Want to learn more about the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center? Join us for a Hitch Hike this summer & get the guided experience.
Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Conservation, Environmental Education, Events, Family Fun, Hiking, Hitchcock Nature Center, Land Management, Loess Hills, Native Animals, Native Plants, Summer
Learn the intrepid tale of the Dump Busters and continue the legacy by busting some litter at Hitchcock Nature Center for Earth Day!
Rene Stroud, Naturalist
Conservation, Environmental Education, Events, Family Fun, Green Thumbs, Hiking, Hitchcock Nature Center, Holidays, Land Management, Loess Hills, Native Animals, Native Plants, News, Our Staff, Spring, Volunteering, Zero Waste
Get to know the Eastern Cottontail, Iowa's native rabbit!
Learn more about Iowa's favorite sunfish, the bluegill!
Interested in improving your birding skills, learning more about common bird species, or joining in on community science projects in your area? Check out Building Better Birders!
Thistles have an important part to play in the life of a monarch butterfly.
Anyone with a passion for the great outdoors is in for a treat with A Land Ethic Workshop.
Fishing can be fun all year long!
Get to know our favorite weather predicting mammal!
Our 2020 HawkWatch season has wrapped up, find out what was flying in our season report.
What do animals eat during the cold winter months? Find out what's on the menu!
No matter how great video games are they can't beat the great outdoors!
Follow Rene as she spends a morning on the trail of a coyote.
Looking for some last minute gift ideas for the nature lover in your life?
How much do you know about the wild turkey?
Opossums are North America's only marsupial. Learn more about these often misunderstood animals.
Get to know these amazing flying mammals as we kick off Bat Week 2020!
Get to know our first speaker, Lauren Darnold, Education & Public Outreach Coordinator with Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. & get ready for "Bats of Iowa" on November 12th!
Autumn at Hitchcock Nature Center brings the return of our Hitchcock HawkWatch team. This year we are welcoming back Earl Johnson as our lead HawkWatch Counter.
Catch up on the latest HawkWatch news with our September activity report.
A chilly September morning finds two bumble bee bachelors fast asleep and tucked away into a stiff stem goldenrod. A common sight this time of the year for those in the right place at the right time. If these males are fit enough their genetics will be passed on to a new colony of bumble bees next spring.
These soft brown butterflies might not be the most showy insects but they have a beauty all their own, get to know the Little Wood-Satyr.
Join in the fun September 17th through October 1st & show your support for the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation & Pottawattamie Conservation.
Milkweed is essential for monarch butterfly survival. Learn more about this amazing plant & ways you can help support monarch populations.
Bumble Bees are a fuzzy friend on our summer flowers each year. Learn more about these social insects & ways you can help protect them.
Cicadas provide the background music for summer days and nights but how much do you know about these unique insects?
Head outdoors on your own birding scavenger hunt, perfect for some weekend fun.
Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator and Kristen Yost, 2020 Environmental Education Intern
Arrowhead Park, Bird Watching, Botna Bend Park, Conservation, Family Fun, Hiking, Hitchcock Nature Center, Homeschool, Loess Hills, Narrows River Park, Native Animals
Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
In 1933, the American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis, was named Iowa’s state bird. Easy to identify with its bright yellow body and contrasting black and white wing markings, this little seed-eating bird is many a birdwatchers favorite visitor to backyard feeders. Around this time of year, however, people begin asking, “Where did all my goldfinches go?”
It is autumn again at Hitchcock Nature Center & while that may mean slowing down for other parks in our area it means a whole new flurry of activity for our staff & guests with the return of the Hitchcock HawkWatch. Each year from September 1st through the end of December our observation tower is staffed daily by a team of volunteer raptor enthusiasts, the HawkWatchers, headed by their fearless leader, the seasonal Hawk Counter. This team spends the fall scanning the skies of the Missouri River Valley spotting and cataloging migrating raptors such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls.
Join us for the September installment of the 2019 Speaker Series on Saturday, October 12th at Hitchcock Nature Center as we welcome Bruce Ehresman, recently retired avian ecologist for the Iowa Dept. or Natural Resources Wildlife Diversity Program as he discusses owl conservation programs. Participants will get an up-close look at a live screech owl during this informative presentation. This event is free with park admission or an annual membership & it is open to anyone age 14 & over.
Many people view winter as a sterile, cold, miserable time of the year. A time when the smartest thing to do is hide out in the house until spring. I sometimes think like this, too. I am no fan of the icy winds that burn your cheeks and freeze fingertips. I prefer the warming spring days, the hot sun of summer, and the cooling breezes of fall. However, now that I am your new Naturalist, I see it as my duty to appreciate every season, even the bitter cold one… So come along with me as we explore the Loess Hills ecosystem and its’ inhabitants in the winter! Should be an adventure!
Pottawattamie County Conservation is excited to introduce you to the newest member of our Environmental Education Department, Michelle Biodrowski. Michelle is taking on the title of Naturalist for our county and will not only be assisting with all types of different programs she will also be designing & creating new adult education opportunities for area residents. Get to know the newest member of the team and make sure to say hello the next time you see her at one of your county parks.
Every autumn the observation tower at Hitchcock Nature Center becomes a hub of activity with the return of our annual HawkWatch. This seasonal project begins September 1st & continues through the week of the Christmas Holiday and is an amazing research project that we are proud to be a part of. During the HawkWatch a team comprised of volunteers and a seasonal full time supervisor scan the skies of the Missouri River Valley spotting and cataloging migrating raptors such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls.
2021 Summer Nature Camp registration is now open!Learn More