Get Online To Get Outdoors!
By Connie Betts, Naturalist
Volume 18, Issue 1 There’s a lot of different re- a specific site, hiking trails, aerials of all
sources out there to find out about parks the areas, fishing maps for Willow Lake,
and outdoor recreation in Iowa, but and hunting maps.
The Prairie Hills probably the best place is online. To get the latest information on
Journal is a Harrison County Conservation everything HCCB is doing, join us on
bi-annual Board has Twitter. We
publication of the had a website send out a
Harrison County since 2000, weekly up-
Conservation Board. and as more date
people become computer savvy, we’ve (sometimes more) on programs, events,
seen an increase in usage. Many times what fish are biting, or recreation ideas
Printed versions are when people call us to ask a question or for families.
distributed free of reserve a cabin, they are looking at our Another great website to visit for
charge to residents in website at the same all of Iowa’s 99 county
Harrison County. time. conservation boards is
Current and past If you haven’t MyCountyParks.com.
editions of the visited our website, HCCB information and
newsletter are also please go to HarrisonCountyParks.org. the link to our website is there too, but
available online at Starting this fall, we’ll have a new look you can also search for other parks and
our website. too! We have information about the con- activities in Iowa.
servation board, park and wildlife areas If you don’t have a computer or
in the county, cabins and camping, envi- use the internet, HCCB still sends press
ronmental edu- releases to our lo-
cation and the cal newspapers,
Nature Encoun- radio stations, and
ter Center, the this newsletter
Harrison comes as a flyer in
County Historical Village and Iowa Wel- the Missouri Valley Times-News and
come Center, Loess Hills, news and cal- Merchandiser twice a year. And as al-
Printed on endar of events, fishing and hunting, and ways, if you’re looking for something
recycled paper! recycling information. There’s also maps about HCCB and can’t find it, please just
of our campgrounds if you’re looking for give us a call!
Join us on Twitter to get all the latest info from HCCB!
A Summer Full of Fun!
This was another great summer with the Kids’ Fishing Derby, summer
nature camps, and public programs. Over 50 children plus adults attended the
fishing derby catching lots of fish.
Summer nature camps were held at De-
Soto and Willow Lake with the theme
Fishing Fun. Forty people attended the
kayaking program and had a great time
paddling around Willow Lake! Pic-
tured left: participants and their dog
kayaking; right: Colby Anderson of
Woodbine at Kids’ Fishing Derby.
Willow Lake Butterfly Garden Renovated
After school programs were finished this spring, we began an extensive renovation of the butterfly garden and
pond by the Nature Encounter Center. All of the plants had to be removed and old matting taken out. New soil and fer-
tilizer was added, plants were replaced, and lots of mulch put down to reduce weed growth. We lucked out with a rela-
tively dry spell in late May and early June and with working on it every day, finished by mid-June. Thanks to Tori Bry-
ceson, my intern for her hard work, Peggy Albers for helping to put in edging, and Kareen Clifton for some transplants
from her garden. If you’d like to plant your own butterfly garden, give us a call or stop by the garden to get some ideas!
Summer 2009 Interns Thanks Dedra!
Jeremy Yost was the Park
Dedra Hatcher of rural
Ranger Intern for a second summer and
Pisgah worked for HCCB
said that it was easier this summer be-
cause he didn’t have to “learn the through a FEMA/Iowa Work-
ropes.” He will be attending Ellsworth force Development program.
Community College in Iowa Falls as a Her employment with us started
Sophomore in the Conservation Technology program. in October 2008 and ended in
The Naturalist Intern this year was Tori Bryceson from August 2009. Dedra helped
Pisgah. She graduated from West Harrison and will be attending with all facets of our program,
Iowa State. She plans to pursue a degree in zoology or veteri- but her main focus was facility
nary, but is “undecided” on which at this point. painting, trail work, and cutting
They both had a great time and wanted to thank everyone firewood. Thank you, Dedra, for
at HCCB. your hard work and dedication.
Learn more about monarch butterflies at monarchwatch.org!
Pirates of the Prairie Kids’ Ice Fishing Day!
