Environmental Education -

Upcoming Area Programs & Events

Featured EVENTS

Iowa Hunter Education Courses:

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



Septmeber 2020 -COVID 19 ALERT - The Central Park Nature Center is open for viewing Monday - Friday by appointment or walk-in when time slots are available.  Please call the administrative office at (563)487-3541 Ext 1 or Ext 3 to set up an appointment. Family groups of 6 or less can sign up for 1/2 hour time slots to walk through the center.  Many hand-on exhibits are currently closed or removed at this time.  Live animals are not being used in hands-on programs.  Anyone entering the Nature Center will need to complete a short COVID 19 health screening, sign-in, and wash hands before entering the exhibit and office space.  Face masks are encouraged.   We encourage everyone to continue to enjoy outdoor opportunities and adventure at Central Park while you await the return of close quarter indoor fun.  Administrative offices within the Nature Center are operating and business appointments can be made by calling (563)487-3541 Please continue to enjoy outdoor activities and adventures at Central Park.

Spooky Spiders:  Click here to watch our fun educational spider video (3:31).  Then click here to watch the DEEP LOOK video "Is a Spider's Web a Part of It's Mind?" (4:43)  Click here to download our fun spider activity page.  Now click here to test your spider knowledge by taking this fun Kahoot quiz.  Game pin:  06682663


Leaves:  Click here to watch our short video (2:12) as you find out why leaves change color each autumn.   Click here to watch the short YouTube video "The Real Reason Leaves Change Color in the Fall" (2:29) to learn about the chemistry behind the scene.  Click here to download a fun fall leaf hunt activity you can do in your own school yard or backyard!  Click here to visit the IDNR Website for current peak leaf conditions in your area. Click here to try you luck at our fun leaf quiz.  Game PIN: 06955863


Squirrels:  Click here to watch a short video (2:15) on how our squirrels prepare for winter.  Click here to download a scavenger hunt sheet on squirrels for your backyard. Click here to join PBS Plum Landing:  Squirrel for a Day (2:56) to learn where city squirrels might find a drink.  Click here to test your squirrel know how with our fun Kahoot quiz.  Quiz pin:  02434102


Woolly Bear Caterpillars:  Click here (1:55)to find out what those wandering woolly bear caterpillars are up to.  Click here to watch the SciFri youtube video "The Myth of the Woolly Bear (4:15)  Click here to visit the Share it! Science page on Woolly Bears.  After you are done learning about the wooly bear click here to take our short fun Kahoot It quiz to see how much you now know about these magnificent wandering woolly's.  

Signs of Fall:  Click here to enjoy a short (1.50 min) video on "Signs of Fall".  Then click here to go on a fun "Signs of Fall" scavenger hunt. (Please note:  Anyone with nut allergies should not touch or smell tree nuts in the scavenger hunt list.) Finally click here to take our "Signs of Fall" kahoot quiz to see how much you know about our "Signs of Fall".  Or use the game pin:  07809746

Ladybugs:   Click here to watch short introductory video on ladybugs. (2.11)  After watching our short introduction to ladybugs try our Ladybug Kahoot Quiz Game Pin: 07756322   Click here for ladybug ID guides, ladybug lesson plans, and activity sheets.  Click here to download our Backyard Ladybug Hunt activity sheet.  

May Warbler Walk:  Click Here to check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology You Tube Video to learn the basics of Warbler Watching.   Then head out into your backyard or nearby park to see what warblers you can spot.  

Sidewalk Animal Art Program: Click Here to see our short virtual video on creating simple animal sidewalk.  Then head outside to make some animal art with chalk.

Pokemon in the Park:  Click here to learn how to safely play Pokemon at Central Park in Jones County, Iowa.  

Meet the Martins:  Click here to meet the purple martin colony at Central Park in Jones County.  

Campfire CookingClick here to learn a simple recipe for use when campfire cooking with foil.

Make & Take Craft - DIY- Bark Boats:  Click here to learn how to make a few simple bark boats and a fun paper boat that really floats!  Try making your own boats at home or stop by the Central Park Nature Center lower level patio area on July 11th or 12th, from 1-5 PM, to pick up a make and take craft boat kit to take with you. (Kit numbers limited- first come first serve.)

Liking Lichens:  Click here to learn what a lichen is with AmeriCorps Naturalist Intern, Diana Reuber.  Then download a fun scavenger hunt to test your new found lichen knowledge.  Lichen Scavenger Hunt PDF

Untouchables Hike:  Click here to learn about four plants you should avoid while playing, working, or hiking in the outdoors.  Click here to download a brochure to help you identify the untouchables in Diana's video.

Digital Scavenger Hunt:  Click here to access our  Central Park Digital Scavenger Hunt.  Find all of the locations within Central Park by 5 PM Saturday, August 1st to receive a prize.  Stop at the Nature Center with your digital family selfies - proof that you were at each location.  Every family completing the scavenger hunt receives a prize!

