Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Snow Fun

Cross-country Skiing Clinics and / or Sledding

The Fayette County Conservation Board will be offering some snow fun at several locations this year. Sledding fun and / or Cross-country Skiing are being offered at different locations.

For locations where there will be sledding fun please bring your own sled and try the slopes. Participants are asked to pre-register for one or both of the sledding times.

For the Cross-country Skiing participants will learn about cross-country ski equipment, helpful recovery techniques and the kick and glide method. Participants can either use the FCCB’s equipment for a $1.00 fee or bring their own equipment. Approximately 35 people can use FCCB equipment per clinic. Participants must pre-register in order to participate in the clinic(s) of their choice. The following information is required about each person participating: which season(s) you would like to participate in, First and Last Name, Contact Phone Number and Shoe Size (please indicate men's, women's, or children's).

Please call the Gilbertson Nature Center for more information or to pre-register at 563-426-5740 or e-mail gncfccb@alpinecom.net for the Sledding and / or Cross-country Skiing Clinics.

DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS:

Cross-country Skiing Clinics
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Wings Park Elementary School, Oelwein, Iowa
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cross-country Skiing Clinics
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Gilbertson Nature Center, Elgin, Iowa
10:00 AM – Noon
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Cross-country Skiing Clinics and Sledding
Saturday, February 18, 2012
West Union Elementary School, West Union, Iowa
10:00 AM – Noon


Fayette County Conservation Board is also doing programs with
Clayton County Conservation Board

Snowfest
Clayton County Conservation Board
Osborn Nature Center
Saturday, January 28, 2012
10 am - Noon
1 - 3 PM

Reservations Required call 563-245-1516 or e-mail cccb@alpinecom.net
Equipment Fee: $1 per Clinic
Learn how to cross-country ski, snowshoe or try our sledding hill

Friday, December 2, 2011

Celebrate Recycling and Composting

Come celebrate Recycling and/or Composting by hosting a recycling and/or composting program or programs. These program or programs can be presented to any youth group, organization, family, classroom, school, and more. This is only a partial listing of programs available. If you do not see one that quiet fits your groups needs an existing program can be changed or modified or a new one created. Thank you for taking time to read this list, the Fayette County Conservation Board (FCCB) staff looks forward to hearing from you.

All videos can be checked out by teachers or group leaders and used without having any program presented.

If you have question, would like to check out a video or set up program(s) contact: Dawn L. Amundson, Environmental Education Coordinator, Gilbertson Nature Center, 22850 A Ave, Elgin, Iowa 52141, 563-426-5740, gncfccb@alpinecom.net

Bucket Composting
30 min. - 1 hr. = Preschool-Up.
Participants will learn what materials can be composted and how to compost them properly. Some of the participant’s will help make a composting bucket that will stay in the classroom (if the teacher wants it). This bucket will let participants see first hand how composting works.

Elliott Mess and The Case of the Household Hazardous Wastes
12:41 min. Video = 6th Grade-Up
This video explores household hazardous waste “suspects” lurking in Iowa homes and the environmental damaging results of their improper disposal.

Elliott Mess and The Case of the Household Hazardous Wastes Program
30-45 min. = 6th Grade-Up
This program includes the “Elliott Mess and The Case of the Household Hazardous Wastes” video. The presenter will talk to the participants about the video and help them discover how they can help their families be more responsible in managing their house hold hazardous materials.

Home Composting Turning Your Spoils into Soil
17:30 min. Video
This video talks about how easy it is to transform your yard and food waste into soil enriching compost. Participants will learn how to make “hot” piles, mulch with compost, trouble shoot problems, how to build a low cost bin and more.

Home Composting Turning Your Spoils into Soil Program
30 - 45 min.
This program includes “Home Composting Turning Your Spoils into Soil” video. The presenter will talk to the participants about the video, answer any questions, show them first hand what finished compost looks like and more. {This program can be done alone or along with one or more of the other composting programs available as a pre program and/or a post program.}

Home Made Paper - Recycled Paper– "Slurry Time"
45 min. - 1 hr. = Preschool-Up
Participants will learn first hand the fundamentals of how old paper is made into new paper. They will make their own piece of recycled paper to take home. The program covers the shredding, pulping, pressing and drying procedures that produce new paper from old. Participants will also learn some fun facts about recycled paper. (Time needed will depend on the size of the group.)

