Conservator
April, 2020
Get Outside this Spring at Your County Parks
Each day more & more people head outdoors to escape & many of those people make their way to a Pottawattamie Conservation facility. While the COVID-19 related shutdowns continue our parks have seen an increase in park users & that is terrific. Science continues to show that spending time in nature has real, tangible benefits to your health & mental well-being, especially in times of stress & uncertainty.  We have some reminders to help you enjoy your county parks responsibly & safely. 

  • Park entrance fees are still in effect.  Our fees are $3.00 per vehicle or you can purchase an annual permit starting at $20.00. Fees can be paid at our park entrance gates with exact change or check only or you can purchase your annual permit online HERE.  
  • Don't forget to observe the CDC recommended guidelines for safety. Keep a personal distance of 6' between you & others & please limit your companions to 10 or fewer
  • Be prepared for reduced amenities. Restrooms & other indoor spaces are closed or limited for the time being & water access may be limited. Bring extra water for your hike & don't forget to pack your hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid picnic shelters, playgrounds, & other places large groups tend to congregate.
  • Pets are welcome at all Pottawattamie Conservation parks as long as they are on a leash that is 6' or shorter with a human in control of that leash at all times. Pet owners must also pick up, carry out, & dispose of all pet waste. Per County & State codes failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $810.00.
  • Remain on designated trails & avoid muddy spots if at all possible to protect our trailside natural resources.
  • Please carry out all of your trash & if you spot any litter as you enjoy our parks we appreciate your help in picking it up as well. Trash cans are located near parking lots, trail heads, & near buildings. 
Help us keep our parks in great shape by being responsible park guests, Pottawattamie Conservation staff & your fellow park visitors will thank you for it. 
Pottawattamie Conservation Habitat Areas Offer New Opportunities for Recreation
Wheeler Grove Conservation Area

Looking for a new adventure? Check  out Pottawattamie Conservation's habitat areas! 

Pottawattamie Conservation habitat areas are public use areas where the natural environment dominates the landscape. Unlike our parks, these areas are minimally developed, oftentimes with little more than a parking lot, to encourage a more natural setting where the area's wildlife and landscape take center stage. Habitat areas are great spaces for visitors to enjoy wildlife viewing,  hunting (as seasons allows), and to just get away from it all.

Crescent Wildlife Area - 24668 Liberty Lane, Crescent, IA

Crescent Wildlife Area is a unique property nestled on the Missouri River floodplain just west of Crescent, Iowa & only minutes from Hitchcock Nature Center. Crescent Wildlife Area is home to many different waterfowl species, shoreland bird species, wetland insects, amphibians, reptiles, & wetland mammal species. Other wildlife that can be seen on the property include small mammals, deer, grassland songbirds, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, & more.  This area is only a short 10-minute drive outside the metro area, & is open for public hunting, fishing, & recreation.  

Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area - 45638 Chestnut Road, Griswold, IA

Riepe Pond at Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area

Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area is a 320-acre property open to public recreation in the southeastern portion of Pottawattamie County, just 5 miles east of Carson, Iowa. The gently rolling property was acquired in 2001, & the majority of the land has been restored to native prairie fields filled with a diverse mix of native grasses & flowers. Two ponds are located at Farm Creek for public fishing & recreation. The Young Pond (west pond) is 16-acres with a boat ramp, dock, 
fishing jetty, & constructed spawning beds.  
Bobcat at Wheeler Grove Conservation Area
The Riepe Pond (east pond) is 5-acres & accommodates bank fishermen, as well as smaller canoes.  Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, & channel catfish are stocked in both ponds.

Wheeler Grove Conservation Area - 43774 Boxelder Avenue, Carson, IA

Wheeler Grove Conservation Area is a beautiful property open to public recreation in the southeastern portion of Pottawattamie County, just 3 miles east of Carson, Iowa. This 247-acre habitat area includes two blocks of dense woodland, an open canopy savanna composed of mixed tree species, highly diverse prairie reconstructions, & a wetland riparian bordering Jordan Creek. The property also has a 2-acre pond tucked deep inside the property for hike-in fishing.
Join the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol & Make A Difference at Hitchcock Nature Center
Interested in volunteering your time in the great outdoors & making the world a little safer? Get to know our friends, the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol & learn more about their important work during an informational meeting on May 2nd at Hitchcock Nature Center. 

LHNSP members will be on hand on May 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Maintenance Barn at Hitchcock Nature Center with information on their organization as well as details relating to their specialized training & more.
 
This event is perfect for anyone who might be interested in becoming a member of the patrol, who wants to learn more about the specialized training that is available to the public, or would like to learn about volunteer opportunities with the patrol like trail construction and repair and support of major events at Hitchcock Nature Center.
 
If group size restrictions are still in effect due to the COVID-19 virus the patrol will observe group size and social distancing requirements, and will have handouts available for pickup.

Formed in 2016, The Loess Hills Nordic Patrol members possess extensive training and experience in first aid, search and rescue operations, outdoor emergency care, coordinating emergency evacuations, trail maintenance, and many others areas of focus.  Their primary role at Hitchcock Nature Center is to ensure the safety of park visitors. Nordic Patrollers work closely with Hitchcock Nature Center rangers and staff and have become a valuable member of the Hitchcock Nature Center team; you'll often times find them assisting with some of Hitchcock's larger public events.  

While they're one of the most highly trained volunteer groups in the region, don't be fooled, they're also a fun loving and light-hearted group holding holiday parties, summer cookouts, and end-of-season get-togethers. 
 
For more information on the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol please find them on Facebook , visit their website, or send an email to loesshills.nsp@gmail.com .

2020 Summer Camps: Walk on the Wild Side!
With a focus on outdoor skills our 2020 Summer Nature Camp Series is sure to be a "WILD" time! Campers will learn valuable skills at each of our camps, from archery to shelter building, canoeing to plant & animal identification, these are the skills that are going to transform outdoor experiences into outdoor adventures. 

Camps are available for children age 3 through 8th grade so there's something for everyone. 

Refunds will be offered quickly for any camps that are cancelled by Pottawattamie Conservation. 

Upcoming Programs


Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Pottawattamie Conservation
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