Conservator - September, 2021
As life ramps back up this fall with school back in session, make sure you continue to find time to get outside and enjoy beautiful habitats found in Pottawattamie County. Explore fun upcoming events and stay in the loop with new developments and staff at your favorite parks. Also, this month marks our HawkWatch group's 30th anniversary! Learn more about their vital work and how you can get involved below.

Thank you for supporting Pottawattamie Conservation!
Last Day to Bid on Go Wild Auction Items
Proceeds provide field trip scholarships for local schools.
Explore amazing items and know that every bid you make helps local students reconnect with nature and experience what's wild.

If you've enjoyed any of Pottawattamie Conservation's parks, habitat areas, or educational programs this year, this is the perfect opportunity to support environmental education, land stewardship & recreation opportunities.
Construction Update: Hitchcock Nature Center
Main park entrance is now open.
We are so excited to be able to open the park back up as construction projects including a front entrance redesign, expanded parking, road widening and lodge entrance redesign wrap up. Take a look at the video to see how some of this work is coming along.

Check our Facebook page or website for the latest details on construction at Hitchcock. As always, we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we work to make Hitchcock Nature Center a safer and more enjoyable place to visit!
Try Botna Bend's Homemade Maple Syrup!
Dig In During Our Pancake Feed This Saturday
Every year in early spring, Park Ranger Jon Fenner and his staff tap the silver maple trees that call Botna Bend Park home and collect their sweet sap to make their own special maple syrup.

  • Time: 8:30 to 11 a.m.
  • Includes: Grilled pancakes, sausage, Botna Bend maple syrup, coffee, OJ
  • Cost: Free with $3.00 park admission or membership; Free will donations are gratefully accepted and will help fund projects & improvements at the park

*Our previous newsletter stated this event was in August. Our apologies for any confusion.
Arrowhead's Modern Shower House Now Open
Arrowhead Park's new shower house is officially sodded and ready for you to come camp with us. There are six large restrooms each with a flushing toilet, sink and shower area with benches.

Find the perfect cabin, RV or tent spot today!
HawkWatch Celebrates 30 Years This Month
Hitchcock HawkWatch was started in 1991 by a group of passionate volunteers who devoted their time to counting and reporting migrating eagles, hawks and other raptor species. The program has grown since its creation, becoming part of a nationwide network of raptor monitoring locations and is one of the top 25 HawkWatches in the country.

These volunteers will be up at the top of the Hitchcock Observation Tower every day between now and mid-December, recording raptor behavior and migration patterns. Not only are raptors fascinating creatures, but changes to their migration and population can point to disruptive downstream impacts as well. We are so grateful for the work our HawkWatch volunteers put in (rain or snow!) to keep a keen eye on migrating raptors and share their findings.

Coming up on October 17th we'll be hosting a HawkWatch anniversary celebration where the public is invited to learn more about this important work. More information to come soon!
Help Us Welcome Caleb Strand
Hitchcock HawkWatch's 2021 Hawk Counter
Caleb Strand is a lifelong birder from Buckeye, Arizona. He's been birding since he was a toddler, serves as an eBird moderator and conducted his own HawkWatch down in Arizona. We are very excited to have him and his expertise up on the observation tower this year. If you see him there on your next hike, please help give him a warm welcome to Hitchcock Nature Center!
Upcoming Programs
Little Tike Hike - September
September 4 to September 14 | Hitchcock Nature Center: Learn More
September 4 to September 30 | 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.
Go Wild for Conservation | Online
Thursday, September 9
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
*Tickets are no longer available, but you can join us by bidding on items online or tuning into our livestream of this annual fundraiser and live auction.

Dollars from the Go Wild for Conservation fundraiser support our Get on Board program that provides field trip scholarships for local schools. Go wild with us so that more local students can experience the wild things our beautiful county has to offer! Access the Auction & Livestream
Botna Bend Pancake Feed
Botna Bend Park 
Saturday, September 11
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Free with Park Admission, Free Will Donation at Pickup | All Ages

Grab a tasty breakfast at Botna Bend & enjoy the taste of real maple syrup, harvested from local silver maple trees! Event Information  
Ornithology 101 | Online
Part of "A Land Ethic Workshop" series
Saturday, September 11
9:00 a.m. t0 12:00 p.m.
$15 per session

Learn about common raptor species and their annual migration patterns, how lead poisoning is impacting bald eagles and what you can do to support raptor populations. Led by celebrated educator Ron Cisar...Learn More & Register 
Hitchcock Oak Inventory Training | Hitchcock Nature Center 
Tuesday, September 14
7:00 p.m.
Free | Park admission not required, thank you for volunteering!

The sprawling mighty oak tree remains a symbol of the American Midwest but a new, swift, and little understood disease has recently emerged in our area with the potential to eliminate these iconic trees from our landscape. Topics covered will include the project, field data collection app and oak ecology. Portions of the training will occur out of doors and off-trail, so please dress appropriately...Event Information 
September Hitch Hike | Hitchcock Nature Center 
Tuesday, September 21
6:00 p.m.
Free with park admission

Join us for the final Hitch Hike of the season and view the early signs of fall in the Loess Hills...Event Information 
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.
HawkWatch 5K Walk/Run
Hitchcock Nature Center
Saturday, October 2
9:00 a.m.
$28 through September 19 | $33 through day of race

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 
Arrowhead Chili Fest | Arrowhead Park
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
3-Part Course | $50 per person
October 12, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
October 16, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
October 23-24 (overnight), 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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

Pottawattamie Conservation | | (712)-328-5638