Home Trash Survey
3rd Grade-Up
This can be done as a follow up or before a “Recycling Up Date” or composting program. It can be talked about by the teacher or the presenter at another program.

Home Trash Survey Program
45 min. - 1 hr. = 3rd Grade-Up
The students will do the “Home Trash Survey” at home and bring their results in before the program. The overall results will be talked about. Participants will look at what good things are being done in their homes currently to reduce waste and even more things they could easily do to help reduce their waste even more.

Less Means More . . . For the Future
17:07 min. = Adults
This video illustrates waste reduction accomplishments of Iowa companies, and reviews the pollution prevention principles and free professional services promoted by both the Waste Reduction Assistance Program and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. It will help your business or industry start to think about creating a waste and toxic waste reduction program and more.

Less Means More . . . For the Future Program
30 min.-1 hr. = Adults
This program will include the “Less Means More . . . For the Future” Video and help from the presenter with setting up and implementing a waste reduction program with your business or industry.

Recycle Rachel
8:20 min. = 6th-12th Grade
This video takes the waste reduction and recycling theme into the everyday life of an Iowa teenager. This upbeat video demonstrates the power one person can have on our environment.

Recycle Rachel Program
30 min.-1 hr. = 6th-12th Grade
This program will include the “Recycle Rachel” video. The presenter will talk to participants about the video, about what materials can be recycled in Fayette County and more.

Recycling Goes to the Bird's
30 min.-1 hr. = Preschool-Up
Participants will discover how using their imagination can help them make bird feeders from everyday recyclable items found around their home. They will also find out what birds might eat from their homemade feeders.

Recycling Up Date
30-45 min. = Preschool-Up
Participants will learn what materials can be recycled in Fayette County and how they need to be prepared to be acceptable at Fayette County recycling. Participants will also discover some of the many different products that are produced out of recycled materials.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
9:12 min. = Post secondary audiences
This video looks at practical and simple methods of reducing and recycling waste. It also encourages consumers to “close the loop” by purchasing products and packaging made with recycled materials.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Program
30 min.-1 hr. = Post secondary audiences
This program includes the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” video. The presenter will talk to the participants about the video, simple things they can do to reduce and recycle their waste and ways to “close the loop.”

Sarah’s Tree
10:47 min. = Kindergarten-5th Grade
This video looks at where garbage goes and what it mean’s to throw something away and introduces the concepts of recycling.

Sarah’s Tree Program
30-45 min. = Kindergarten-5th Grade
This program will include the “Sarah’s Tree” video. The presenter will talk to the participants about the video and help them discover why reducing their waste is important. They will also discover how simple it is to recycle materials in Fayette County.

Worm Composting
30 min.-1 hr. = 3rd Grade-Up
Participants will learn about red wiggler worms and what types of waste they eat. They will get to make or see a worm composting bin. Then if the teacher would like, the worm bin can stay in the classroom and the participants can watch the worms go to work composting food waste. Participants will also learn what they can do with the finished composted materials from the worm bin.

Worm Composting Column
30 min.-1 hr. = Kindergarten-Up
Participants will learn about red wiggler worms and what types of waste they eat. They will get to make or see a worm composting column. Then if the teacher would like, the worm column(s) can stay in the classroom and the participant can watch the worms go to work composting food waste. Participants will also learn what they can do with their finished composted materials from the worm bin.

Wormania!
26:10 min. = 8 Years-Up
This video features close up scenes of live earthworms in their natural habitat. See a night crawler drag a leaf, the rhythmic beating of a worms five pairs of hearts, a baby worm hatching, worms at work composting, and more.

Wormania! Program
1 hr. = 8 Years-Up
This program win include the “Wormania!” video. The presenter will talk to the participants about the video and then help them put together either a worm composting habitat(s) or a worm watching habitat that they can take care of and watch worms at work first hand in their classroom.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Frenzy!

With harvest season winding down to an end farmers are busy getting fields ready for next year’s planting.

Yard owners are doing final fall clean ups and more to ready their yards for winter time.

Others are busy getting their homes and more ready for the snow to fly.

Mean while all around us nature has been preparing for winter too.

As fall progresses into winter the natural world around us slowly changes, though many do not notice the change as they busily go though their own daily lives.

I notice and I marvel at how nature gets ready for winter.

