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Jones County Iowa

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 Environmental Education 


Iowa Hunter Education Courses:

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

Contest Links:

Iowa DNR Contests and Links

Soil and Water Conservation Poster Contest

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.)


ISU Extension & JCCB

"Outdoor Wondercation" Programs
Intro to Geocaching:  April 11:  10 - Noon:  ISU Extension

                Youth Center-Monticello  (Kids 4th Grade and up)
Intro to Rock Climbing & Caving:  Date TBA:  10 - Noon: 

                Pictured Rocks Park (Kids 6th Grade and up)
Canoeing Adventure:  June 13:  10 - 2 PM:  Mon Maq to

                Pictured Rocks  or Central Park - depending on river

                level. (6th Grade and up)
Open to all children 4th grade and up or 6th grade and up depending on program.  Not limited to 4-H members.  Come join the ISU Extension and Jones County Conservation staff as you learn some fun hands on outdoor skills.  Activities, handouts, and snacks included in the registration fee.  Pre-registration is required.  Space is limited.  $10 registration fee per activity.  Please call ISU Extension at (319)465-3224 to reserve your spot.
Wondercation Programs Poster

"Bill Jamerson - CCC program"

April 15

6:30 – 8 PM

Monticello Public Library

Stories about poverty, sacrifice and comradery!

Over 3 million 17-25 year old young men across America enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps during The Great Depression. They came from families on relief and were sent to work camps in America's wilderness and rural areas. They planted trees, fought forest fires, constructed roads, worked on soil erosion control programs and participated in thousands of projects restoring our nation’s natural resources. In the process, the CCC turned boys into men, teaching them good work habits and responsibility.

Since 1992, Bill has interviewed hundreds of former CCC enrollees and used their stories in his PBS Documentary CAMP FORGOTTEN, his historical novel BIG SHOULDERS and his CD of songs, DOLLAR-A-DAY BOYS.

Bill shares many of these stories about the men and the projects they completed across the country. He takes his audience on a rollicking journey back to the days when Benny Goodman was the king of swing and a soda cost a nickel. Bill performs a half dozen original songs in each program, reads from his novel and shows a short clip from his video. The stories are sometimes hilarious, and often heartwarming, his presentation is a must for anyone who enjoys 1930's history.

Earth Day Fair 2015
Sunday, April 19
Lawrence Community Center
8 AM - 2 PM

Join us for the Annual Grant Wood Trail Pancake Breakfast and SWCD Poster Contest Awards.  Over 35 booths and exhibits.  Live music by the Mike Lasack Band.  Try your aim at the 4-H Youth Shooting Sports Air Rifle Trailer.  Learn how to train your dog with Tory Topping of Stone Hollow Dog Training, Inc. or find out how to duck call with Chuck Bomia.

Earth Day Poster

Older Wiser Livelier - Spring Wildflower Hike and Turtle Telemetry

Wednesday, April 29
9 AM:  Meet at Palisades State Park (North Entrance Shelter)
9 - 9:15:  Introductions
9:15 - 10:15:  Spring Wildflower Hike
10:15 - 10:45:  Driving Tour and Overlooks
10:45 - 11:15:  Drive to Ingersoll Learning Center
11:15 - Noon:  Tour and Free Time to Explore
Noon:  Picnic Lunch
12:30 - 1:  Travel to Thompson Prairie
1-2:30:  Turtle Telemetry
2:30:  Head Home

OWL Programs are for adults who are looking to get out of the house, make new friends, and learn about the exciting world of NATURE!  Join us for a fun and educational day.  This trip will start off with a spring wildflower walk at the Mississippi Palisades, a picnic lunch at Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, and a finally stop at Thompson Prairie to learn about the ornate box turtle telemetry studies.   Please call 319-481-7987 to register for this program.

OWL Spring Wildflower Walk and Tour Program Poster

Eastern Iowa Older Wiser Livelier Website

River Clean Up Event Coming to Jones County July 15th & 16th, 2015

July 11 - 16, 2015
To register, visit the PROJECT AWARE WEBSITE and download your registration form.  Registration deadline is June 19, 2015.

Project Aware Poster

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:


Spring/Summer 2015

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.