or information were:  Arnold Lanning, Lois Rowe, Bert and Evelyn Roseberry and Sally Holman Hill and Kurt Holman.

THE COUNTY GRANT for security and fire protection for the Depot, written by Bob King, was recommended for full funding of $4000 by the County Historic Preservation Commission in May.  If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the money will be available after July 1.  The project is being done in partnership with the Linn County Conservation Department which owns the building.  Bob has done lots of work getting bids, coordinating with Conservation and writing the grant and organizing the project.  We owe him.  Dennis Schlicht and Sharon Hannen also met with the Conservation staff with Bob early this spring.

THE PLAYER PIANO we had restored with last year’s grant of $4000 plus $3000 from our savings came home March 1.  Arnold Lanning, Cedar Rapids, was on hand at the Museum to welcome it.  His parents, Elva and Earl Lanning of Green’s Grove, bought the 1923 Warfield piano new.  Arnold and his sister Evelyn Lanning Roseberry and other family members donated the piano to the Historical Society about a decade ago.  It was restored by Jack Niewoehner of Elkader.  On May 5 we opened the Museum season with a Player Piano Party.  Lois Rowe, Sharon Hannen, Linda Schlicht and Bob King brought refreshments and Linda and Dennis made tea and coffee in their entertaining antique Cory coffeemakers.  Fifty-eight people signed the guest book and donated $72.  We have one new piano roll—a Civil War medley—and a piano bench full of 1920s rolls that came with the piano.

SPRING CLEANING at the Museum got done thanks to Teresa Scheeler, Linda Schlicht, Bob King, Sharon Hannen and Jason Jacquette’s Service Learning students:  Dylan Sarchett, Gage Silker, Savanna Crandall, Ashlee Beck, Ryan Wilkin, Dylan Boevers and Tatum Bernd.  Lois Rowe and Sharon Hannen cleaned the Strait Log Cabin.

CITY HALL is now a mini CP Historical Society museum thanks to City Clerk Melissa Atkinson’s inspiration.  She came to our March meeting offering display space in the council room for a rotating exhibit of our photos and artifacts.  We accepted gratefully and Sharon Hannen, between rain storms, got the historical stuff delivered. Carrie Wilkinson, from the Center Point economic development group also attended the March meeting to brainstorm mutually beneficial interactions between the Historical Society and the city.

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY.  The drought is over—yea—and now our Museum roof leaks.  But the Conservation Department is doing a new roof, as well as moisture mitigation under the middle room, and installing new doors and windows this summer.

MEMBERSHIP numbers do not currently inspire.  Please pay your yearly $10 per person dues to Teresa Scheeler, 321 Summit St. Center Point IA 52213, 319-849-1883,  Include your email address.   And recruit!

More later…..Sharon

Matsell Pistol Range Orientation

The Linn County Conservation Department will host an additional Matsell Bridge Pistol Range orientation.  Typically, these orientation sessions are hosted by the Linn County Pistol Club the first Saturday of every month between April and October.  However, with the increased interest in the pistol range and trying to better accommodate interested attendees, the Conservation Department will host its own orientation.

The orientation is scheduled for Monday, June 10th at 7:30 PM at the Matsell Bridge Shooting Range.  Similar to the orientation held by the Linn County Pistol Club, no reservation is required.  The orientation will last approximately 30 minutes and all attendees will be issued an orientation certificate that must be on their person at all times when shooting in the 50-yard range.

Linn County Fair Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of the Linn County Fair’s 125th Anniversary, The Linn County Fair Association is conducting a GOLDEN TICKET SCAVENGER HUNT.  Hidden in the parks and preserves throughout Linn County and the metro area of Cedar Rapids are 125 plastic eggs (see complete list below). Inside each egg is a GOLDEN TICKET that is redeemable for two free tickets to the grandstand event of your choice during the Linn County Fair which will be held in Central City from June 26 thru July 1.