Many birds spent the fall weeks eating and gaining weight so they could migrate south for the winter. Song birds like Robins, Orioles, Blue Birds and more are now down where it is warmer and they have food to eat all winter long. Some people even go south for winter time too. Other song bird come to Iowa for winter like Junco’s and more they do not mind our milder winter for they live farther North where winter is often colder and longer.

Other birds that say here have gained lots of downy warm feathers and some weight as they prepare to eat a lot and shiver though the day, then sleep a special torpor type sleep at night so they can survive winter. Many people will help our feather friends by placing bird feeders out and open water for them to drink making it a little easier for them to survive winter. Though nature has lots of food for them to eat in the wild it is always helpful to lend a hand to a wild neighbor. It is also fun to watch the different birds that visits bird feeders placed them.

If you look closely you will notice the insects and spiders are gone outside. Most have died leaving behind eggs that will hatch in the spring or some hatch in the fall and will survive as babies all winter long. Some will winter over as nymphs (baby insects) under ground or in the water. Some will winter over as cocoons that will emerge as adults in the spring. One insect has migrated south; the Monarch Butterfly is the only migrating insect in the U.S.A. It is amazing to think they fly all the way to Mexico to rainforest areas to survive winter.

Other animals are missing too, like snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, toads, and salamanders. They have all gone into a deep sleep for winter call Hibernation. In this state they will hardly breathe their heart hardly beats and they do not move. They slowly live off the weight they gained all summer and into fall. They will emerge in spring thinner and hungry when spring warm temperatures wake them up from their deep underground or even underwater / underground sleeping place.

Some mammals are missing too like the Bat they have migrated to caves in Southern Iowa and are now Hibernating. Groundhogs / Woodchuck’s are also deep into a hibernating state to survive winter.

Other mammals say active all winter long with the exception of extreme cold days or nights then they take a special winter nap. They are called winter sleepers for they grow fat, furry and stay active though most of the winter time. Raccoons, Opossums, Coyote, Fox, Skunk, White-trail Deer and more sleep a special winter sleep on nights that are “nasty” but are very actively out looking for food on nice winter nights. Have you ever seen tracks and then a whole where it looked like an animal “pounced” on something? That is exactly what they did. Mice, voles and more are active below the snow and animals who hunt them pounce or land on them, catching them even though the snow. Birds of pray are active all winter too like owls, hawks and more. They will eat dead animals but they also hunt catching their food that runs around under the snow. Diving down out of the air and grabbing them from under the snow. Birds of prey have excellent sight and hearing especially Owls who can hear a mouse scratch a half a mile away.

Beavers and squirrels are a lot alike in that they both harvest and store food for winter time meals. Beavers store their food in a deep whole dug in the mud in the bottom of their pond. They swim under the ice from their lodge that has a whole into the water to gather from the pile of stored food to feed their hungry beaver family.

The squirrel spent the fall gathering and bearing nuts or even storing them in hollow tree branches or trunks so they would have food to eat though the winter too.

Many other animals store food for winter, I know my family and I do. We have a nice garden and we can, freeze, dry and more many of the foods we harvest so we can enjoy eating them though the winter months.

Others will do harvesting of a different kind as they go out and hunt. Hunting has been a long time way and tradition of harvesting food to feed one’s family for the long winter months to come. I wish everyone who hunts a safe, successful and bountiful hunt.

I hope this gives you a little more knowledge about the Fall Frenzy that is now wrapping up and I hope you enjoy the winter wonderland that approaches.

If you get a chance get out yet this fall go and explore nature, notice the changes that are and have happed around you as nature prepared for winter.

Have a Great Fall Everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Haunted Maize Maze 2011


Friday, October 28, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
6:30 - 9 PM

Cost for all ages $5.00

The ghosts are in the cornfield they will be "shocking"!

Hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee available and roast hot dogs over an open fire

Postville Jr. Class Prom Fund Raiser

Location: East of Elgin, Iowa on B64 or Agate Road turn down A Avenue and you will find the Haunted Maize Maze across the street from the Gilbertson Nature Center

Contact: Laverne Swenson 563-419-1133

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Project AWARE on the Turkey River!

Iowa DNR Project AWARE kicked off cleaning up the Turkey River on Sunday, July 10, 2011 up at Gouldsburg Park on the Little Turkey.  They spent Sat. and Sunday staying at Gouldsburg Park and then Monday and Tuesday at Gilbretson.  Today Wed. July 13, 2011 they are headed into Clayton County and down to Motor Mill.

