bats at halloween

Something A Little Different

It is summer in Iowa, and that means two things – summer camps (see information below) and selfies. While the selfie part may seem odd, this summer the Iowa County Conservation System (ICCS) has partnered with the Iowa Tourism Office to promote/feature 99 county parks in our state. That is one park per county being featured through what is being called the 99 Parks/99 Counties initiative. Some of these parks have put together selfie stations for visitors to use while visiting. We are one of them (more on this later).

The plan is to spend the summer celebrating all the wonderful natural areas to visit in Iowa. Some will say that Iowa is a wasteland of corn and soybean fields, but we urge you to visit as many of these featured parks (and the other over 2,000 county parks in the state) to find the beauty beyond the edge. Go someplace in Iowa you have never been. Get your selfie at a station if you can. Submit it and maybe you can win a prize from one of the sponsors. So far, over 40 stations have been put in place across the state, and when they are all up, there will be over 100 to visit.

The featured park for Wapello County is Pioneer Ridge Nature Area. This area is an Audubon Society Important Bird Area, and is part of an Iowa Department of Natural Resources Bird Conservation Area. So if you are interested in birds, the habitats in which they live or just enjoy getting outdoors, this is a great place to visit. We hope you go beyond the selfie station to enjoy a hike on our approximately 15 miles of mowed trails. Stop into the nature center to see the displays. Maybe camp a few nights or rent a cabin. Even better would be to register your kids for a summer camp. We have a few prizes from travel Iowa that we will be giving away in the coming month to kick off this summer program. So watch our Facebook page for information so you won’t miss out.

So why not start your adventure close to home, and then take off to places in your own state you have never seen? Iowa has so many natural gems, and it is time more people knew about ALL the beautiful places at their fingertips.

The Wapello County Conservation Board has placed a selfie station at one of the other sites we help manage – The American Gothic House Visitor Center. Below is a list of all the county parks that are ready for your visit.

GET OUTDOORS AND EXPLORE THE NATURAL WORLD THIS SUMMER!!

County – Park Name

ALLAMAKEE – DRIFTLESS CENTER
BLACK HAWK – HICKORY HILLS PARK
BOONE – DON WILLIAMS RECREATION AREA
BREMER – CEDAR BEND PARK
BUCHANAN – FONTANA PARK
BUTLER – BEAVER MEADOWS
CARROLL – SWAN LAKE CONSERVATION EDUCATION CENTER
CERRO GORDO – LIME CREEK NATURE CENTER
CHICKASAW – AIRPORT LAKE PARK
CLAY – SCHARNBERG PARK
CLAYTON – OSBORNE PARK WELCOME CENTER
DECATUR – LITTLE RIVER RECREATION AREA
DES MOINES – BIG HOLLOW RECREATION AREA
DICKINSON – DICKINSON COUNTY NATURE CENTER
DUBUQUE – HERITAGE TRAIL
DUBUQUE – WHITEWATER CANYON WILDLIFE AREA
FRANKLIN – MAYNES GROVE RECREATION AREA
FLOYD – FOSSIL & PRAIRIE CENTER
HAMILTON – BRIGGS WOODS PARK & GOLF COURSE
HARRISON – MURRAY HILL SCENIC OVERLOOK
HARRISON – WILLOW LAKE RECREATION AREA
HENRY – OAKLAND MILLS PARK
JACKSON – HURSTVILLE INTERPRETIVE CENTER
LINN – PINICON RIDGE PARK
LOUISA – CAIRO WOODS WILDLIFE AREA
MADISON – PAMMEL STATE PARK
MARION – CORDOVA PARK
MARSHALL – GREEN CASTLE RECREATION AREA
MONROE – LAKE MIAMI PARK​
O’BRIEN – DOG CREEK PARK
POLK – JESTER PARK NATURE CENTER
POWESHIEK – DIAMOND LAKE PARK
RINGGOLD – DRAGOON TRACE NATURE CENTER
SIOUX – SANDY HOLLOW RECREATION AREA
STORY – DAKINS LAKE PARK
WAPELLO – PIONEER RIDGE NATURE AREA
WAPELLO – AMERICAN GOTHIC HOUSE – ELDON, IA
WARREN – ANNETT NATURE CENTER AND PARK
WEBSTER – GYPSUM CITY OHV PARK
WINNESHIEK – LAKE MEYER PARK
WOODBURY – DOROTHY PECAUT NATURE CENTER