See the bolded areas that are in the Linn County Conservation park system.  Happy hunting! Log your find at

Abby Creek School Mt. Vernon Road, Mt. Vernon
Alburnett Sports Complex Alburnett Rd, Alburnett
Apach Park D Ave and 26th St NW C.R.
Bertram Park Bertram
Bever Park 2700 Bever Ave SE C.R.
Beverly Park 37th Ave and 21st St SW C.R.
Bowman Woods Park Boyson Road NE C.R.
Boyson Park & Trail Boyson Rd C.R.
Brendel City Park Central City
Buffalo Creek Park Hwy D 62 West, Coggon
Butler Park Springville
Cedar Lake – Loop Trail 855 Shaver Rd. NE C.R.
Cedar River Trail Boyson Rd. to 74th St SW C.R.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail Boyson Rd., Hiawatha  
Cedar Valley Nature Trail off County Home Rd., Robins
Cedar Valley Park 2250 Blakely Blvd. SE C.R.
Chain Lakes Natural Area Chain Bridge Rd, Palo
Cherokee Park Johnson Ave & Midway Dr. NW C.R.
Cherry Hill Park Plainview Dr & Cherry Hill NW C.R.
Cheyenne Park 1650 Cedar Bend Lane SW Ely
Cleveland Park 1600 8th Ave SW C.R.
Coggon City Park Coggon
Community Center Park Rowley St., Ely
Coolidge Park Crestridge Ave & Atwood Dr SW C.R.
Daniels Park 940 Oakland Rd NE C.R.
Davis Park Mt. Vernon
Delaney Park Wilson Ave & Troy St SW C.R.
Donnelly Park 290 W. 8th Ave, Marion
Eastern Iowa Observatory 1365 Ivanhoe Rd, Ely
East Knoll Park 1555 East Knoll Dr., Robins
Ellis Park 916 Ellis Blvd. NW C.R.
Fairfax City Park  Fairfax
Fay M. Clark Mem. Park 1200 N 18th Ave, Hiawatha
Fross Park 1501 Main St., Center Point
Goose Pond Natural Area Lewis Bottoms Rd, Center Point
Greene Square Park 400 4th Ave Se C.R.
Guthridge Park 704 Emmons St., Hiawatha
Hanna Park 775 Fairview Dr, Marion
Hayes Park 19th St & Hayes St. SW, C.R.
Hitaga Sand Ridge Prairie Wapsie Ridge Dr. Walker
Huntington Ridge Park 7625 C Ave NE C.R.
Indian Creek Park Rosebud Rd SE (near bridge)
Ink Pond (on Cornell Campus) Mt.Vernon
J. Harold Ennis Preserve Cedar River Road, Mt. Vernon
Jackson Park Wiley Blvd & Jackson Dr NW C.R.
Jacolyn Park Gordon Ave & Jacolyn Dr NW C.R.
Jay G. Sigmund Mem. Site Boy Scout Road, Waubeek
Joe Emmons Mem. Park Springville
Jones Park Wilson Ave & Fruitland Blvd NW C.R.
Legion Park Otter Creek Rd., Toddville
Lincoln Square Park Main St., Lisbon
Lincoln Way Park J st & Oklahoma Ave SW C.R.
Lininger Park 390 Alburnett Rd., Marion
Linn County Fairgrounds 201 Central City Rd. Central City
Linn County Fairgrounds 201 Central City Rd. Central City
Linn County Fairgrounds 201 Central City Rd. Central City
Linn County Fairgrounds 201 Central City Rd. Central City
Lisbon City Park S. Jackson St, Lisbon YES
Lowe Park 4500 N. 10th St, Marion
Madison Park Midway Rd., Midway
Manhattan Park Ellis Bldv.  NW C.R.
Marion Square City Park 1001 7th Ave, Marion YES
Matsell Bridge Natural Area 3745 Matsell Park Rd, Central City
McCloud Run Park J Ave. NE
Memorial Park 1st St W , Mt. Vernon
Millard Preserve Millard Lane, Central City
Mohawk Park 100 J Ave NE C.R.
Monroe Park 3200 Pioneer Ave SE C.R.
Morgan Creek Park 7515 Worcester Rd, Palo
Navajo Park Worthington Dr. & East Rd SW C.R.
Nixon Park Northwood Dr. & Nixon Dr NE C.R.
Noelridge Park 4900 Council St NE C.R.
North Cedar Natural Area Cedar Heights Trail, Center Point
Osborn Park 13th St & 14th Ave SE C.R.
Otter Creek Natural Area Elf Lane, Palo
Palisades-Dows Natural Area Ivanhoe Rd., Ely
Palisades- Kepler State Park Hwy 30, Ely
Palo Marsh Natural Area Palo Marsh Rd, Palo
Papoose Park 410 30th St SE C.R.
Paris Bridge Natural Area Sutton Road, Coggon
Pierce Park Wenig Rd. (N. of 42nd St NE) C.R.
Pinicon Ridge Park 4729 Horseshoe Falls Rd. C. City
Plaza Park 2nd Ave (Cedar River Island) C.R.
Pleasant Creek Rec. Area Palo
Prairieburg Community Park Prairieburg
Prairie Park Mt. Vernon
Prairie Park Fishery 2125 Otis Rd SE C.R.
Quarton Park between Cottage Grove & Bever Pk. SE C.R.
Rehrauer Natural Area Red Bridge Rd., Coggon
Riverfront Park 1st St W from 5th Ave SW to J Ave NW C.R.
Riverside Park 1225 C St SW C.R.
Robins Lake Ellis Blvd. & 18th St. N.W.
Rock Island Preserve Preserve Way, off 42nd St NE C.R.
Sac Fox Trail Bertram Trailhead, Bertram Rd S.E.
Seminole Valley Park & Farm Seminole Valley Rd NE C.R.
Shaver Park 800 J Ave NE C.R.
Shawnee Park 1101 19th St NW C.R.
Sinclair Park 1236 5th St. SE C.R.
Sokol Park 16th Ave & A St S.W. C.R.
South Troy Park 700 S. Troy Rd, Robins
Squaw Creek Park 4305 Squaw Lane, Marion
Tait cummins Sports Complex 3000 C St SW C.R.
Thomas Park 335 Marion Blvd, Marion
Time Check Park 5th St & J Ave NW C.R.
Tomahawk Park E Ave and 19th St NE C.R. YES
Tucker Park 101 B Ave, Hiawatha
Tuma Soccer Complex 3239 C Ave Ext. Marion
Twin Pines Park 3500 42nd St. NE C.R.
Van Buren Park 28th Ave & 27th St SW C.R.
Van Vechten Park (lower) 12th Ave & 19th St SE C.R.
Van Vechten Park (upper) McCarthy Rd. SE C.R.
Vavra Park Vavra Dr, Ely
Vernon Studt Veterans Mem. Truman St., Lisbon
Veterans Memorial Park 8th Ave & Rockford Rd. SW C.R.
Wakema Park Brooks St., Center Point
Wakpicada Natural Area River St., Central City
Walker City Park Park St., Walker
Westdale Mall Complex SW C.R.
Westdale Mall Complex SW C.R.
Westdale Mall Complex SW C.R.
Whittam Park 15th Ave & 10th St SE C.R.
Wickiup Hill 10260 Morris Hills Rd., Toddville YES
Willow Park 990 2nd St. , Marion
Zeller Memorial Park Co. Hwy W 36, Palo

