ALERT: Construction will begin on Hitchcock Nature Center's main entrance starting July 12th. Expect limited access to trails and temporary park closures during this time.

Land Management

Managing 2,000 acres of publically owned land.

The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board is unique in the fact that it operates it's own Natural Areas Management program. The Natural Areas Management (NAM) program manages publically owned land within the county, as well as assisting with privately owned land.  The NAM program focuses on maintaining natural areas within the county, as well as public education, school programs, and continued facility improvements.   

Hitchcock Nature Center is the headquarters for the Natural Areas Management program. Established in 2007, the NAM program currently has two full-time staff and is assisted by seasonal interns.  The mission of the NAM program is to restore and enhance the natural areas within the county to promote a healthier ecological system.

The three main landforms within Pottawattamie County are the Missouri River alluvial floodplain, the Loess Hills, and the Southern Iowa Driftplain. The dry loess prairie, oak savanna, and mesic oak woodlands within the Loess Hills contain some extremely rare plant and animal species. Through invasive species removal, a more natural fire regime, and mechanical treatment to thin the woodlands, the NAM staff is promoting healthier natural areas with improved hydrology and a more diverse ecological system. 

natural areas management headquarters

NAM headquarters at Hitchcock Nature Center

Land Management Staff Members

Chad Graeve

Natural Resource Specialist
(712) 545-3283 x5832

Natural Resource Specialist is responsible for natural areas management on all county owned properties and operation of private lands program.

Read Bio

Aric Ping

Natural Resources Technician

The Natural Resources Technician is responsible for assisting the Natural Resource Specialist with development and implementation of land management plans and presentation of education programs and projects that promote conservation ethics, natural resource appreciation and county parks, facilities, and properties.

Read Bio

2021 Summer Nature Camp registration is now open!

Learn More