Conservator - October, 2021
As leaves start to change color and the weather cools down, October is a great time to fit in a taste of the outdoors before winter comes. Come out for a hike to see beautiful fall foliage, enjoy a night by the fire at a cabin or camping site or join us for a fun upcoming event like Arrowhead's Chili Fest, Hitchcock's Haunted Hollow and more.

Thank you for supporting Pottawattamie Conservation!
30 Years of HawkWatch Celebration is Oct. 17
Learn more about the fascinating world of raptors.
*Free with park admission or an annual pass.
Since 1991, Hitchcock Nature Center’s HawkWatch volunteer group has recorded the migration of thousands of hawks, eagles, owls and other raptors.
☑️ Interested in raptors?
☑️ Enjoy the outdoors?
☑️ Looking for something affordable, fun and family-friendly?

  • Meet live raptors from our friends at Fontenelle Forest
  • Attend a presentation from Ty Smedes, world-traveled wildlife photographer
  • Climb up the observation tower and look for raptors with our full-time Hawk Counter Caleb
  • Meet our experienced HawkWatch volunteers
  • Enjoy lemonade and cookies, sponsored by our welcome desk volunteers

Make a day out of it by fitting in a hike before or after the event and see if you can spy any Hitchcock raptors soaring or perched above!

*Free with park admission or an annual permit.
New Targets In Place at Narrows River Park
Alright archery fans, we finally have some new targets in place at Narrows River Park! We appreciate your patience while we waited for these 20- and 30-yard targets to come in as we start replacing worn out targets. Come on out and get some practice in before we close in November for the winter.

We are working to replace other worn targets and hope to have a few more new ones in place by the time we re-open the park next spring.

Please remember: Permitted tips include field tips or bullet tips. Absolutely NO broadheads. To help targets last longer, don’t shoot the dead center of the target. Instead, try to divide the target into fours and aim for the middle of each block.
Jump Into Fall During Arrowhead's Chili Fest
A *free family-friendly event with food, activities and more.
*Free with park admission or an annual permit.
This annual fall tradition will be on Saturday, October 9th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and promises fun for the whole family.

Join us for pumpkin 🎃 painting, hayrack rides, trick or treating, a sunset bat 🦇 hike, self-guided zombie 🧟 survival hike & of course, chili.
Hunting's Important Role in Conservation
With hunting season officially in session we wanted to share some important ways that hunting helps maintain land and balance species.

Learn more about how our team works with hunters to maintain deer populations at Hitchcock Nature Center and about Iowa's interesting and complicated history with deer hunting in our blog post.
Interested in Backpacking? Take this Course!
Sponsored by the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol
Back by popular demand!
In this three-part lecture and hands-on course, you will learn how to navigate and travel in the wilderness with all your gear. We will examine how to plan a trip, select and use essential gear, then implement what you learned on an overnight adventure in the Loess Hills at Hitchcock Nature Center.
This course is a steal at $40 per person with the following instruction dates and times:

  1. Tuesday, October 12, 6:30pm-9:30pm (Hitchcock Nature Center Lodge)
  2. Saturday, October 16, 10:00am-2:00pm (HNC Lodge & Patio/Hike)
  3. Saturday-Sunday, October 23-24, 10:00am-10:00am (HNC Lodge & Patio/Overnight)
Must be 18 or older to participate.
Upcoming Programs
Little Tike Hike - October
October 2 to October 11| Hitchcock Nature Center: Learn More
October 2 to October 31 | Botna Bend Park: Learn More
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Free With Park Admission | Ages 3 to 5

Young learners will experience nature first-hand during this self-guided hike full of fun.
Hitchcock Nature Center
Saturday, October 2
9:00 a.m.
$33 | All Ages

Grab your running or walking shoes and join us at Hitchcock Nature Center for a fun race through the park's trail system. Proceeds support Pottawattamie Conservation's efforts to preserve local habitat and offer low-impact recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy...Event Information 
Butterflies Through Binoculars | Hitchcock Nature Center 
Saturday, October 2
$10 | Ages 14 +
This program starts with a classroom session to learn how to identify our autumn butterflies, then prepared with your new knowledge, venture out into the hills on a guided hike to find them! Event Information 
Prairie Seed Harvest | Hitchcock Nature Center
Sunday, October 10th at 5:00 pm.
Monday, October 18th at 5:00 p.m.
Friday, October 29th at 5:00 p.m.
Free (no need to pay park admission) | Thank you for volunteering!

