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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

**What to do if you find injured wildlife:  (Information and Links)

Information sheet with contact information

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory

Website links:

Central Park Nature Center Winter Open House

Saturday, February 20th
1-3 PM
How to Make Maple Syrup Program - 1 PM
Family Snowshoeing 1-3 PM

Come learn how to make your own maple syrup with the trees in your yard or wood lot.  Check out the Nature Center exhibits and live animals.  Test your skill at bird identification as you watch the birds just outside our windows.  Put on your warm winter clothing and head outside with your family and friends to try out the sport of snowshoeing.  Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie or two as you warm back up!  Please call (319)481-7987 to pre-register for this event.

Winter Open House Poster

19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
February 12-15, 2016

Join in!  Count birds in your backyard, local park, or wherever you spot a bird, and submit your observations online. 


Lunch & Learn—OWL Event

Attracting Butterflies in Iowa

Thursday, March 3 at Noon

Central Park, Jones County

Thanks to the wonderful work of pollinators, we can all enjoy many tasty foods! Come and learn how you can enhance your yard or land to attract butterflies from Dennis Schlict, author of the book Butterflies of Iowa. Optional spaghetti lunch ($) at Noon. Presentation (free) at 1:00.  Please call Michele to pre-register by noon, March 2.

Storm Spotters Training
Wednesday, March 9
Monticello Fire Dept.
6:30 PM

To register contact:

Happy Easter!

Annual Whitewater Canyon Woodcock Watch
Friday, April 1
7 PM
Whitewater Canyon

Join the Dubuque, Jones, and Jackson County Conservation Board Naturalists for the Annual Woodcock Watch.  Enjoy a hike into Whitewater looking and listening for the migratory bird known as the Timberdoodle or American Woodcock.  This small, camouflaged, timber nesting bird has a few strange attributes and will amaze hikers with its unusual aerial acrobat moves!  This will be a great evening for all ages to discover nature at its most interesting!   Dress for the weather and wear your hiking shoes.  Whitewater Cayon is located approximately 5 miles east of Cascade.  Take HWY 151, turn right onto Curoe Road following the brown park arrowhead signs to the park access road on your right hand side.  Meet at the parking lot at the end of the access road.  For more information contact Michele at (319)481-7987.   

"Annual Earth Day Fair & Grant Wood Trail Pancake Breakfast"

Sunday, April 17
8 AM - 2 PM
Lawrence Community Center - Anamosa

You are invited to join us for this year’s fun and educational “2016 Earth Day Fair and Grant Wood Trail Association Pancake Breakfast".

In celebration of Earth Day over 35 booths featuring local conservation efforts and clubs, buy fresh buy local, archaeology, recycling, wise energy use, recreational opportunities, land management, and local businesses will be on display at the Lawrence Community Center in Anamosa from 8 AM – 2 PM.  Many of the booths will feature fun and eye opening hands on demonstrations and interactive activities for young and old alike.  
  •    The 2016 theme “We All Need Trees” will be depicted in the Jones County Soil and Water Conservation Districts Youth Poster Contest entries with this year’s winners announced at noon.  
  •    Visit the "People for Pollinators Educational Trailer" featuring staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge from 10 AM - 2 PM.

Bring the whole family for this fun and entertaining Earth Day celebration.  Admission to the fair and educational sessions is free - there is a charge for the pancake breakfast.  For more information please contact Michele at (319)481-7987.   This event is sponsored by Jones Soil and Water Conservation District, the Grant Wood Trail Association, and the Jones County Conservation Board.  Hope to see you there! 

OWL Event - Whitewater Canyon Hike with the OSA

Wednesday, April 20

1 - 3:30 PM

Whitewater Canyon

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 beautiful walk through history at the Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area.  Cherie Haury -Artz, Archaeology Educator for the Office of the State Archaeologist, will guide us through the cultural history and prehistoric technologies of the area.  Please 563-556-6745 to pre-register.  $5.00 fee per person.  Participants will meet at the Whitewater Canyon parking lot dressed in hiking gear and have a full water bottle for the hike.

"Friends of Conservation"  Meeting

Next Meeting Date To Be Announced

Become a part of the newly forming "Friends Group" for conservation. Everyone's thoughts, ideas, and input is valued. 

A message from its founder, Derith Vogt:  When Jones County Supervisor Keith Dirks died, I was saddened…. and then motivated. I started to imagine what a Friends of Central Park’s Nature Center or Friends of Jones County Conservation group might look like?  A non-profit organization with a board comprised of   people who shared Keith’s conservation and education goals? An expanded educational piece for programs at the Nature Center?  A scholarship?  A way to volunteer or give in a more direct way?  A path to a foundation endowment? And after I thought about it for a good long while, I knew that there are like-minded people out there who would generously give of their time to help and share their ideas.  Bring your ideas!

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:


Fall/ Winter 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.