Saturday, October 24th, 1-3 p.m. Monday, January 18th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Willow Lake Recreation Area, Woodbine Willow Lake Recreation Area, Woodbine
Arrr! Calling all pirates! Bring the family out for a There’s no school on January 18th—looking for
treasure hunt on the prairie. We’ll learn how to use something to do? We’re going ice fishing and
maps, compasses, and GPS to find our way. Plenty snowshoeing at Willow Lake. Just bring your warm
of booty and prizes for the kids! Meet at the large clothes and snow boots and we’ll supply the rest!
shelter in the campground (look for the pirate There will be some activities and time to warm up
flag!). No cost; no registration. If severe weather, inside. There is no cost for this program, but
program will be held in the Nature Encounter Cen- space is limited. To register, call HCCB begin-
ter. ning January 4th at 712-647-2785 ext. 12. If there
is severe weather or ice is too thin, program will be
Harrison County Conservation Board
office will be closed Veteran’s Day;
Thanksgiving Day plus the day after;
Microscopes Purchased With Harrison County Conservation Board
Grant office will be closed Presidents’ Day.
HCCB recently received a grant from the Iowa Hunter Safety Class
Mathematics and Science Education Partnership. March 8, 10, and 11th, 6-9:30 p.m.
One goal of the IMSEP is “to improve mathematics Willow Lake Recreation Area, Woodbine
and science performance of Iowa students.” We
were able to purchase six field microscopes, pre- Harrison County Conservation will have a hunter
pared slides, and curriculum. They were used during safety class held in the Nature Encounter Center.
the summer camps and at our booth at the Harrison Must be 12 years old and attend all three nights to
County fair. They will be a great asset for future receive certification. Registration will only be ac-
programs in the schools and public programs. cepted beginning January 18th, 2010, and space
Thanks so much to the IMSEP for this grant! is limited. Call HCCB at 712-647-2785.
Camping coupons make great Christmas gifts-call us to learn more
The Facts About Sustainable Funding
By Connie Betts, Naturalist
You may have heard something about Sustainable Funding and wondered what
it will do and how it will affect your life. There are several different ways in Iowa for
funding natural resources. Money from the general fund, hunting and fishing li-
censes, and Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) are a few. Some of these
funds, however, are limited in what they can be used for. In these times when the
stock market has its ups and downs and budgets are getting cut, the goal of this ini-
tiative is to provide stable funding for the future.
On April 25, 2008, SJR 2002 passed in both the House and Senate proposing
an amendment to the Constitution of the state of Iowa to dedicate a portion of state
revenue from the tax imposed on certain retail sales to benefit the state’s natural re-
sources. Other neighboring states have similar funding including Minnesota, Ne-
braska, and Missouri.
So what happens now? In the fall of 2010, the people of the state of Iowa will
be able to vote on the future of natural resources. If it passes, the 3/8 of a cent
funding would occur the next time there is a sales tax increase. The initiative is an
opportunity for the people to vote to protect funding—it is not a request for a tax in-
crease! Look for more information in the coming year on this important legislation.
Pape Memorial Donation WANTED: Hayracks!
Larry Pape, of Pisgah, recently donated Hayracks or wagon running gears to be used
money for the construction of two mini-shelters at to build “People Movers” as shown in the photo.
Willow Lake in memory of his mother and father, Staff will build and they will be used for park tours
Leila and Walter. They are located next to the lake and an upcoming IACCB 2010 conference. Please
with one having handicap access and will be a great call HCCB if you have one to donate. Thanks!
addition to the park! Pictured: Jeremy Yost, Park
Ranger Intern (left) and Sol Mohn, Conservation
Thanks to Kim Schramm for donating
nature books for the reference library.
Thanks to Harrison County Road Depart-
ment for equipment usage and rock hauling for pro-
jects. Thanks guys!
January is a great time to watch bald eagles on the Missouri River!
Explore Harrison County!
