Welcome

Welcome to the Winnebago County Conservation Board, one of 99 county conservation boards in Iowa.

We are located in the rolling hills of north-central Iowa's prairie pothole region.

Our purpose is to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone and to protect and conserve our natural resources.

Scroll down for the latest news and browse through our web site often to see what we have to offer! And, be sure to contact us if you have any comments or questions!


FOLLOW US:

Read the latest edition of "The Prairie Country Quarterly" here.

 

Check out our
Thorpe Park web cam!

 


 

Support the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation!

 You can win a Remington Model 887 Nitro Shotgun DU Edition (with a hard case) donated by Gary Wunder. 

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 6 for $20. 

Drawing will be held after the Winnebago County Fair.  You need not be present to win. 

All proceeds go to the Environmental Education Center Project.

Contact any FWCCF Board Member, Brad Huntington (641-590-1403), or the WCCB office (641-565-3390) for tickets.

Tickets will also be available at the FWCCF/WCCB Winnebago County Fair booth.

Thank You for your Support!


Environmental Education Center Capital Campaign

Connecting Generations Naturally:
A Campaign to Build an Environmental Education Center in Winnebago County

The WCCB and our Friends Foundation have begun a capital fundraising campaign to raise money for our new environmental education center. Below is information about that campaign and how you can help!

Why an Environmental Education Center?

Currently, Winnebago County has no environmental education center. The WCCB offices are housed in a 65-year old converted cabin which is not ADA-compliant and is at the end of a 5-mile gravel road. The current building is less than 2,000 square feet and can accommodate fewer than a dozen visitors at a time.

Almost 3/4 of Iowa's counties now have nature centers. These facilities get people outdoors and promote an increased quality of life. They offer environmental programming for school and civic groups, as well as the general public. They are  tourist destinations that help visitors learn about the valuable natural resources of the area and also serve as meeting locations for local civic groups and other organizations. Our center would serve all of these purposes, as well as house the offices of the WCCB.

 

  • The center will contain exhibits and interactive displays to help increase people's awareness and knowledge of their natural resources, as well as how to conserve those resources.
  • It will be centrally-located in the county, just south of the north junction of Highways 9 and 69.
  • The building will be 40' x 96', or 7,680 square feet over two levels.
  • It will be a post-and-beam design, with 28'-high vaulted ceilings.
  • The building will meet ADA specifications for accessibility.
  • It will include a variety of green design elements, including geothermal and solar energy systems.
  • Rooms will include offices, a large program/meeting room (that will seat 85-100 people), an exhibit area, a workshop/activity area, a staff meeting room, and a kitchenette.

Fundraising

It is estimated that the cost of the new center will be between $1.1 and $1.2 million. The WCCB has already voted to commit $225,000 of non-tax dollars to the project. The rest will be raised through grants and private donations. We do not anticipate using any tax dollars for the construction of the center.

The following donor recognition levels have been established...      

  • Chickadee Level: < $250
  • Bluebird Level: $250-$499
  • Goldfinch Level: $500-$999
  • Cardinal Level: $1,000-$2,499
  • Sandhill Crane Level: $2,500-$4,999
  • Trumpeter Swan Level: $5,000-$9,999
  • Bald Eagle Level: $10,000 and higher.

All donations under $250 will be recognized in "The Prairie Country Quarterly," our quarterly newsletter. Donations above that amount will be recognized at the center itself. A variety of naming opportunities will also be available for larger donations.

Fundraising will continue throughout 2018. Assuming we have a successful campaign, we hope to begin construction by Spring, 2019. And, if all goes as expected, we hope to be holding our Grand Opening in the Fall of 2019 or the Spring of 2020!

Donating

If you would like to help us with this exciting project, you can use this Pledge Form and send your donations to:

The Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation, Inc.
34496 110th Avenue
Forest City, IA   50436.

You can also donate via credit card, debit card, or Pay Pal.

Our Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your contributions are tax-deductible. If you have questions about this project, or if you would like to make an especially large donation, please feel free to call and talk to us at 641-565-3390.

Thank you!


 

Do you shop on Amazon?

If so, you can help out our Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation!

Just click here and you can designate us as your preferred charitable organization! Then, each time you shop, go to smile.amazon.com and .5% of your qualified purchases will be donated to our foundation. It's an easy way to donate, and it doesn't cost you anything! For more information about AmazonSmile, click here.

Be sure to check it out. And, thank you!

Treat yourself to a relaxing stay at the Lake Catherine Cabin!

For more information about the cabin, you can download the following items:

Cabin rates are $57.75/weeknight and $73.50/Friday and Saturday nights. (These rates include sales tax.) To reserve the cabin, please let us know the dates using our reservation button below. Then, fill out the rental agreement above and return it to us either through the mail or electronically. Finally, send your payment in (including a separate $100 deposit check). Let us know if you have any questions!