Happy Camping!

It’s Memorial Day weekend and a popular weekend for camping!  Campsites with  amenities such as electricity fill up fast.  In the Linn County Park system, there are a handful of electric sites left.  If you are looking for a more primitive camping experience, there are many sites available.  For camping availability, click here.

To help make your Memorial Day weekend a great camping experience, here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Keep your food safely stored in a cooler or secured area outside of your tent.  If food needs to be kept cool, a cooler will help prevent spoiling. Keeping food secured will make it harder to critters to disturb!
  • Wear insect repellent and check yourself for ticks! If you find a tick on you, simply brush it off with your fingers.
  • Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Even on an overcast day, you can get a sunburn!  Protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.
  • Be careful around water. Everyone should know how to swim and have a life jacket on or nearby.
  • Be alert to weather conditions. Have and know your action plan in the case of severe weather.
  • When going for hikes on trails, use the buddy system.  Take a friend with you and be sure to tell others where you are going.
  • Be cautious and considerate about building a fire. Don’t build a fire near tents or other flammable items. Don’t leave a fire unattended and make sure it is extinguished if you decide to depart.
  • Be responsible for young children in your party.  They too want to have fun, so make sure their environment is safe – don’t run out in front of vehicles, don’t talk to strangers and be extra careful around fire and water.
  • Keep all pets on leashes at all times.
  • Keep any valuables out of sight and in a locked area.
  • Follow park rules and regulations.  You can find these posted at the registration booth at each campground.