Amazing Dragonflies!  Click on the following links to watch short educational/fun videos on dragonflies.  For kids and kids at heart visit Sci Show Kids Super Strong Dragonfly video (3:47).  Then watch spectacular close up footage at National Geographic Secret World of Dragonflies Short Film Showcase(14:54).  Use a pond net and a few empty clear containers to explore along the edge of a pond, wetland, or small stream.  Make sure to go with an adult for safety.  Fill your container with water from the pond or wetland and then using your net try to catch and examine a dragonfly nymph.  (Make sure to release all the critters you discover back into the wetland or pond when you are done.  Click here to learn how to identify some of Iowa's dragonflies.  Want to test your new knowledge?  Click here to download a fun dragonfly scavenger hunt activity sheet to guide your family as you learn about dragonflies.  Then visit/click on or use the Kahoot App to test your dragonfly IQ.  Game Code: 05157562 

Pet Rock ProgramClick Here to Join Jones County AmeriCorps Naturalist Intern, Diana Reuber, as she demonstrates a few easy pet rocks you can make at home.  Download directions here.  Click here for other fun pet rock links.

Bumble Bee Survey:  Click here to find out how to survey the bumble bees in your own backyard or a neighborhood park close to you.   Click here to watch a short trailer (.57 seconds) on how to participate. To watch a fun Sci Kids video on Busy Bees (3.59 minutes) click here.  To watch the film short "Ghost in the Making"  (19.04 minutes) about the decline of bumble bees click here.  Now test your bumble bee knowledge by taking a short bumble bee Kahoot quiz  or visit or use the Kahoot App and game code 03840287   Click here to download an Iowa Bumble Bee Brochure and Identification Key.  To find some neat color and activity sheets click here.

Grasshoppers and Crickets:  Click here to visit the "Songs of Insects" website to hear the songs of different kinds of crickets.  Click here to watch Cornell University's Understanding Insect Sounds - Natures Chorus (14.5)  Click here to watch Coyote Petersons  (7 Min) youtube video on Mole Crickets.  Click here to watch a close up video of the Ever Evolving Giant Grasshopper (1.42 Min) from Nat GEO Wild.   Click here to test your knowledge on grasshoppers and crickets or visit and use the game code - 02073100Click here to download a fun grasshopper and cricket activity sheet you can do in your own backyard. 

Monarch Tagging: Click here to visit the Journey North website and learn more about the magnificent Monarch Butterfly migration.  Join citizen scientists across North America  as they track the 2020 Monarch Migration.  Click here to visit the MonarchWatch website and learn how you too can tag monarchs.   Click here to watch the PBS Video - Unraveling the Monarch Butterfly Migration Mystery (10:15)  Click here to watch National Geographic GeoKids video Monarch Butterfly - Amazing Animals. (1:15)   Click here to take a fun KAHOOT! quiz, visit or use the Kahoot app and use the game code: 03371249 to play.  Click here to visit the Journey North Teacher Resource page to download videos, booklets, and activities for your kids or classroom.

Fishing Friday - Short Videos:  June 2020

Bluegill Basics:  Click here to watch a great short video for families just learning the basics of bluegill fishing. 

Largemouth Bass:  Click here to watch a short video on the basics of catching largemouth bass with simple spinnerbaits. 

Channel Catfish:  Click here to watch a short video on the basics of catching channel catfish in a small lake or pond using nightcrawlers as bait.

Crappie:  Click here to watch a short video on the basics if catching crappie in a small lake or Iowa farm pond.  

June 2020 Family Fishing Challenge Pics


Twin Rivers Review Newsletter

The Twin Rivers Review is the Jones County Conservation Board newsletter.  It comes out twice a year.  Inside you will find everything you need to know to keep current including program schedules and meeting dates.

To receive a copy, please contact the JCCB Naturalist at 

Current Issue: Fall/Winter 2020/2021

Have you visited Central Park lately?  Tell us about your visit - what you liked and what ideas you have... Click Here


Friends of Jones County Conservation

Award Winners


*Wapsipinicon Trail Committee:  In appreciation for countless hours of fundraising, grant writing, networking, and working with local county and state government, community organizations, businesses, Parks to People, and the Grant Wood Loop to make the Phase 1 completion of the Wapsipinicon Trail possible.  Thanks to all on this committee who are working together to better our community.  Fundraising on phase 2 of the Wapsi Trail Project continues.


*Bill Edwards:  Conservation volunteer and supporter and past staff member.  Bill has donated hundreds of hours to the care and betterment of Central Park.  Bill can often be spotted during the summer on a mower making sure Central Park looks its best.  Bill gives a warm welcome and friendly face to those visiting Central Park.  Thank You Bill!

*Board Members & Staff were recognized for their past years of service included:  Larry Pisarik - Larry who served on the Jones County Conservation Board for 26 years!  Rene O'Donnell-Hanlon was recognized for 12 years of service and Angie Christensen was honored for serving 7 years on the board.   John Klein was recognized for 20 years of service as the Jones County Conservation Boards Park Ranger.  Thanks to all for their hard work and years of service to Jones County!

Award Winners:  Wapsi Trail Committee.

Pictured Left to Right:  JCCB Members Russell VonBehren and Dean Zimmerman, award recipients Brad Hatcher, Kris Gobeli, and Lisa Mcquillen, Conservation Director Brad Mormann, and JCCB Member Dave Tabor.

Looking for something to do? 
Visit the Grant Wood Loop to find an attraction or to create your own recreational experience in the region.  This site encompasses attractions and experiences from Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones Counties. 
Find a new restaurant for dinner, learn about a new bike trail to ride or plan a day visiting an historic icon - the choices are plentiful.
Click Here  to watch a video by Wellmark that highlights the many projects Wellmark helped to support in the Grant Wood Loop Region.

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