Polk County Conservation Fun!

Did you recently see our post about all the outside fun you can have at the Warren County Conservation Board & Annett Nature Center? Well guess what?! The Polk County Conservation has lots to offer kids and families also! Take a look at all the fun!


Park Packs

Eleven nature themed backpacks were designed to help families, scout groups, home schoolers, and other groups explore the wonders of nature around them. Each pack comes with a field guide and a variety of activities and fun facts to assist in the discovery of the specific nature topic. They are free to check out for two weeks at a time. The Packs can be picked up at the Jester Park Administrative office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Park Packs can be reserved ahead of time. The packs are designed for all ages and to meet a variety of learning styles.

Check out the Park Pack Brochure for more information!


Nature’s Story Hour

Pack your picnic lunch, blanket and bring your family for an hour of nature stories and activities with a naturalist from PCC. Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, munch your lunch, listen to a story or two and discover new natural areas with your children. This family friendly program is free on select Wednesdays this summer. Noon to 1 pm!

June 1: Feathered Friends at Jester Park, Shelter #6
June 15: Busy Bees at Easter Lake Park, Shelter #4
June 29: Giants of the Prairie at Jester Park, Shelter #6
July 13: Snakes Alive at Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #2
July 27: Silly Salamander at Easter Lake Park, Shelter #1


Nature Playdates

Explore, discover and play in your local parks with a Polk County Naturalist. Meet families interested in getting their children outdoors for natural play and discovery. Wear appropriate clothes and shoes. We may be hiking, discovering life in a log or playing in the creek. This is a morning of adventure and discovery with curiosity be the most important ingredient. 10:30 am to 11:30 am!

June 8: Nature Detectives at Brown’s Woods
June 22: Tyke Hike at Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #2
July 6: Creek Walk at Thomas Mitchell Park, Shelter #1
July 20: Water Wonders at Jester Park, Shelter #5
August 3: Geo the Geode at Jester Park, Shelter by the Lodge

Nature Friends – Preschoolers Exploring Nature 

3-5-year olds with an adult
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Join a naturalist in a nature adventure! We will explore a different nature topic each evening through stories, sharing time, guided exploration, and art activities. Snacks will be provided. Fee: $7/program

Participate in a Park Passport Program. Attend five different programs, each located at a different park and receive a Nature Friend Explorer Pack. Participants must record program name, location and date with the speaker’s initials on their passport. Turn the passport in at the Jester Park Office or Raccoon River Nature Lodge in West Des Moines to receive your Nature Friend Explorer Pack. One pack per child please.

Register here!

June 6: Everyone Needs a Rock at Jester Park, Shelter by the Lodge
June 21: Let’s Go Fishing at Raccoon River Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Ave., WDM
July 11: Grandfather Buffalo at Jester Park, Shelter #6
July 26: Wiggly Worms & Life Underground at Pearson Park
August 8: Beaver Buddies at Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #2
August 23: Tricky Tracks at Southwoods Park
September 12: Animal Homes at Brown’s Woods
September 27: Whooo’s There at Quail Cove Park
October 3: Turning Leaves & Falling Seeds at Easter Lake Park, Shelter #4 (Starts at 6 pm)
October 18: Creature Feature (Unhuggables) at Raccoon River Nature Lodge (Starts at 6 pm)

All of these events and activities are on our event calendar too!


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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