 If you have any concerns about campground safety, please contact the campground host or park staff immediately!

Photo Scavenger Hunt Results

Congratulations to the winners of the Wickiup Hill Photo Scavenger Hunt program! They are: 1st Steve Thompson; 2nd Darla Desrosier; 3rd Karen Bradley; 4th Jane Suiter; 5th Karla McMurrin.  Take a look at their photos below!

Photo album of: Steve Thompson

Photo album of: Darla Desrosier

Photo album of: Karen Bradley

Photo album of: Karla McMurrin

Linn Area Photo Club Newsletter

PLease see the May edition of the Linn Area Photo Club newsletter: LAPC-Newsletter-2013-05-May

Top Activities for Mother’s Day Weekend

Looking for something special to do with Mom this Mother’s Day weekend? Here are some suggestions:

Bluebells in Bloom
Bluebells are a beautiful flower in bloom at Morgan Creek Park and Buffalo Creek Park right now.  These flowers are typically found in woodland areas where they may dominate the understorey to produce carpets of violet–blue flowers.  See the images below of the bluebells at Morgan Creek Park.  To find these flowers for yourself, park at the playground and walk east towards the woodland area.  You will find them right away.  There is a deer trail to follow that will provide a nice 5-10 minute walk through the woods. Please enjoy these beautiful flowers but leave them in a condition for others to enjoy as well!  Please don’t step on the flowers or pick any of the flowers!


Morgan Creek Park Arboretum and Park Tour Program
Park-Tour-LogoThe Morgan Creek Park Arboretum features a walking trail lined with over 250 tree and shrub species.  A popular attraction for the Arboretum this time of year is the crabapples.  While they are not in full bloom yet, experts expect them to be in full bloom by the weekend!  When you are there, get out your cell phone to participate in the Park Tour Program!  Just call or scan to learn about the trees in the arboretum!


Bird Banding at Wickiup Hill
Rob Bradley will be banding birds caught near Wickiup Hill. Visitors may be surprised with special views of spring migrants such as warblers and white- throated sparrows. While birds are being banded, close-up views of feather colors and behaviors can be observed. Activities are also planned to celebrate Migratory Bird Day which will include activities for children during the morning. Registration: Not required Cost is $2.50/adult, $1/child 16 and under, or $5/family


Oliver & Ava’s River Raft Adventure at Wickiup Hill
Join Oliver and Ava for their adventure.  Check out the free exhibits at Wickiup Hill.  Mom can enjoy the beautiful view while the kids explore Life Along the River and Nature is Fun exhibit areas.


Mary Lundby Trail Bridge and Park Tour at Pinicon Ridge
200 022Enjoy the beautiful view of the Wapsipinicon River at Pinicon Ridge Park.  The Mary Lundby Trail Bridge provides a nice connection to trails on both sides of the park.  In addition, learn about the history of the park, park features and more with the Park Tour Program! Just look for the park tour signs and call or scan to participate!

Iowa Young Birders Event at Squaw Creek Park

Iowa Young Birders promotes engagement with our natural world and conservation issues by empowering young Iowans to study and enjoy birds and birding.

In carrying out our Mission, Iowa Young Birders…

  • Builds young people’s knowledge and skills across the curriculum through dynamic and interactive birding-based educational programs, activities, and events.
  • Fosters an interest in birding among young people in Iowa.
  • Offers a safe and fun community for young birders in Iowa.
  • Furthers awareness of conservation issues affecting Iowa birds, and the preservation of ecosystems conducive to bird conservation.
  • Cultivates young peoples’ interest in career options related to birds and conservation and provides positive role models.
  • Builds partnerships with other nature and birding groups in Iowa and the U.S., thereby strengthening our collective web of support.
  • Develops and shares best practices in birding education and experiences.

