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Jones County Iowa

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 Environmental Education 


***PLEASE 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.)



Mushroom Foray
Saturday, September 5
10 AM - Noon
Central Park Nature Center Lower Level

Join the Prairie State Mushroom Club for a mushroom foray.  After introductions and a brief orientation we will spend a couple hours in the woods looking for anything fungal.  At noon we will meet at the Nature Center to look over what was collected and identify what we can.

Monarch Tagging & Annual Butterfly Survey
Saturday, September 5
1 PM
Central Park Nature Center Lower Level

Join the Jones County Naturalist to help capture and tag live Monarch butterflies.  Learn about the magnificent migration of the monarch butterfly and find out why scientists and citizen volunteers across North America are tagging monarchs.  Bring your own net or borrow one of ours as you try your skill at catching and tagging a few monarch butterflies.  All butterflies caught or observed and identified will be recorded for the Annual Central Park Butterfly Survey.

Monarch Tagging Program Poster

2015 REAP Assemblies Announced:

Vist the REAP Alliance website for more information on Iowa's REAP Assemblies.

Download a copy of Iowa's REAP Assemblies

Attend our local REAP Assembly:  Region 10  Benton, Jones, Johnson, Linn, Washington Counties
October 8
Open House and Displays 6-6:30 PM
Assembly Proceedings 6:30 - 8 PM

Kent Park - Conservation Education Center near Oxford
2048 Hwy 6 NW, Oxford IA 52322

Annual Fall Colors Canoe/Kayak Outing & North Fork Wildlands Celebration

Attention seasoned paddlers: join the Jones County Conservation Department Staff on a spectacularly scenic and secluded canoe outing on the North Fork of the Maquoketa River on Saturday, October 10th.  Put in will be at 9 AM at the D61 Whitewater Bridge and take out will be at the Caven Bridge Access for a total trip length of 16 river miles.  Participants should meet at the Whitewater Bridge at 8 AM to shuttle vehicles.  This trip will include a quick stop at the new North Fork Wildlands property and lunch on a sandbar.  This trip is recommended for experienced paddlers only.  Low water levels are best for soloists.  Participants should bring a sack lunch, snacks, beverages, camera, aquatic footwear, dry bags, and extra clothing.  Participants should be prepared to be on the river most of the day.    Those planning on attending should contact Michele at (319)481-7987 or at to register by noon on Oct. 9th.   This outing is weather and river level dependent.

Iowa Hunter Education Courses:

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

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 Completed

Donna Zimmerman, a local artist from Monticello, completed painting a scene depicting a bluff top view of the Maquoketa River Valley.  Viewable in the Nature Centers lower level the scene incorporates life like native animals and plants.  Great Job Donna!!!

Maquoketa River Scenic Overlook Diorama
Pause Stop Previous Next View full-sized photos

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.




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.