July, 2020
There's Still Time to Register for a Terrific Summer Camp Adventure!
Limited space is still available in several of our upcoming Summer Nature Camps & we would love to see your young learners at the park!

Due to COVID-19 our staff has altered the hours & organization of our annual Summer Nature Camps to keep our campers and staff as safe as possible while still providing a fun and engaging summer camp experience for your child.
  • Wild Ones Camp hours have been adjusted to 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & Wild Ones Campers will not eat lunch during camp
  • All other camp hours have been adjusted to 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. & campers will need to bring a sack lunch for each day of camp
  • Camp registration will be capped at 12 campers daily
  • Campers will receive a special take-home activity packet each day of camp
  • Camp staff have structured the day and activities to maintain 6' of social distancing to the extent possible
  • Campers will not be required to wear masks, however we highly encourage each camper to have a mask to wear in situations where social distancing is difficult or impossible
  • Staff will wear masks when not able to maintain 6' of distance
  • Staff will regularly disinfect the facilities and frequently touched surfaces
  • Daily temperature checks will be required of all staff and campers prior to the start of each camp
  • Each camper will have their own set of supplies to use for the week including their own bottle of sanitizer and individually packaged snacks
2020 Hitchcock Nature Center Grazing Project

Be prepared to see some new faces the next time you visit Hitchcock Nature Center! Grazing cattle and goats are being employed by park staff to help further our long-range land management goals & we are so happy to have them at the park.

Our grazing crew will be on site through the month of June & will be housed in an area adjacent to the campground, stretching northwest near Hohneke Trail and Bunker Hill & will be visible to park users in that area on a daily basis.

Park users are asked to keep their distance & not approach our newly hired help. To keep the animals & our guests safe their paddock will be enclosed with an electrified fence, it is clearly marked & highly visible but we do ask you to give these fences a wide berth.  Please respect the animals, as they are not pets and are here to do a job for our land.

2020 Hitchcock Nature Center Grazing Project
2020 Hitchcock Nature Center Grazing Project

Grazing animals are a huge part of our efforts to restore this beautiful land back to a healthier prairie ecosystem. We have worked with small grazers, such as goats, in the past & large grazers, such as cattle, are the next step in our plan. Large grazers provide numerous ecological benefits for the overall system including invasive species removal, nutrient recycling through their waste & so much more. We are really hopeful that our cattle crew will help us chew off cool season grasses, such as brome & Kentucky bluegrass, to reduce competition for summer season natives helping them to thrive.  Our goat crew will be on brush patrol to help us chew down our undesirable woody vegetation in these areas to create more savanna at Hitchcock Nature Center.

Watch for more updates on Facebook & Instagram as our grazing crew gets to work this summer. 
Welcome to our 2020 Pottawattamie Conservation Interns!
Pottawattamie Conservation Welcomes Kim Wickersham, Administrative Assistant
Many of our regular park visitors get to know our staff, especially our park rangers & our guest services folks, but one person you may never get to see is our new Administrative Assistant Kim Wickersham. 

Kim is a huge asset to Pottawattamie Conservation, working tirelessly doing the "boring" jobs like paying the bills & making sure the lights stay on. Kim also works closely with both the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board & the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation, helping to secure project funding, assisting with board needs, & processing all those annual memberships! 

Kim joined our team several months ago & we are so happy to be able to introduce her to you. 

What is your personal & educational background?

I am a Wyoming native and my family has always enjoyed being in the outdoors. As a child growing up, our entertainment and trips were going out to the mountains on the weekends, camping, hiking, exploring and having adventures. This is where I learned the importance of taking care of our land and the importance of having the natural areas for people to go visit.

As a senior in high school I earned a 2-year full ride scholarship to McCook Community College for a painting of the Snowy Range and Lake Marie that my teacher suggested I enter in an art competition. This is one of my favorite spots in Wyoming. In 1998 I earned an Associate of Arts degree in Fine Arts from McCook Community College, McCook, NE followed by my 4-year degree at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design and Two-Dimensional Fine Arts in the winter of 2000. During college I spent a summer doing an internship with Nebraska Game and Parks in their graphics department.

After college I worked as a graphic designer in Hastings, NE. I moved to Lincoln in late 2001 and shifted career paths to being an Optical Manager, earning my ABO and NCLE certifications which I held for 15 years. While living in Lincoln I met my husband and when we decided to have a family, we moved to Council Bluffs where he was raised. I stayed at home with my boys and worked part time jobs until they were in school.

Where did you work prior to joining the staff at Pottawattamie County?

I was working part-time for Lewis Central Community School District, until a full-time position opened up as the Building Administrative Assistant for Kreft Primary. I worked for Lewis Central for 7 years before making the change to come to Pottawattamie Conservation.

Tell me about a project of accomplishment that you consider significant in your career.

Raising my boys and being able to have spent so much time with them.When I was Committee Chair of my sons' Cub Scout Pack I helped to reorganize and grow the pack, with activities, events and in numbers of scouts. With that I was awarded the Cub Scouter of the Year Award by our district in 2016. We have continued to see the Pack grow every year since.
Upcoming Programs

Little Tike Hike
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Daily
July 4th - 13th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Families with young learners are invited to hit the trails for a self-guided hike full of fun nature learning at Hitchcock Nature Center. Read More ...

Wild Seekers Camp at Hitchcock Nature Center
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Daily
Tuesday, July 7th - Thursday, July 9th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Campers entering 3rd & 4th grade will continue to grow in their outdoor confidence as we master some new outdoor skills during this 3 day camp. Read More ...

Prairie vs. Woodland
9:00 a.m. 
Saturday, July 11th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Celebrate the life & legacy of Aldo Leopold during our programming series, "A Land Ethic Workshop". Read More ...

Wild Wanderers Camp at Hitchcock Nature Center
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Daily
Tuesday, July 14th - Thursday, July 16th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Campers entering 5th & 6th grade will continue to grow in their outdoor confidence as we work on our outdoor skills during this 3 day camp. Read More ...

Ancient Pendant & Stone Age Beads
11:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 18th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Join Naturalist & experienced Native Earth Skills practitioner Dustin Clayton at Hitchcock Nature Center as he introduces you to the art & craft of the prehistoric jeweler. Read More ...

July Hitch Hike
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 21st
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Wind your way through the woodlands on a guided hike at Hitchcock Nature Center.  Read More ...

Wild Ones Camp at Arrowhead Park
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Daily
Tuesday, July 28th - Thursday, July 30th
Arrowhead Park, Neola
Campers entering 1st & 2nd grade head to Arrowhead Park for a close up look at aquatic habitats. Read More ...

Wild Wanderers Camp at Arrowhead Park
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Daily
Tuesday, August 4th - Thursday, August 6th
Arrowhead Park, Neola
Campers entering 5th & 6th grade will continue to grow in their outdoor confidence as hit the water during this 3 day camp. Read More ...
Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Pottawattamie Conservation
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