The Iowa Young Birders organization has a field trip scheduled to Squaw Creek Park on Saturday, May 25th at 9AM.  Join in for the fun! There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.  Click here for full details.

May Wickiup Challenge

Looking to get outside and explore nature?  Come to Wickiup Hill for the Wickiup Challenge.  The Wickiup Challenge is self-guided exploration program with the help of your cell phone!  Stop at the kiosk near the parking lot and look for the Wickiup Challenge sign.  Call the number, listen to the clues and then go explore!  Once you find the secret spot, use your cell phone to learn why the secret spot is unique!  Stop at the desk at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center and get a small prize for participating!

Want to listen to the clues now?  Call 319-531-3178 and enter stop number 000.

Watch and listen for new challenges regularly at Wickiup Hill!


Run the Ripple 5k Run/Walk

Be a pebble, join the ripple, have some fun!

5k run/walk for the Millhiser Smith Foundation & McDonough Family.

Thank you West Bend for being the platinum sponsor!

Sunday May 19th, 2013

9AM Squaw Creek Park, Red Cedar Lodge (Marion)

Packet Pickup and late registration May 17th at Millhiser Smith Agency from 3-6PM, 3100 Oakland Rd NE Cedar Rapids.

Register online at 

Questions? Email or find Run the Ripple on facebook.


Campground Status & Camping Availability



Friday, May 03

Cedar Rapids Scottish Rite Temple 616 A Avenue NE

Noon — 1:00 (bring your own brown bag lunch)



Debbie Jackson, Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist for Michigan & Northeast Region

For further information contact: Liz Durham 319-310-1300 tedurham1010@

In February 2012, Marion native, Debbie (McCleary) Jackson and another Monarch Watch

associate traveled to the Monarch sanctuaries in Mexico. They were able to procure

500 of the adhesive identification tags that volunteers throughout North America place on the butterflies on their return migrations to Mexico. Local villagers, who are paid, remove the tags from fallen butterflies. The tags are sent to Monarch Watch for their migrations research.

Monarch Watch was organized in 1992 to engage the public in studies of the Monrach Butterfly. One of the primary objectives is to solicit help with establishing Waystation gardens. This can be accomplished by restoring native species of milkweed throughout the United States, 3 common to Iowa.

Jackson will present slides of her trip to the sancturies, teach how to raise and release the Monarch caterpillars,how to establish needed Waystation gardens and share her knowledge of breeding the Monarchs. Non-invasive Milkweed seeds will be available for participants attending, as well as, other educational materials.

Information will also be available on the 3-D documentary FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES

currently playing at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, IA. This extraordinary film is about the migration of the Monarch and one man’s dream and search to unravel the mystery of their flight…it is a magical film.

Additional information about Monarch Watch can be obtained:

Connections Speaker

Join Linn County Conservation the Connections group for ” Iowa’s Multiple Species Inventory Monitoring Program (M.S.I.M.) and its Contribution to Wildlife Conservation”.  The speaker is Tyler Harms, Research Associate at Iowa State University, and partner with the DNR Wildlife Diversity Section, who coordinates the Multiple Species Inventory Monitoring program (M.S.I.M.) at Iowa State University.  The program will be held on April 29 at 7:30 in Cherry Auditorium at Coe College.  The event is free and open to the public.


                Money can make miracles happen–at least minor musical ones. 

Thanks to the major help of a grant from the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission and the Linn County Board of Supervisors, the Center Point Historical Society’s 1923 player piano is playing its heart out again.

To celebrate the piano’s rebirth and 90th birthday the Historical Society decided at its last meeting to have a Player Piano Party on Sunday, May 5, from 2 to 4, at the Depot Museum.  Everyone is invited to come for old time music (There are piano rolls dated back to 1918.) and refreshments.

It will also be the opening day of the 2013 Museum season, featuring Center Point and the Civil War.   Among the special displays is one on Center Point’s influential and active GAR post(Grand Army of the Republic Civil War veterans group).

