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Jones County Iowa

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 Environmental Education 


Jones County REAP Digital Scavenger Hunt

25th Year Anniversary Celebration Challenge


Digital Scavenger Hunt Brochure


Iowa Hunter Education Courses:

For a current listing of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Courses please visit

Winter Family Snowshoeing Opportunities:
Dec. 5:  2:30 PM:  Wapsi State Park
Dec. 10:  2:30 PM:  Central Park
Dec. 17:  2:30 PM:  Riverside Gardens
Dec. 23:  2:30 PM:  Central Park

December Snowshoeing Poster

Jan. 9:  2:30 PM:  Wapsi State Park
Jan. 14:  2:30 PM:  Central Park
Jan. 21:  2:30 PM:  Central Park
Jan. 28:  2:30 PM:  Central Park

Feb. 4:  2:30 PM:  Central Park
Feb. 11:  2:30 PM:  Central Park
Feb. 13:  2:30 PM:  Wapsi State Park

Join the Jones County Naturalist for one or more of these fun free family guided snowshoe outings.  Participants must pre-register.  Please contact Michele at (319)481-7987 or

NOTE:  Due to flash flooding events in June 2014 causing a bridge to go out access to Central Park via Central Park Road from the North is not available.  Patrons should access Central Park from the south on E29 and Central Park Road.  (This route is entirely paved.)


"Winter Survival and Snowshoeing"

ISU Extension & JCCB Wondercation Program
Saturday, January 10
10 AM - Noon
Central Park Nature Center
For kids 4th grade and up.

Learn some of the basics of winter survival and snowshoeing.  Try your hand at building a snow shelter.  Snowshoe the trails of Central Park.  Dress to be outside!  Pre-registration required.  Space is limited.  $10 registration fee.  Please call ISU Extension at (319)465-3224 to reserve your spot.

Wondercation Programs Poster

"2015 Great Backyard Bird Count & Central Park Nature Center Open House"
Saturday, Feb. 14
1 PM
Central Park Nature Center

Learn how to join citizens around the world participating in the "2015 Great Backyard Bird Count."  Use binoculars to count the Central park birds from the warmth of the Nature Center or venture outside to search the park for birds.  Check out the new wall mural painting and exhibits.  Make a pine cone birdfeeder to take home or try your artistic skills by entering the winter coloring contest.  Everyone attending can sign up to win a free birdfeeder and enjoy some delicious cookies and hot chocolate!

Contest Links:

Iowa DNR Contests and Links

Soil and Water Conservation Poster Contest

PROJECT AWARE Coming to Jones County July 15th & 16th, 2015

Jones County Nature Center

The primary purpose of the Jones County Nature Center at Central Park is to provide a place for environmental education.  Programs for the public, schools, and other groups are held regularly at the center.  Central Park is located in the center of Jones County and is within a 15 – 30 minute drive from all communities in the county.

The Nature Center has exhibit space and a medium sized meeting room with kitchenette. 

The Nature Center is open to the public from 1-5 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, from Memorial Day thru Labor Day weekend.  Anyone interested in viewing the center at other times should call (563)487-3541 or Michele at (319)481-7987 to make an appointment.


Nature Center Diorama Wall Taking Shape

Donna Zimmerman of Monticello recently began painting the diorama background for the Central Park Nature Center lower level woodland scene.   This scene will depict the Maquoketa River Valley from a bluff top view incorporating life like native animals and plants.  Donna is not new to Central Park.  She painted the original wetland and prairie scenes on the Nature Centers upper level wetland and prairie dioramas in 1998.  We are glad to have her back at the brush and can't wait for the finished work of art she is creating.

Program Opportunities


The Jones County Conservation Board would like to invite you to consider your meeting place and the many outdoor areas of Jones County as rewarding locations to learn about our natural environment.  You will find our diverse ecosystems and wildlife offer many educational opportunities.



The Jones County Conservation Board Naturalist is available to give environmental education programs to schools, day cares, youth and adult groups, and the general public upon request.  Programs can be given at almost any location; including at the groups place of meeting or in the classroom.  Programs can be given indoors or out-of-doors depending on the circumstances.Naturalist programs are given at no charge and are tailored to the group or classes request.  Free will donations are accepted.



Monthly public programs are advertised in local newspapers and in the Jones County Conservation Board newsletter, “The Twin Rivers Review”.



For a listing of programs offered to youth groups see the “Jones County Youth Group Naturalist Programs” brochure.



Central Park Nature Center Lower Level Renovations Nearing Completion

Renovations at the Central Park Nature Centers Lower Level steamed along over the winter as the last of the interior phases nears completion.  A few items remain to be completed including a full wall painting and woodland animal diorama depicting a spring woodland scene viewed from a bluff top on the Maquoketa River valley.  With special thanks to the Nellie Steege Trust for additional funding for the diorama and wall painting.

Thank you to all who supported and contributed to the Central Park Nature Center and Environmental Education Program.  This project would not be possible without all of you.





Twin Rivers Review Newsletter

The Jones County Conservation Board newsletter the “Twin Rivers Review” comes out twice a year.  Inside you will find everything you need to know to keep current including program schedules and meeting dates.

If you would like to be put on the mailing list for this newsletter please contact the JCCB at



Current Issue:


Fall/Winter 2014

Service & Volunteer Opportunities



Volunteers have become an increasingly important part of the management and operations of the Jones County Conservation Board Department.  From clearing brush in prairies and on trails to assisting with prairie and tree planting projects, Jones CCB volunteers are taking part in the restoration and management of our natural ecosystems.


Volunteers serve important roles in educational activities and programs put on by the JCCB, including the annual “Central Park Kids Fishing Derby”.  Groups like the Jaycees, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Campfire Girls, Girl Scouts, and 4-H put in many hours each year picking up litter and assisting with special projects.  From new trails to bridges and wildlife blinds, Jones County has benefited greatly from the hard work and dedication of scouts completing their Eagle Scout projects.


If you are interested in volunteering please contact the JCCB Administrative Office at (563) 487-3541.  Make sure you receive the JCCB Newsletter, “The Twin Rivers Review”, to keep abreast of current volunteer opportunities.