Change of Date for Annual Botna Bend Pancake Feed
Join us on Saturday, September 7th for breakfast in the park & take in recent repairs following the March 2019 flooding of Botna Bend Park.  

Due to the flood's timing we have none of our traditional real maple syrup but that won't stop us from serving breakfast. Grilled pancakes & sausage will be served along with coffee & orange juice from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. so don't be late!

Attendees must purchase a $3.00 per vehicle daily entrance pass or have a membership to the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation to attend this program. Daily passes may be purchased with exact change or check at the front gate and may be purchased the day of the event. Annual memberships may be purchased for $20.00 from staff at any of our parks, at the Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center during regular business hours or online at www.pottawattamieconservationfoundation.com. 

There is no additional fee to attend this program. Free will donations will be gratefully accepted & all donations will directly fund continued flood repair efforts at Botna Bend Park.
Hitchcock HawkWatch Kick Off Meeting - August 18th

Returning HawkWatch volunteers & those interested in joining the Hitchcock HawkWatch are invited to join us for a kickoff meeting & potluck at Hitchcock Nature Center on Sunday August 18th, at 5:00 p.m.

Join us as we get a jump start on the 2019 HawkWatch Season. We will be discussing last year's report, new business, volunteer schedules & more. This is a great chance to catch up with old friends & make some new ones before the season officially begins in September.

Looking for a way to get outside & volunteer at Hitchcock Nature Center? This might be the perfect project for you to join. Potential new volunteers are welcome to attend to learn more about the program & how they can help with this important research.

Red Tail Hawk At Hitchcock Nature Center - Photo Courtesy of Ryan Johnson
To attend this meeting please RSVP by email to Jerry Toll, HawkWatch Coordinator at geritol48@cox.net. This is a potluck meeting, attendees are asked to bring something to contribute. For additional details please call Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator at 712-545-3283.

The Hitchcock HawkWatch is an annual volunteer project & is open to volunteer participants age 18 & over. Birding experience is preferred but not necessary & new volunteers will receive on the job training to improve their spotting skills. New volunteers must complete a volunteer application & submit to a background check to become an official HawkWatch volunteer. Once you are an official volunteer you will receive a free annual park permit. All returning volunteers will need to complete an updated volunteer insurance form & may do so at the meeting. 

There is no fee to attend this meeting & attendees do not need to purchase a daily entrance pass or have an annual membership to attend. We appreciate your support of this important volunteer project. 
August 10th - A Full Day of Programming Fun at Hitchcock Nature Center
Join us at the park for 4 informative programs all on the same day!

A Pottawattamie County Almanac: 
A Chorus of Insects
8:00 a.m. to Noon
Age 15 & Over
$15.00 per Person
Experience nature in a new way as we combine nature, art, & exploration in our adult education series, "A Pottawattamie County Almanac", presented by Pottawattamie County Conservation & award winning instructor Ron Cisar.

Join us August 10th from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Hitchcock Nature Center for the sixth session of the 2019 programming series. This session will focus on the many insect species of the Midwest with special attention paid to the approaching monarch migration as well as a discussion of "The Green Pasture" by Aldo Leopold.


Knee High Naturalists
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Ages 2 to 5 Years with an Adult
$3.00 per Child, Adults Free
Young learners will get a hands-on nature experience during our new programming series, Knee High Naturalists.  Designed to increase engagement between young children and the natural world around them while adult caregivers take an active role in the program experience through shared exploration.  

During this program children with their adults will use their imaginations, play, construct, & create their own worlds using various materials during un-directed, child-led play time. This type of child-led, free-form experience has become limited during our structured lives and young children & adults alike benefit from the creative, inventive, & unstructured exploration. 


Nature Club
4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Ages 6 to 14
$3.00 per Child
This new programming series is designed for children age 6 & over without an adult.  

School age nature lovers will explore the natural world on the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center. Activities will include nature journaling to record observations & discoveries, documenting a native plant & its changes throughout the season, guided hikes along the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center, & more. 

