2018 List of Topics

Timing is everything - Posted December 2018

Putting a name to the study of seasonal natural rhythm’s and life cycles such as phenology, seems like a daunting task. Here are a few ideas that you could do in your classrooms to create a phenology calendar that challenges your students’ senses and awareness to the out-of-doors.

Winter boredom? Nah! - Posted November 2018

This is a great time to consider a family plan of daily outdoor outings through the winter months. Fifteen minutes of Vitamin N (nature) can be exciting, refreshing, or bring about new perspectives.

Insect Retirement? Really? - Posted October 2018

Overwintering insects may be hiding in leaf litter, under the bark of a tree, or deep into the soil. Many insects perish before winter arrives and rely on eggs laid in protected areas to begin new life in the spring. Insect life can be short or long, but again, we need them to help with food production and diversity within our ecosystems.

At risk with nature - Posted September 2018

Find inspiration to help us all return to ways of living and enjoying nature as part of our every day existence!

Restored prairie needs managed - Posted August 2018

​With​ the turning of the prairie, most of this original, diverse ecosystem is gone. Efforts are being made to bring prairie ecosystems back where possible. These new prairie areas must be managed.​ Prairie management is important to help the prairie be its most natural state.

Dragons and Damsels - Posted July 2018

Real life Dragons and Damsels. These magical insects have inhabited the earth for more than 250 million years. Learning the order of "Odonata" can be mysterious and exciting. Let's help you get started learning about some of the species you may find around your area in Marion County (and central Iowa!).

Wetlands and Wildlife - Posted June 2018

Wetlands are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the natural world, but not many know just what they are or why they are important.

Springing to Life - Posted May 2018

Nothing like taking a deep breath of early spring air! Fresh, new, and exciting things happening. Most spring happenings go by so quickly we miss many of the ‘new beginnings.’ The woodland floor is our first flowering ecosystem.

Growing up Eagle - Posted April 2018

Learn how a bald eagle's plumage or feather coloration help us age them from hatchling to adult.

March migration - A state of frenzy - Posted March 2018

Migration has filled people with a sense of wonder and amazement for thousands of years. It’s the time of year to move from one place to another and the time of year when hundreds of species of birds will return or continue to pass through on their journey north. Remember the saying, “early bird gets the worm?” It’s more like the “early bird gets the best nesting territory.”

2017-18 Snowy Owl Irruption - Posted January-February 2018

Have you ever found yourself jaw-dropped and emotionally-stirred at the mere sight of a creature you may have only seen in a movie? Understanding how far snowy owls have journeyed to find themselves in Iowa just might be their ultimate message for us... to realize that here in Iowa, we play a major ecological role in the success of creatures far and wide, including those whose parents are currently hunting under the glow of the Northern Lights.