The Civil War displays, especially the ones about ancestors of locals involved in the war, will be works in progress throughout the summer, so if you have stories/photos/artifacts about a Civil War relative or “Civil War home front life” to share, please contact Sharon Hannen, 849-1792.  The Historical Society hopes to collect and preserve a more complete picture of the Center Point community during the almost unimaginable-to-us-now Civil War times.

The Depot Museum will be open, free, every Sunday from 2 to 4, from May 5 through October 13.  If you want to get in on the planning and doing of this fascinating Civil War year with the Society, regular meetings are on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Depot Museum and everyone is welcome.

April Wickiup Challenge

Looking to get outside and explore nature?  Come to Wickiup Hill for the Wickiup Challenge.  The Wickiup Challenge is self-guided exploration program with the help of your cell phone!  Stop at the kiosk near the parking lot and look for the Wickiup Challenge sign.  Call the number, listen to the clues and then go explore!  Once you find the secret spot, use your cell phone to learn why the secret spot is unique!  Stop at the desk at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center and get a small prize for participating!

Want to listen to the clues now?  Call 319-531-3178 and enter stop number 000.

Watch and listen for new challenges regularly at Wickiup Hill!


Wickiup Challenge

Looking to get outside and explore nature?  Come to Wickiup Hill for the Wickiup Challenge.  The Wickiup Challenge is self-guided exploration program with the help of your cell phone!  Stop at the kiosk near the parking lot and look for the Wickiup Challenge sign.  Call the number, listen to the clues and then go explore!  Once you find the secret spot, use your cell phone to learn why the secret spot is unique!  Stop at the desk at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center and get a small prize for participating!

Want to listen to the clues now?  Call 319-531-3178 and enter stop number 000.

Watch and listen for new challenges regularly at Wickiup Hill!


Campground Host Wanted!

Linn County Conservation currently has a campground host position available at Morgan Creek Park.  This volunteer opportunity plays an important role at the Morgan Creek Campground.  Below is a brief description.  If you are interested in this opportunity, please complete a volunteer application.
General Description:
Campground hosts provide light duty cleaning maintenance and routine customer services for the public. In return the Linn County Conservation Department willprovide free camping at a designated campsite.
– The shower house will be thoroughly cleaned oncedaily and checked for problems twice daily
– Clean/scrub toilets, urinals, sinks and mirrors daily
– Refill empty toilet paper dispensers daily and refill soap dispensers, as needed
– Pick up litter inside showerhouse and around the building exterior daily
– Sweep, mop or hose off, squeegee floors and clean/scrub shower stalls daily
– Report damage, plumbing problems, burned out lights, etc. to park staff asap
– Sweep and hose off porch, empty refuse containers and replace can liners, as needed
– Provide information and assist the public by answering questions or handing out brochures,trail maps, etc. If questions cannot be answered,refer to park staff.
– Sell firewood and discount camping coupon booklets and write receipts.
– Listen to public comments and advise staff for any actual or potential problems.
– Restock camping envelopes at registration booth brochure box.
– Park staff will be notified immediately of problems in the campground, rules and regulations violations, campsite disputes, accidents or other emergencies.
– Daily litter patrol of vacant campsites and common areas.
– Remove vacant campsite registration tags.
– Advise staff of damage or unsafe conditions.
– Some light campground maintenance may be performed that is mutually agreed upon between the host and park staff.
Age Requirements:
Must be 18 years old or older
General Requirements:
– Complete training before beginning Host duties
– Read and understand LCCB Rules and Regulations
– Document services performed on Department forms
– Sign an agreement with the Linn County Conservation Department including a “hold harmless”clause
– A background check will be required for this position
A normal presence is required in the park during the week and especially on the
weekends. If the host is going to be absent for an extended period, park staff will be informed prior.
Special Notes:
Resource Manager, Steve Swenson, and Assistant Resource Manager, Shaun
Reilly, will be your primary supervisors. ResourceTechnicians, Gary Novotny, Dawn Zimpferand Jared Van Hamme may also supervise your position. The department will provide cleaning supplies, equipment and training for necessary tasks. Appropriate safety equipment will also be provided. This IS NOT a law enforcement position.