Parents! Please join us for our 2019 Speaker Series event happening at the same time! It's the perfect way for everyone to have a fun & inspirational afternoon at the park!


2019 Speaker Series: Sacred Seed, An Indigenous Heirloom Seed Journey with Taylor Keen
4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Ages 14 & Over
Free with Park Admission
We look forward to welcoming Taylor Keen founder of Sacred Seed, a project with the goal of preserving Native American heritage & history through collecting, growing, & spreading the seeds of corn & other traditional Native American foods. Taylor will be sharing his personal story of reuniting with his tribal roots & reconnecting with the 4 Sisters (corn, beans, squash, & sunflower). The ensuing journey has connections to an ancient & deep cosmology & history of how Indigenous corn was appropriated into commercial use & is now being revived by tribal seed keepers. 

The 2019 Speaker Series is a programming series designed for teens & adults to provide them with an opportunity to learn from and interact with various authorities in the fields of conservation & environmental science.  Each program will begin at 4:00 p.m. & will last approximately 1 hour with a meet & greet with the speaker to follow. 

Have children age 6 to 14 in your family? Come to the park together & enjoy Taylor's presentation while your children learn & explore with our naturalists during Nature Club!

Night Sky Event
August 10th, Hitchcock Nature Center
Take in the beauty of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower at on Saturday, August 10th at Hitchcock Nature Center. This spectacular display of lights and falling meteors is an event you don't want to miss. Join us at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 10th at the park entrance. No pre-registration required.This annual event has grown in popularity during recent years. With these large crowds have come new challenges for park staff and we have some tips for you to help you make the most of this fantastic astronomical event. 

  1. This event is free with a valid membership to the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation. Pick up your membership at any of our parks before the event or purchase yours online at www.pottawattamieconservationfoundation.com in advance to make entering the park faster.
     
  2. Don't want to become a member? Admission for non-members is just $3.00 per vehicle. Bring exact change for the front gate to make your entrance to the park quick and easy. Please note, NO CREDIT CARDS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE FRONT GATE DURING THIS EVENT. Please bring cash or check only.
     
  3. Space in the park is limited, late comers may be turned away or have to wait for entry. No participants arriving after 10:00 p.m. will be admitted.
     
  4. Please follow staff directions to the nearest available parking. Due to the popularity of this event this may mean you and your party have to walk from a more removed parking spot to our viewing area. Please be prepared for this and let park staff know if anyone in your party has mobility issues, we will do our best to accommodate.
     
  5. This event begins at 8:30 p.m. & we plan on closing the gates at 10:30 p.m. Gates may remain open later at the discretion of the park ranger on duty & based on the number of event participants. Vehicles remaining in the park after the gates close will be locked in until 6:00 a.m. so watch that clock as the evening wears on.
     
  6. Please be familiar with your vehicle's headlight operations, vehicles will be asked to dim their headlights as they enter the park to avoid excess light pollution that impacts meteor shower viewing. 
     
  7. Please exercise patience and caution when exiting the park as crowds, narrow park roads, and dark conditions will make safe vehicle travel difficult. Park staff may provide you with directions to facilitate a safe exit, please listen to and follow their directions.
     
  8. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, binoculars & telescopes to view nature's fireworks. Insect repellent is also a very good idea!
     
  9. Picnic dinners are always welcome & no concessions will be available for sale during the event. No alcohol please. And remember, if you pack it in, please pack it out.
     
  10. We don't recommend bringing your pets to this event but well behaved dogs on short leashes are are permitted should you decide to bring them. Please pick up and remove all pet waste so we can avoid any messy situations. Please use your best judgement when deciding to bring your pooch. Disruptive pets will be asked to leave the event.
     
