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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.