Today was the big official Ribon Cutting for the Turkey River Corridor and what a beautiful day!

I can say officially that the Turkey River is a Great River to Canoe.  I can also say the Project AWARE is an OUTSTANDING event. 

I participated Tuesday in the clean up from River Access #71 down to Gilbertson with a portage in Clermont around the Dam.  I "drug" my two kids my oldest a daughter who will soon be 14 and my son who is 10 along.  They were not overly happy with me their Mother for "volunteering" them.  Though they did read and sign the paper work that I sent in for registration.  IN the end my daughter kept telling me she could not wait to tell one of her best friends about the day.  My son, I am still not sure, though I know he did have fun helping clean up, meeting new friends and more.  It is fun to share new outdoor adventures with your kids, getting them outdoors and intouch with nature helps them to learn and you to learn.

I also enjoyed doing an Owl Program on Monday evening.  Thank you to all whom attended!

Thank you to all of the Volunteers, Sponsors, Communities and More!

For more information about Project AWARE!   Check out the web site: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/CanoeingKayaking/ProjectAWARE.aspx

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cache The Treausre of Fayette County

Klock’s Island Park
1000 W. Water Street


Fayette Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Schedule as follows:

10:30 - 11:00 - Sign in
11:00 - 12:00 - Lunch
12:15 - Group Picture
12:30 - Temporary Caches Available to Find
12:30 - 1:00 - GeoCaching 101 Class
1:30 - Check out GPS units and go out Caching
4:00 - Return to base
4:15 - Door Prizes & Refreshments

Bring Your Own Picnic Lunch Grills Available

Sponsored by Fayette County Tourism Council and Fayette County Conservation Board

For more information call or email:
Dawn - 563-426-5740 - gncfccb@alpinecom.net
Carol - 800-798-4447 - fctourism@alpinecom.net

Temporary Geocache Location Information:
GSKA File: http://www.box.net/shared/b8zhrgb5d846girhpl8h
Map: 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building, Hart Dummermuth Historical House and Petting Zoo OPEN for the Season

The Gilbertson Conservation Education Area’s Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building and Hart Dummermuth Historical House and Petting Zoo will OPEN to the general pubic Saturday, May 28, 2011.

They will be OPEN: Wednesday - Sunday, 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM or by appointment.

They will be open Monday, May 30, 2011 and Monday, September 5, 2011, 11 AM - 7 PM.

Date and Times subject to change by management.

The petting zoo’s last day open to the general public will be September 5, 2011. The petting zoo will not be open during inclement weather.

Starting on September 6, 2011 the building will only be open when the Maize Maze opens them or by appointment.

If you have a group that would like to visit please make an appointment one to two weeks in advance of the visit by calling the Nature Center at 563-426-5740 or E-mail: gncfccb@alpinecom.net.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fayette County Conservation Board’s Calendar of Events for 2011

For more information about the events listed below contact: Dawn L. Amundson, Environmental Education Coordinator, Gilbertson Nature Center, 22580 A Avenue, Elgin, Iowa 52141, 563 – 426 – 5740, E-mail: gncfccb@alpinecom.net

May 2011:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 = Petting Zoo, Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building and Hart Dummermuth Historical House Open for scheduled field trip groups only.

Saturday, May 28, 2011 = Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building, Hart Dummermuth Historical House, and Petting Zoo open for the summer season, Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Monday, May 30, 2011 = Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building, Hart Dummermuth Historical House, and Petting Zoo open for the summer season, Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

June 2011:
Friday, June 3, Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5, 2011 = Free Fishing Weekend, Iowa Residents Only

Saturday, June 4, 2011 = Fishing with TAKO, Volga River State Park, 10 AM – 2 PM

Saturday, June 11, 2011 = Cache the Treasure’s of Fayette County, Klock’s Island, Fayette, Iowa, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

July 2011:
Monday, July 4, 2011 = Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building, Hart Dummermuth Historical House, and Petting Zoo open for the summer season, Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

July 9 - 16, 2011, Project A.W.A.R.E. Volunteer River Clean Up, Turkey River Watershed

Monday, July 11, 2011, Night Hike / Owl Prowl, Gilbertson Conservation Education Area, meet at the Campground Shelter House, 8:30 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2011, Country Heritage Maize Maze Opens, Times to be announced, Contact: 563-419-1133

September 2011:
Monday, September 5, 2011 = The last day the Petting Zoo is open for the season.

