What's New

Children climbing a log

What's New

Our latest Naturally Speaking newsletter is on-line - see the February 2019 Edition here (a PDF).

This newsletter lists the upcoming summer programs for June and July along with a description for each. A summary of the camps can be found in this Camp Info Sheet (a PDF). Summer camp programs require pre-registration and medical release forms. Click here: Registration Form (a PDF). Registration opens April 1st.

What's New - Upcoming Programs


Winter Birding: Iowa Sparrows. Sunday, March 3, 1:00 p.m. Join Diane Porter for a program on Iowa’s winter sparrows. We’ll start indoors at the nature center in Jefferson County Park. After Diane’s presentation we’ll bundle up and head outdoors to see what species we can find. Come learn about these beautiful but often overlooked birds. Bring your binoculars. No registration required.

Life in a Log Cabin with Michael Zahs. Saturday, March 9: 1:00 p.m. We’ve invited historian, collector and preservationist Michael Zahs back to give the naturalist’s favorite program: Life in a Log Cabin. His collection of artifacts and his stories of pioneer life will fascinate all ages. Join him at the nature center in Jefferson County Park as he brings pioneer history to life. No registration required.

Full Moon Night Hike Thursday, March 21: 7:30 p.m. It’s spring break for the Fairfield Public schools so bring your kids out for this family-fun activity at Jefferson County Park. We’ll meet at the nature center at 7:30 p.m. for a brief introduction before heading out on the trails for a hike by the light of the full moon. You don’t have to have kids to participate but all children must be accompanied by an adult. Since spring trails can sometimes be muddy, boots are recommended. No registration required.


Wild Edibles Hike: Lacey Keosauqua State Park Saturday, May 11: 10:00 a.m. Forage in the forest along the trails at Lacey-Keosauqua Sate Park. Naturalist Kathy Dice will lead a leisurely hike as she points out wild edibles, how to identify them, prepare them and explain a few with medicinal values. Meets at the Beachhouse Lodge. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. The Des Moines River Water Trail is one of nineteen water trails in Iowa. No registration required.

Need more info? Call Therese at 472-4421, or e-mail to therese@jeffersoncountyconservation.com


Naturalist Led Programs: What We Offer


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 therese@jeffersoncountyconservation.com.

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 therese@jeffersoncountyconservation.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.


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Need more info? Call Therese at 472-4421, or e-mail to therese@jeffersoncountyconservation.com

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Waiting for a drop of maple sap.
Maple Drip

Entomologist Moni Hayne
Entomologist Moni Hayne

After the Creek Hike
After the Creek Hike

Fiery Skipper
Fiery Skipper

Nature Kid
Nature Kid

Eastern Chipmunk
Eastern Chipmunk

Making a Wedding Basket
Wedding Basket

County Map below
Park map
Jefferson County Conservation Board logo
Funded by REAP (website)
Jeff Cnty Funding (PDF)

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Mission Statement
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Jefferson County by acquiring, developing and managing public areas so that its citizens will have opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences, and to cultivate good land stewardship through natural history and environmental education activities.

Produced by the Jefferson County Conservation Board
2003 Libertyville Road, Fairfield, IA 52556
Call: 641-472-4421    Fax: 641-472-7911
E-mail: jeffersonccb@lisco.com
Updated 03-12-19