June, 2020
June COVID-19 Updates at Your County Parks

Pottawattamie Conservation staff has been hard at work evaluating facilities & identifying ways that we can help visitors mitigate risk while we re-open facilities across all our parks. This is a constantly changing situation & we appreciate your patience as we navigate it.  

We are happy to announce the re-opening of many facilities & amenities at your county parks. Modern restrooms, park offices, campground shower facilities, cabins, camping, shelter rentals, & playgrounds have opened to public use with a few restrictions.
  • RVs & tents permitted in designated spots only
  • Campers & park visitors must maintain proper physical distance (minimum 6' separation)
  • Campsites & cabins are to be occupied by immediate family or household members only, no additional guests or visitors are permitted
  • Campsites will maintain recommended social distancing, minimum of 6', some campsites may be closed or unavailable to maintain this distance
  • Lodges & enclosed shelters will operate at 50% capacity only 
  • Guests making use of open, outdoor spaces & facilities must maintain social distancing of 6' between household groups during use
Restrooms at the Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center are currently open for guest use during regular park hours. The Loess Hills Lodge exhibit gallery & welcome desk will open June 11th, hours will vary based on staff & volunteer availability. Watch for hours of operation announcements on our website & on our Facebook page. Loess Hills Lodge private rentals remain closed at this time. 

Due to ongoing repairs restrooms, playground equipment, picnic shelters, & the Missouri River boat ramp at Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs remain closed at this time. 

Thank you for Your Support During Omaha Gives!
Registration Open for A Land Ethic Workshop 
with Ron Cisar
We are happy to announce the continuation of our new programming series, "A Land Ethic Workshop". This unique program  will focus on the work & life of naturalist & Iowa native Aldo Leopold. Each month participants will explore a new work by Leopold coupled with hands on activities such as hikes, aquatic studies, guest lectures, sketching, journaling and more.

This monthly programming series was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic & has now been adjusted to provide this amazing learning opportunity in the safest possible way.

Our programs, "The Geese Return" & "Woodland Wildflowers" originally scheduled for March 21st & April 11th will now be presented together on June 6th at 9:00 a.m. in an online format.

Our programs, "Morels, Lichens, & Fungi" & "Freshwater Ecosystems & Invasive Species" will be presented together June 27th at 9:00 a.m. in an online format.

These online programs will include classroom instruction as well as outdoor learning activities that can be done in your own backyard or at the natural area of your choice. 

Our July 11th program, "Prairie vs. Woodland" will be presented in person if conditions allow or may be moved online if necessary.

Space is still available in these informative & inspiring programs. Register for the sessions of your choice for $10.00 per person per session or choose to register for all 8 monthly programs for the discounted price of $75.00 per person. 

Saturday, June 6th - The Geese Return & Woodland Wildflower ONLINE
Saturday, June 27th - Morels, Lichens, & Fungi & Freshwater Ecosystems & Invasive Species ONLINE
Saturday, July 11th - Prairie vs. Woodland
Saturday, August 15th - Monarch Migration
Saturday, September 12th - Ornithology 101
Saturday, October 10th - The Science of Fall
Saturday, November 14th - Nature's Recyclers
Saturday, December 5th - Winter Bird Feeding & the Science of Snow

Pottawattamie Conservation Welcomes Aric Ping, Natural Resources Technician
Pottawattamie Conservation is excited to welcome a new team-member to our ranks. Aric Ping joined us as Natural Resources Technician this spring & we are so happy to have him on board. Get to know Aric & make sure you say hi if you see him when you visit your county parks. 

What is your personal & educational background?
I was born and raised in the once and future floodplain of the Missouri River valley south of Sioux City where I spent a lot of time playing and exploring outdoors. My formal education includes a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and graduate coursework in Grassland Management through South Dakota State University.

Where did you work prior to joining the staff at Pottawattamie Conservation?
I got my foot in the conservation door as an intern at UNO's Glacier Creek Preserve. From there I worked seasonally with The Nature Conservancy at their Platte River Prairies and at Custer State Park in the Black Hills. After my seasonal work I spent some time with Douglas County, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain foothills, and for nearly the last five years I served as the Vegetation Specialist for the Dickinson County Conservation Board in the lakes area of northwest Iowa.

What are you looking forward to the most in your new position with Pottawattamie Conservation?
The thing that I am looking forward to the most in my new position is the opportunity to manage and preserve the globally significant ecosystems present here in the Loess Hills.
Upcoming Programs

Little Tike Hike
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Daily
June 6th -15th
Hitchcock Nature Center
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 ...

The Geese Return & A Woodland Wildflower
9:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 6th
Join us for an online program with presenter Ron Cisar as we celebrate the life & legacy of famous naturalist & philosopher Aldo Leopold. Read More ...

Litter Busters
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 6th
Hitchcock Nature Center
Hit the trails & help us clean up Hitchcock Nature Center during this free, volunteer event. Read More ...

Wildlings Camp
10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Daily
June 15th through 19th 
Students age 3 to 5 are invited to join us for this special online summer camp & learn more about the amazing animals that share our world. Read More ...

Morels, Lichens, Fungi & Freshwater Ecosystems
9:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 27th
Join us for an online program with presenter Ron Cisar as we celebrate the life & legacy of famous naturalist & philosopher Aldo Leopold.  Read More ...

Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Pottawattamie Conservation
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