  11. This is an outdoor event. Should we make any changes to the event due to inclement weather we will post that news to Facebook first. Follow us on Facebook for all event news.
We can't wait to see everyone at what is quickly becoming one of our most popular events. If you have any questions or need additional information please call the park at 712-545-3283 to speak with Hitchcock Nature Center staff. See you at the park!
Upcoming Programs

A Pottawattamie County Almanac: A Chorus of Insects
8:00 a.m.
Saturday, August 10th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
This session will focus on the many insect species of western Iowa with special attention paid to the approaching monarch migration. Read More ...

Knee High Naturalists
2:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 10th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Learners age 2 to 5 will use their imaginations, play, construct, & create their own worlds during un-directed, child-led play time in nature.  Read More ...

Nature Club
4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 10th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Students age 6 & over will explore the Loess Hills at Hitchcock Nature Center during this immersive new program full of hands on nature learning.  Read More ...

2019 Speaker Series: "Sacred Seed, An Indigenous Heirloom Seed Journey" wtih Taylor Keen
4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 10th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Taylor will be sharing his personal story of reuniting with his tribal roots & reconnecting with the 4 Sisters (corn, beans, squash, & sunflower).  Read More ...

Night Sky Event
8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 10th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Take in the annual Perseid Meteor Shower from a Loess Hills vantage point at Hitchcock Nature Center.  Read More ...

Butterflies Through Binoculars
1:00 p.m. 
Sunday, August 11th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Learn more about the beautiful butterflies that call Hitchcock Nature Center homeRead More ...

Living Loess Tour
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 17th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
And Partner Businesses
Join our featured partner, the Harrison County Historical Village & Iowa Welcome Center & take in the unique history of Iowa's Loess Hills & the Lincoln Highway. Read More...

HawkWatch Kick Off Meeting
5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 18th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Returning HawkWatch volunteers & those interested in joining the Hitchcock HawkWatch are invited to join us for a kickoff meeting  Read More ...

OWLS: Soundscapes
12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 20th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Area seniors are invited to bring their lunch earn more about natural soundscapes & the different ways they are important to the plants & animals of our ecosystem.  Read More...

Map & Compass Foundations
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 20th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
learn basic principles of map & compass navigation during Tuesday evening's classroom session. Topics will include how to read, interpret, & navigate a topographic map, & more.  Read More ...

August Hitch Hike
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 20th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Explore the northern section of the park & view a remnant of the original Old Lincoln Highway on this guided hike. Read More ...

Hitchcock Insect Club Meeting
5:00 p.m. Pre-Meeting Hike
6:30 p.m. Meeting
Thursday, August 22nd
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Join the Insect Club for a presentation on insects that are commonly spotted in the pollinator gardens at Fontenelle Forrest by club member Loren Padleford. Read More ...

Map & Compass Field Season
5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 23rd
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
This program is a field session designed to give students real-time, hands-on practice navigating terrain with a compass & topographical map. Read More ...

2019 Summer Concert Series: 37 Years
4:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 1st
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Help us end the season with our final concert of 2019 featuring the music of Omaha trio 37 Years. This terrific group plays through a catalog  of old favorites & new originals perfect for music lovers of all ages. Read More ...

Homeschool in the Hills: Geology
10:00 a.m. Morning Session
1:00 p.m. Afternoon Session
Tuesday, September 3rd
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Learn more about Iowa's unique and spectacular Loess Hills & the soil that makes them so special. Explore minerals of all shapes and sizes and get your hands dirty in a wonderful way. Read More ...

Backpacking 101
6:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 5th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
oin experienced educator Laura Friesell & Pottawattamie County Conservation for a 4-part series of classes designed for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts with limited backpacking experience. Read More ...

Botna Bend Park Pancake Feed
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, September 7th
Botna Bend Park, Hancock 
Enjoy breakfast under the trees at Botna Bend Park as we serve up g rilled pancakes & sausage with coffee & orange juice. Read More ...

Family Camp Out
2:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 7th
Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
First time tent campers are invited to join us for a guided overnight camp out at Hitchcock Nature Center in our picturesque group tent campsite. Read More ...

Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Pottawattamie County Conservation
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