Conservator - December, 2021
Thank you for supporting Pottawattamie Conservation!
2021 Hitchcock Nature Center T-Shirt Contest
Submit your entry by 12/31 to be featured & win fun prizes.
Pottawattamie Conservation and Hitchcock Nature Center are looking for YOUR help!

Winners will receive prizes and have their design featured on t-shirts available for purchase at the Loess Hills Lodge in 2022.

Eligibility: This contest is open to the public and all ages. Child designs welcome!
T-Shirt Design Contest Prizes:
Winners (there may be up to 3) will each receive:
  • A Pottawattamie Conservation annual park pass
  • A certificate for a two-night camping cabin stay ($100 value), good to use at either Arrowhead Park or Hitchcock Nature Center.
  • Recognition on Pottawattamie Conservation’s social media, website and e-newsletter, and in a press release.
  • One (1) t-shirt featuring your design in a size of your choice
Looking for the Perfect Gift this Season?
Check out our holiday gift guide below!
We've put together a few last-minute gift ideas for your loved ones that also support your favorite Pottawattamie Conservation parks:
1. Gift an annual park pass.

Please call Kim Wickersham at 712-328-5638 in order to make your gift purchase. Park passes are as little as $20 for Pottawattamie County residents or $25 for out-of-county residents.
2. Purchase one of these Instabuy items as a gift.

These donated items are part of our annual Go Wild for Conservation fundraiser. Items include gift cards for Drybar, The Back Forty, Wahlburgers, and Jefferson's Lounge, a Youth Butterfly and Insect Exploration Basket and more. *Click on the "Instabuy" button to see gift options. Call 712-328-5638 with questions.
3. Make a gift in honor of someone.

Is your family looking to cut back on gift-giving or wanting to make gifts more meaningful? Consider purchasing something from our Amazon Wishlist or making a monetary gift to the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation!
Purchase an Amazon Wishlist item here, such as a left-handed bow, an animal artifact replica and other items we use for education programs and more.

Make a donation in honor of someone here. Gifts to the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation provide field trips for area students, fund park improvements and habitat restoration projects, support Hitchcock Hawkwatch research and more.
Thank You to Our Giving Tuesday Donors!
We are so thankful for these individuals' support throughout November, which helps protect public land so that generations to come can enjoy all that it has to offer: Allison E., Alyssa B., Bethene A., Carl L., Cieandra T., Cynthia C., Danielle L., David C., Deb W., Denise K., Dennis D., Diane C., Elizabeth H., Eric S., Ernest S., Galasso Foundation, Janella M., Janice & Maury S., Jeffrey C., Jill S., Justin C., Kathy B., Kelli O., Lennea L., Luann P., Lyndon G., Mary K., Matt S., Melissa S., Michele M., Patricia S., Rebecca K., Sharon H., and Vicki V.
Banding A Red-Tailed Hawk With HawkWatch
Long-time Hitchcock HawkWatch volunteer and banding expert Jerry Toll shows us how banding is done, what measurements are recorded, and why collecting this data is important for conserving species and understanding ecological health.

Each fall the HawkWatch team bands raptors like red-tailed hawks and saw-whet owls in order to better understand their health and migration patterns.
Why We Conduct Prescribed Fire 🔥
Fire has been a natural, beneficial and integral part of our ecosystem for thousands of years. So much so, that many of our native communities evolved alongside and now depend upon frequent fire and its effects for their health.

Questions about Pottawattamie County land management? Send us a note by replying to this email.
Photo Credit: Reagan Pufall
Loess Hills Lodge Exhibit Gallery Winter Hours
Please note that the Loess Hills Lodge Exhibit Gallery at Hitchcock Nature Center has switched to our winter hours schedule. Restrooms at the lodge will remain open during park hours from 6:oo a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Monday - Thursday: CLOSED
Friday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Upcoming Programs
Hitchcock Nature Center
Saturday, December 11 to Sunday, December 12
100M, 101k, Half Marathon and 50M

Hitchcock Nature Center is proud to host another amazing Hitchcock Experience Endurance Run, presented by the Greater Omaha Area Trail-Runnerz. Runners will descend upon the park December 11th & 12th to take part in either a half marathon, 101K, 50 mile or 100 mile endurance run through the picturesque Loess Hills. Photo Credit: GOATz Trail Runners
This event is full, but spectators are welcome! Please know that parking may be limited and trails will be quite busy this weekend.
Online | Part of "A Land Ethic Workshop" Series
Saturday, December 18
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
$15 per person | Ages 14+

Join educator Ron Cisar for a morning full of online environmental education including the exploration of winter adaptations of area animals, tips & tricks for effective winter bird feeding and a reading & discussion of Aldo Leopold's essay "Home Range."
Hitchcock Nature Center
Friday, December 31
6:00 p.m.
$5 per person | Kids 3 & under are free

Avoid the crowds, leave the TV behind, and celebrate the new year under an open sky with a guided hike in the beautiful Loess Hills. End your hike by watching the downtown Omaha New Year fireworks from the top of the Hitchcock Hawkwatch tower.
Council Bluffs Public Library | Meeting Room B
Wednesday, January 12
Free | Ages 14+ preferred

Join Naturalist Michelle Biodrowski and embark on a pollinator adventure! Learn what a pollinator is, why they are in trouble, and how you can help.
Intro to Pollinators is a free introductory class as part of our Gardening for Diversity series. Perfect for beginning gardeners and anyone who is interested in supporting native plantings in their outdoor spaces, Gardening for Diversity will give you the confidence and background knowledge you need to grow a beautiful native garden that supports local wildlife and provides other great benefits for you and your community.

For Your (Conservation) Consideration
Clean That Bird Feeder, Please.

Learn more from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and our environmental educator, Rene:

Watching birds at a bird feeder is a relaxing and great way to learn about them. However, when we congregate many individuals to one spot we increase the risk and spread of disease. Just as we need to wash our dishes to prevent illness, birds need their feeders cleaned too. Bird feeder owners have a moral responsibility to reduce the risk of disease for birds visiting their feeders.

When seeds, hulls, or bird droppings accumulate in feeders or trays they can become a source of community spread for infectious diseases.

It is ideal to clean your feeders about once every two weeks. During wet weather or heavy usage it is great if you can wash them more often. It is also important to clean them when there have been reports of salmonella in your area or you have seen sick birds in your yard.

Cleaning your feeder means taking apart your feeder and running it through the dishwasher on the hottest setting. If you don’t have a dishwasher, use hot water and soap. Be sure to rinse and dry your feeders thoroughly before refilling.

Stay in the loop. Click on an individual park below to follow its Facebook page.

Pottawattamie Conservation | | (712)-328-5638