Join our friends at Golden Hills RC&D and help collect native prairie seed! Please click on a date above for more details.
Arrowhead Chili Fest | Arrowhead Park | Neola, IA
Saturday, October 9
4:00 p.m.
Free with Park Admission, Free Will Donation at Pickup | All Ages

Bring the whole family out and enjoy a warm bowl of chili in the crisp fall air at the Arrowhead Park Chili Fest. This annual fall tradition will be on Saturday, October 9th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. & promises fun for the whole family. Join us for pumpkin painting, hayrack rides, trick or treating, a sunset bat hike, self-guided zombie survival hike & of course, chili...Event Information 
Intro to Backpacking | Hitchcock Nature Center
Sponsored by the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol
3-Part Course | $40 per person | Ages 18+
October 12, October 16 and October 23-24 (overnight)

If you have always been interested in backpacking but are not sure where to start, join us for our Introduction to Backpacking class where we will explore the dynamics of backcountry travel. Sponsored by the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol...Event Information 
Saturday, October 16th
9:00 a.m.
$15 | Ages 14+

Enjoy a full morning of instruction & learning with celebrated educator Ron Cisar, including an introduction to the science behind our annual fall color, a look at the process of photosynthesis, nature journaling and a reading & discussion of Aldo Leopold's essay "Smoky Gold"...Event Information 
Gardening for Diversity | Hitchcock Nature Center
Saturday, October 16th
3:00 p.m.
$15 | Ages 14+

Attendees will enjoy hands-on work as they learn to plan, plant and maintain a native garden with guidance from our staff. In this session you will learn how to identify and harvest native seeds and store them for the future...Event Information 
30 Years of HawkWatch Celebration| Hitchcock Nature Center
Sunday, October 17th
1:00 p.m.
Free with park admission | All Ages

Learn about the fascinating world of raptors and help celebrate our Hitchcock HawkWatch group's 30th anniversary with us on Sunday, October 17th...Event Information 
Arrowhead Trail Run | Arrowhead Park
Saturday, October 23rd
8:00 a.m.
$25 Through September 30th | $30 October 1st - 31st | All Ages

Choose the traditional 5k distance, 2 laps for a 10k, or complete as many laps as you can in a 4 hour Enduro! Medals will be awarded for the top 3 Males and Females in the Competitive Waves of the 5k, 10k, and Enduro events....Event Information 
Hitchcock Haunted Hollow | Hitchcock Nature Center
Saturday, October 23rd | 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 24th | 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
$5 | All Ages

Have a "howling" good time at Hitchcock Nature Center during Hitchcock Haunted Hollow, a perfect way to get outdoors & explore autumn in Iowa. Pick up your treasure hunt materials, then hit the trails to see if you can find the answers & return victorious. Costumes are welcome! Please click on a date above for more details.
Pottawattamie Conservation is teaming up with our friends at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge! Join us for a hike, register for a workshop or even spend the entire day learning about shore birds, waterfowl and upland game birds of Iowa. Funding for this workshop was provided by the Resource Enhancement and Protection – Conservation Education Program (REAP – CEP). Please click on a workshop above for more details.
Witchy Woods Walk | Hitchcock Nature Center
3:30 p.m.
$10 | Ages 16+

Join naturalist and student of folklore Dustin Clayton for an evening hike through the forest while you examine plant, animal, and mineral communities of the forest and their significance in seasonal folklore associated with Halloween...Event Information
Homeschool in the Hills| Hitchcock Nature Center
Tuesday, November 2nd
$4 Ages 3+| Free for children under 3

Area homeschool students and educators are invited to join us for another fun-filled Homeschool in the Hills where students will explore the Loess Hills' unique landmass, formation, biosphere, hydrosphere & atmosphere. Please click on a time above for more details.
Stay in the loop. Click on an individual park below to follow its Facebook page.

Pottawattamie Conservation | | (712)-328-5638