ALERT: Full hookup sites now available at Arrowhead Park, Botna Bend Park, and Hitchcock Nature Center for $30 per night.
ALERT: Closure of L-55 Bridge over I-80 (exit 23) to Arrowhead Park scheduled for July 1st. May be closed through early August.

What's the Best Way to Welcome Spring? Get Moving Outdoors!

Learn about parks’ powerful role in public health in our series, “Healing Home.”

About “Healing Home”: What does “home” mean to you? It’s so much more than the roof over your head. Home is the body you wake up in each morning, the mind that sometimes keeps you up at night, and the land that provides everything you might need in between. Pottawattamie County Conservation’s “Healing Home” series aims to inspire hope and healing so that you can strengthen your relationship with your body, mind, and the natural world around you. Join us today and learn how interconnected your health is to the health of your environment.


When was the last time you spent more than a few minutes outdoors?

What about the last time you worked up a sweat? 

If it’s been a while, you aren’t alone. The spring season is a great time to change that!


  • A 2017 study showed that 25% of U.S. adults (roughly 64.6 million people) reported spending less than two hours in nature every week. Parents also reported that their children spent three times as many hours using technology as they did playing outdoors (see the graph below). 
  • Currently the Department of Health and Human Services reports that ~80 percent of adults are not meeting aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity guidelines (2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity each week, plus muscle-strengthening exercises).
  • In 2020 the American Heart Association reported that 60% of kids have low or unhealthy cardiorespiratory fitness, which measures the strength of their heart, lungs, and blood circulation.


Graph of media usage among children in the U.S. versus time spent outdoors.


Despite these challenges in our communities, the good news is that most of us agree that spending time outdoors is good for us and want more opportunities to explore and experience the natural world. So, with spring in swing and warmer weather on the horizon, let’s make it happen!


Below are some ideas to get you and your family moving outdoors with Pottawattamie County Conservation:


  1. Take a hike at Arrowhead Park (8 trailheads), Botna Bend Park (3 trailheads), Hitchcock Nature Center (20+ trails), or Narrows River Park (seasonal trails may be available).
  2. Rent a canoe or kayak at Arrowhead Park—or grab your pole and tackle box and enjoy some local fishing!
  3. Access the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail for kayaking and more water fun at Botna Bend Park and Olde Town ParkPlease note that water levels are low. Check park pages for current levels.
  4. Practice your aim at Botna Bend Park, Hitchcock Nature Center, or Narrows River Park archery ranges.
  5. Really get away from it all by exploring one of six Pottawattamie Conservation habitat areas.
  6. Join our team as a Pottawattamie Conservation volunteer and help others connect with the outdoors while enjoying all the benefits that giving your time can bring, too.
  7. Attend an upcoming program or event:



Here are some quick facts about how getting outside is good for you (and our environment!):


  • Time spent outdoors, especially combined with physical activity including walking, running, camping, and climbing, can:
  • Kids are more active outdoors than indoors (playing outside helps tucker them out and builds important risk-taking skills, too!).
  • When we build our relationship with the natural world we take better care of it because we see how important a healthy environment is for our health.


The time is now, so get outside and get moving! It’s that easy to start healing your home.


Keep an eye out for more "Healing Home" resources from Pottawattamie Conservation. Have a topic you're interested in learning more about? Send us a note!



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Conservation Director Mark Shoemaker Announces Retirement After 31 Years of Service (3/20/2024)
by Craig Carlsen, Pottawattamie County Public Relations Manager

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Volunteer Spotlight: Glenn Pollock, the Man In Plaid (3/8/2024)
by Dana Kruse, Volunteer & Facilities Coordinator

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