Garlic Mustard Clean Up. Tuesday, May 2nd: 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. AND (another date TBA). Bring your work gloves and join Green Iowa Americorp workers in pulling garlic mustard in Jefferson County Park. Garlic mustard is a woodland invader that takes light, moisture, nutrients, soil and space from native wildflowers. Naturalist Therese Cummiskey will identify the plant for participants and give a brief overview of why this weed needs to be eliminated from the park. Meet at the Jefferson County Park nature center. (Photo above: Ann Hektoen's Challenge Students pose with the pile of garlic mustard that they pulled. May 18, 2010.
Warbler Watching. Saturday, May 13: 6:30 a.m. (for the early bird) 8:30 a.m. (for everyone else!) Let’s go birding! Join Diane Porter and Therese Cummiskey at Shelter #3 (by the big pond) in Jefferson County Park. We’re offering two different time periods. 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The earlier time period will yield more birds (in 2014 we saw 37 different birds including twelve different species of warblers) but we understand that not everyone is a “morning person” so we’ll start a second hike at 8:30 a.m.
Neff Wetland Dedication. The public is invited to the dedication celebration for Neff Wetland, the 36 acre wetland located on the eastern edge of Fairfield along the Loop Trail. Neff Wetland was recently donated to the the Jefferson County Conservation Board through the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation by Dave and Sheri Neff. Dave and Sheri will both speak at the event. Parking is available at Lamson Woods which is at the east end of Fillmore off Mint Blvd. Walk across the boardwalk and meet at the gazebo. After the dedication a short wetland program will be given by naturalist Therese Cummiskey. Bring along your binoculars.
Kayak! Monday, June 12th 3:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m.; 5:00 p.m.; 6:00 p.m.; 7:00 p.m. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at kayaking? You don’t want to go on a long paddle you just want to see what it feels like? On this day we’ll be offering five one-hour sessions for adults. We’ll take four participants per sessions and show them a few basic skills to get them started. Then they’ll have a chance to practice their new skills on the pond. Meets at Shelter #3 in Jefferson County Park. Fee: $2. When you call to register please let us know what time you’d prefer. All participants must wear a life jacket, which will be provided for you.
Iowa Turtles. Thursday, June 29th 7:00 p.m. Come join fisheries biologist Chad Dolan as he shares his knowledge of our Iowa turtles. From turtle identification and life history to surveying techniques both kids and adults will love his program. Meets at the gazebo near Shelter #3 in Jefferson County Park. There is no fee involved and registration is not required.
Summer Programs for Youth. We've just begun planning for our summer program for kids and although we don't have anything on the schedule for July or August yet click here to see the Summer Programs for June. (a PDF).
Des Moines River Water Trail Programs. Jefferson County Conservation has once again partnered with the Iowa DNR to provide activities on or along the Des Moines River. Naturalist Brittney Tiller has planned ten activities from July through October. Click here to see the List of 2017 Des Moines River Water Trail Programs. (a PDF).
Need more info? Call Therese at 472-4421, or e-mail to email@example.com
The Jefferson County Conservation Board offers a variety of outdoor-related programs each year. During the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year, 3903 individuals took part in naturalist programs. The bulk of that number was school group related. (Every classroom in the Fairfield School District makes a trip to Jefferson County Park as part of their curriculum.) Teachers have an opportunity to take part in a field trip that can help expand what they are studying in the classroom and in the process give the kids a hands-on, in-touch-with-nature experience. To schedule a field trip for your classroom contact Therese by calling 641-472-4421 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naturalist-led programs are also offered for the general public throughout the year. The programming varies from cultural history related programs such as basket making, maple syruping and the annual Dutch Oven Cook Off to outdoor recreation classes such as canoeing and kayaking. Natural history related programs make up the bulk of the naturalist-led programs for the public and might include an indoor class on pond management or outdoor hikes and trips to go wildlife watching, stargazing, or rock hunting. You can learn about upcoming programs by visiting this website, e-mailing email@example.com and asking to be put on the newsletter mailing list or by looking up Jefferson County Conservation on Facebook.
Church groups, clubs and other organizations interested in a naturalist-led hike or presentation can contact the naturalist by phone (472-4421) or e-mail. Currently there is no fee charged for these programs unless there are supplies involved (i.e. basket making); or if the naturalist has to travel out of county, mileage may be charged.