The Gilbertson Nature Center, Mavis and Conner Dummermuth Historical Building and Hart Dummermuth Historical House buildings will now be open when the Maize Maze opens the buildings or appointment only.

October 2011:
Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2011, Haunted Maize Maze, Times to be announced, contact: 563-419-1133

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fayette County Conservation Boards 2011 Camping Season Fee's

Season Pass 2011
$250.00 for the 2011 Camping Season

Gilbertson Conservation Education area
Gouldsburg Park
$12.00/nigth with electricity
$7.00/night without electricity
$7.00/night Equestrain Camping at Gilbertson Conservation Education Area only

Dutton's Cave Park
$8.00/night with electricty
$5.00/night without electricity

Goeken Park
Twin Bridges Park
Echo Valley State Park
$5.00/night

    The Gilbertson Conservation Education Area and Gouldsburg Park Campgrounds are now open for the season.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Decorah, Iowa, American Bald Eagle’s Web Cam

It’s one of the hottest and heaviest hit site on the net right now, the live stream of the Decorah, Iowa, American Bald Eagle’s Web Cam.

If you have gone on line to see it than you should, it is memorizing to watch the parents sitting waiting for the first egg to hatch.

The first egg out of three eggs total is to hatch soon. They say around April 1st or soon after.

So if you would like to see more and learn more check out this web site: http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

If you look down the page there is a lot of information posted about the Eagles and more. So take some time to read down the page from the live stream web cam.

This is all part of the Raptor Resource Project. Here is a web site for the Raptor Resource Project: http://www.raptorresource.org/

Enjoy learning and watching.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hunter Education Safety Class

Gilbertson Nature Center
Saturday, April 2, 2011, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
and
Sunday, April 3, 2011, 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Participants must Pre-Register by March 25, 2011 to be able to participate in the class.

Hunter Safety Education Class is required according to Iowa law; any one born after January 1, 1972 is required to complete and pass a Hunter Education Safety Class to be able to purchase an Iowa Hunting License. This certification will also meet the requirements of other states.

Participants must be a minimum of 11 years of age. Attendance is required during each of the sessions.

To pre-register or for more information call Dawn at the Gilbertson Nature Center at 563-426-5740 or e-mail: gncfccb@alpinecom.net. If the answering machine answers please leave the first and last name(s) of the person(s) who what to be in the class, phone number for contacting them, their school location and grade, so the student can get a study guide to do the required chapter reviews.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Osborn Snow Fest

A fun day in the snow at Osborne Park.
February 5th, 10a.m.-3p.m.

Enjoy many fun activities throughout the day or bring your sled and try out our sledding hill at the Osborne Pond.

At 10:00 AM -12:00 PM and/or 1:00 - 3:00 PM.  Learn to Cross Country Ski or Snowshoe with our Naturalists during teaching clinics.

Equipment rental fees will be $1.00 for each session.

Sponsored by Fayette County Conservation and Clayton County Conservation Boards

Up Date on Family Snow Fun

The Fayette County Conservation Board and TAKO (Take A Kid Outdoors) will be offering some snow fun at several locations this year. Sledding fun and / or Cross-country Skiing are being offered at different locations. Lunch will be provided for participants by TAKO from noon to 1 PM at all of the events.

For locations where there will be sledding fun please bring your own sled and try the slopes. Participants are asked to pre-register for one or both of the sledding times.

For the Cross-country Skiing participants will learn about cross-country ski equipment, helpful recovery techniques and the kick and glide method. Participants can either use the FCCB’s equipment or bring their own equipment. TAKO will be paying the normal $1.00 per person fee. Approximately 35 people can use FCCB equipment per clinic. Participants must pre-register in order to participate in the clinic(s) of their choice. The following information is required about each person participating: which season(s) you would like to participate in, First and Last Name, Contact Phone Number and Shoe Size (please indicate men's, women's, or children's).

Please call the Gilbertson Nature Center for more information or to pre-register at 563-426-5740 or e-mail gncfccb@alpinecom.net for the Sledding and / or Cross-country Skiing Clinics.

DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS:

Cross-country Skiing Clinics
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Gilbertson Nature Center, Gilbertson Conservation Education Area
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Sledding Fun and Cross-country Skiing Clinics
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Wings Park Elementary School, Oewlein
10:00 AM – Noon and 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM