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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


Summer Programs and Events Schedule

Download the Summer Events Poster

Family Outdoor Adventure Club - Trout Fishing Basics

Rescheduled Date:  Friday, July 25 

Pre-registration requested:  Please pre-register to attend the Trout Fishing Basics Program prior to July 23rd by calling Michele at (319)481-7987 or emailing Michele at

9 AM

Baileys Ford Park Pavilion & Trout Stream

(This program is weather/stream condition/level dependent.)  (Call Michele at (319)481-7987 to inquire on program status.)

Trout fishing is a fun and exciting family sport.  Learn some simple techniques for catching trout.  Then use your own rod and reel or borrow one of ours and try your luck.  Bring a sack lunch and enjoy a picnic, hike the trails, view the wildlife exhibits, and spend some time on the playground.  (Anyone 16 and over needs an Iowa Fishing License and trout fee.) (Children must fish with a licensed adult who possesses a trout fee.) 

"Frog and Toad Hunt"

Saturday, July 26

1 PM

Central Park Nature Center

Join us as we hunt and learn about frogs and toads!  Bring your nets and boots and be ready to go frog hunting in the wetlands of Central Park.  Don't have nets?  Don't worry borrow one of ours.


Jones County REAP Committee 2014 Grant Review Meeting

Thursday, July 31

11 AM

McOtto's Restaurant Anamosa

Join the Jones County REAP Committee as we review local REAP Grant applications and the new Jones County REAP 5 Year Plan. 

"Maquoketa River Clean-Up  - Family Outdoor Adventure Club Activity"

Friday, August 1

9 AM

Mon Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks Access

Join the Jones County Naturalist and Naturalist Intern as we canoe the Maquoketa River from downstream of the Mon Maq Dam to the Pictured Rocks Wildlife Area.  Our mission, if you choose to accept it, is to clean-up the Maquoketa as we paddle and enjoy good company and the beauty of the river valley and bluffs.  Garbage bags will be provided.  Participants should bring their own gloves and wear clothing and footwear that can get dirty and wet.  Don't forget a sack lunch, snacks, drinking water, and sunscreen.  Participants should bring their own canoes or kayaks or arrange to rent one.  A few canoes are available for use through the conservation department by contacting Michele at (319)481-7987 prior to July 31st.  In addition, canoes are available for rent from Monticello Canoe Rental.  Please pre-register for this event by contacting Michele at (319)481-7987 or emailing at by 4 PM on July 31st.  Float and clean-up are dependent on the weather and water levels on August 1st. 

Annual Iowa Grotto Club Family Picnic and Camp Out

August 1 - 3, 2014

Central Park Group Campsite

Caving Trip:  Saturday, August 2:  10 AM

Picnic:  Saturday Evening

Anyone interested in attending needs to contact Ed Klausner with the Iowa Grotto Club at

Participants will need camping gear (if camping), food, and caving equipment.  (Helmet, lights (3 minimum), boots, and vertical gear (if going on a vertical trip).  Some equipment is available for loan. Caves yet to be selected.  Cavers will also need to follow the Fish and Wildlife Service's decontamination procedures.   Non members are welcome to join or attend to learn more about the Iowa Grotto and caving. 


Swim:  Central Park Lake 500 Yards
Bike:  15.5 Miles - Out and back course from and back to Central Park.
Run:  5 K - Route around Central Park Lake - includes trails and off pavement route.

For detailed route maps and registration information click here.

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.

Feb. 27, 2014

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 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.