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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.)



Cave Art Program
Saturday, August 1
1 PM
Central Park Nature Center

Bring your whole family to the Jones County Central Park Nature Center to learn about “cave art” with the Naturalist Intern, Elli Slouha. Have fun while creating your own cave art!

Cave Art Program Poster

2015 Camp Courageous Sprint Triathlon
Sunday, August 2
9:00 AM
Central Park

Swim - 500 yards
Bike - 15.5 miles
Run - 5 K

Route maps and registration information can be found a

Nature Hike
Saturday, August 8
1 PM
Meet in the Central Park Nature Center Basement

Wear your hiking shoes and bring your whole family to explore the trails of Central Park.  Learn about the many plants and animals that make Central Park their home.  Find out what poison Ivy looks like, where Iowa's state bird makes its nest, what wild berry is ripe right now, and what kinds of fish can be caught in Central Parks Lake.

Nature Hike Poster

Older Wiser Livelier - Maquoketa River Paddle

Wednesday, August 12th

8:45 - 3 PM

Mon Maq Dam - Pictured Rocks

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 Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones County naturalists on a river exploration paddle.  We'll paddle from just downriver of the Mon Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks Park.  Sit back and enjoy the cave-ridden, heavily wooded scenic bluffs and hills making up the Maquoketa River valley which were once prime habitat for the black bear and is still home to deer, bobcat, grey fox, and a wide variety of other wildlife and plant species.  Come see what you can discover!  Please call (319)481-7987 to pre-register for this event.  Limited number of canoes and gear available or bring your own.

OWL August Program Poster

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.