Reserve Cabin Now
Reserve Cabin Now

We will contact you to confirm your reservation. Thank you!

Cabin Availability

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Check the calendar to the left
to see which dates
are available.

(Green dates are available,
red dates are already booked.)

A two-night minimum stay is required on weekends.
Thank you!

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Come join us for an Evening Canoe Float at Thorpe Park’s Lake Catherine on Wednesday evening, July 31st! From 6:00-8:00 PM that evening, people will be able to use the Conservation Board’s canoes, paddles, and life jackets free of charge to enjoy a leisurely paddle around Lake Catherine. Instruction will also be available for those people whose canoeing skills may be a little rusty!

There is no need to preregister for the Evening Canoe Float; you only need to show up at the boat ramp any time between 6:00 and 8:00 PM for a relaxing summer float! In case of inclement weather, the float will be postponed and that information run on KIOW Radio (FM 107.3), as well as on the WCCB web site (www.winnebagoccb.com), here on our the Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@WinnebagoCCB).

For more information, people can contact Winnebago County Naturalist Lisa Ralls at 641-565-3390 or at lralls@winnebagoccb.com. We hope to see you there!

If you're one of those people that loves to take selfies, we have just the spot for you! Come out to Thorpe Park and check out our new Selfie Station overlooking Lake Catherine! You can place your phone on the shelf and take a scenic selfie with Lake Catherine as the backdrop. So, now, it's super easy to add a photo from Thorpe Park to your selfie collection! #MyCountyParks

To help people learn more about Iowa’s prairies, the Winnebago County Conservation Board will be presenting a program on Prairie Life at Forest Plaza Assisted Living, 635 Highway 9 East, Forest City. The hour-long program will be held on Thursday, July 18th, beginning at 2:00 PM.

Naturalist Lisa Ralls will use pelts, mounts, and other hands-on items to discuss the history of Iowa’s prairies, their importance, the wildlife that depend upon them, and how they can be managed. Although Forest Plaza is hosting this event, it is open to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend! Refreshments will also be served afterwards.

For more information about the Prairie Life program, people can contact Winnebago County Naturalist Lisa Ralls at 641-565-3390 or at lralls@winnebagoccb.com.

Support the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation by buying a raffle ticket or two to win a Remington Model 887 Nitro Shotgun DU Edition (with a hard case) donated by Gary Wunder. Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $20.

Drawing will be held after the Winnebago County Fair. You need not be present to win.

All proceeds go to the Environmental Education Center Project.

Contact any FWCCF Board Member, Brad Huntington (641-590-1403), or the WCCB office (641-565-3390) for tickets. Tickets will also be available at the FWCCF/WCCB Winnebago County Fair booth.

Thank You for your Support!

Twitter

Come join us for a relaxing Evening Canoe Float at Thorpe Park’s Lake Catherine on Wed., 7/31, from 6-8 PM. Arrive and leave as you wish, instruction available. For more info, contact Naturalist Lisa Ralls at 641-565-3390 or at lralls@winnebagoccb.com. We hope to see you there!

Come to Thorpe Park and check out our new Selfie Station overlooking Lake Catherine! You can place your phone on the shelf and take a scenic selfie with Lake Catherine as the backdrop. Now, it's super easy to add a photo from Thorpe Park to your selfie collection! #MyCountyParks

The Winnebago County Conservation Board will be presenting a public program on Prairies at Forest Plaza Assisted Living, 635 Highway 9 East, Forest City. The hour-long program will be held on Thursday, July 18th, beginning at 2:00 PM. We hope you can join us!

We are raffling off a Remington Model 887 Nitro Shotgun DU Edition with all proceeds going to the Environmental Education Center Project! Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $20. Contact the WCCB office at 641-565-3390 for tickets or info, or see us at the Winnebago County Fair.

Please don't forget...Fireworks are not allowed in any park managed by the Winnebago County Conservation Board.

Thank you for respecting our parks, the wildlife that live there, and our park users.

FYI...A portion of the trail at Thorpe Park will be closed on Sunday, June 16th, from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM for a 3D Archery Shoot. For more information about the event, you can visit https://t.co/7lCniKhZsr.

The Conservation Board is hiring a Seasonal Driver. This job is a 40-hour a week position. Potential applicants can visit our web site at https://t.co/FOhlsJXPTF for more information, as well as an application form. People can also contact the WCCB at 641-565-3390. E.O.E.

Tonight's public trap shooting at the Florence Trap Shooting Range has been canceled due to approaching rain showers. The next open date for trap shooting will be next Wednesday, June 5th, from 5:00-7:00 PM. We hope you can join us then!

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