Hunter Education Classes Making Safe Hunters
By Byron Vennink, Park Ranger
Fall is upon us and as the leaves begin to drop All Hunter Education classes in Iowa are run by
our thoughts go to the field for hunting seasons. Before volunteers including those sponsored by HCCB. The staff
you can go buy your Iowa hunting license though, you volunteer their time along with other individuals. No in-
must have satisfactorily completed a Hunter Education structor may take any monetary compensation for his or
class. her services to Hunter Education. As an instructor my
In Iowa the DNR started the Hunter Education compensation is to prevent an accident with firearms and
program in 1960 as a voluntary program. Hunter Educa- getting more people out into the field enjoying nature’s
tion became mandatory in July of 1983 in Iowa. Anybody bounty. The satisfaction of seeing a student practicing suc-
born after January 1st, 1972, must complete and pass cessful safety and sportsmanship is more than enough for
Hunter Education to buy or obtain a valid Iowa hunting the little time we as volunteers give to the Hunter Educa-
license. You must be 12 years of age to get the certificate tion program.
of successful completion for Hunter Education in Iowa. But even if you don’t hunt, the Hunter Education
In Harrison County, the Harrison County Conser- class can benefit everyone. In reality they should call it
vation Board provides two annual Hunter Education pro- Gun Safety Education class. Everyone should know how
grams per year. These classes take place in the months of to handle a firearm safely in any given situation. Often we
August and March. The August class typically has a live tell parents that their children may encounter firearms in
shotgun firing range, while the March class utilizes an air friends home or even another family member’s residence.
gun range indoors. We typically hear people panic when Being able to handle those firearms safely could prevent a
our classes are filled (we are limited to the seating avail- tragedy.
able). There are other Hunter Education classes available In closing, I hope you learned a little about Iowa
in neighboring counties, community colleges, and even Hunter Education. Always treat all guns as if they were
businesses such as Bass Pro Shops. Thanks to the com- loaded. Take a youngster hunting with you and pass along
puter you can even go online to the Iowa DNR’s web site the traditions for safe hunting/gun handling. Good luck and
to see where area classes will be held. have a safe hunting season!
Drop-Off Locations For
Christmas Tree Recycling
Please have trees free of decorations & bags! Thank You To Our 2009
Woodbine-by recycling bins
Logan-at landfill and secondary roads Ed & Jeanie Nelsen, Randy & Deb Calfee,
Pisgah-state forest maintenance shed Dennis & Pat Kuhlman, Jerry & Jana
Dunlap-at city shed Withem, and Jill & Jason Stacy.
Missouri Valley-by county shed Thanks for all your hard work!
Trees only accepted until January 10th, 2010!
Turn In Poachers! 1-800-532-2020 or tipofiowa.org
Nature Encounters For Kids
Children’s Book Become a Winter
“If a child is to
keep alive his
Review Wildlife Detective!
inborn sense of Owl Moon In the cold and snow of
wonder, he needs by Jane Yolen winter, it may not seem like
the companionship there’s much going on outside, but look
of at least one adult A father and child go into close and find the signs animals leave be-
who can share it, the woods on a moonlight
rediscovering with winter night to go owling. You might find tiny bird tracks around
As they call to the owls,
him the joy, will they answer back? a feeder or under an evergreen tree. Follow
excitement, and rabbit or squirrel tracks to see where they
mystery of the live. There might be a tree a buck deer used
world we live in.” to rub his antlers on. Droppings from ani-
mals are always a good sign too!
So do a little detective work and you’ll
-Rachel Carson see that winter is full of activity!
Creature Feature-Barred Owl Do You Know These
The barred owl is one of our larger owls found in Iowa with
a length of 16-25 inches and a wingspan of 38-50 inches. Like other
owls it is nocturnal, but can be seen hunting before dark especially
when they’re hungry. 1 2.
It’s favorite food is meadow voles, shrews, and deer mice.
Barred owls will also eat rabbits, squirrels, and moles. While mam-
mals may be an easy prey, they have also been known to eat other
birds, frogs, snakes, and large insects.
In February, a pair of barred owls will call to each other and
start to build a nest to raise their young. They nest in large holes in 3. 4.
trees called cavities with usually two eggs being laid. It will be about
30 days before the babies hatch and then an-
other four weeks in the nest with mom and dad
bringing them food. As they get older, they sit ANSWERS
on the branches next to the nest. Parents care
for the young for at least four months, which is 1. Bobcat
much longer than other owls. 5. 2. Opossum
Barred owls can live 10 years in the 3. Skunk
wild. They need large woodlands to live, raise 4. Raccoon
their young, and find food. 5. Coyote
No school January 18th! Come ice fishing with us at Willow!
Discover the past…
Harrison County Historical Village
& Iowa Welcome Center
Major Changes Are In The Works
By Kathy Dirks, Village/Welcome Center Coordinator
The village/welcome center will be going through some major changes in the next few months. After years of
planning, work has started on the new Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center! Plans are to have the new cen-
ter completed by September of 2010. Components of the new center will include the following:
• Creation of both a 5 to 7 minute Lincoln Highway and Loess Hills multi-media presentation.
• Construction of a 35 seat indoor A/V auditorium. The downstairs of the current village/welcome center building
will be remodeled to accommodate the auditorium.
• Development of an outdoor Lincoln Highway surface demonstration area on the location of the original Lincoln
• Development of a one mile walking trail with interpretive panels through 14 acres of re-established Loess Hills
prairie. Part of the trail will be hard-surface handicap accessible while the other half will be soft surface.
• Construction of an elevated handicap-accessible observation deck on a hill behind the village overlooking mul-
tiple transportation corridors including the three byways that traverse the center – the Loess Hills National
Scenic Byway, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway, and the Western Skies Scenic Byway.
• Development of an outdoor children's transportation play space.
Congratulations to Kathy
Work thus far has consisted of some dirt work in preparation for some of the
Dirks for receiving a
trails, and for moving our storage garage to a different location. There will be a great
deal more activity in the coming months both inside and outside. We invite you to stop
Award for her work and
by to view the progress and to view the plans on display in the welcome center build-
leadership in Iowa tour-
ing. As we get closer to a completion date, there will be more information in the Prairie
ism. Great job!
Hills Journal and local newspapers. Have a great fall and we hope to see you soon!
Harrison County Historical Village &
Iowa Welcome Center Harrison County Village/Welcome Center
2931 Monroe Avenue
Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555
Gift Shop/Iowa Products Store
Hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday Not to be combined with other discounts!
12-5 p.m. on Sunday (Excludes Iowa-made wines)
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas,
New Year’s Day, and Easter October-March 2009/10 Coupon
Historical Village open April-November
Don’t forget the Iowa Products Store this Christmas!
Harrison County Conservation Board
2725 Easton Trail
Woodbine, Iowa 51579
Did You Know Pheasants Forever Has FREE Food Plot Seed?
Are you a local landowner that wants to attract more wildlife like pheasants and
quail? A food plot is a great way to do just that! Every year the Boyer Valley PF chapter
purchases seed and HCCB distributes it from our Headquarters' Office at Willow Lake.
Contact us at 712-647-2785 in early spring to see what is available. HCCB is no longer
renting the no-till drill due to its age and condition. If you are looking for a drill to plant
food plots, please contact the NRCS office in Logan at 712-644-2210.
Cabin Gift Certificates Make Great Christmas Presents!
What’s the cure for cabin fever when it’s cold and snowy? Looking forward to
a summer vacation in the cabins at Willow Lake! Call us to get a gift certificate for a
cabin. The small camping cabins are $45 a night and the larger housekeeping cabins
are $90 per night for White Pine and $120 per night for Scotch Pine. Plus, there’s so
much to do at Willow Lake like fishing, hiking the trails, swimming, playground,
boating, and relaxing! Call us today—the cabins fill up quick for the summer!
Board Members Harrison County Conservation Board
Dean McIntosh, President, Missouri Valley
John Espenmiller, Logan The Harrison County Conservation Board meets on
Kimberly Nunez, Mondamin the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the
Pat Perry, Mondamin Willow Lake Recreation Area Headquarters Office,
Dwayne Walker, Woodbine 2725 Easton Trail, Woodbine, Iowa. The meetings
are open to the public and visitors are welcome.
Tim Sproul, Director
Pearl Pinkham, Secretary Mission
Scott Nelson, Operations Supervisor/Park Ranger
Byron Vennink, Park Ranger "Manage, protect, conserve and develop Harrison
Sol Mohn, Conservation Technician County's natural resources in a manner that the
Connie Betts, Naturalist/Information Specialist quality of life for Harrison County residents is
Kathy Dirks, Village/Welcome Center Coordinator significantly enhanced by the utilization and
Gary Wenninghoff, Grounds Keeper/Custodian enjoyment of those resources."
Email us at hccb@HarrisonCountyParks.org