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!

 


 

Raffle Winner Announced...

Brent Winter was the winner of the shotgun raffle held by the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation earlier this summer.

He is seen here receiving the gun from Gary Wunder of Thompson who donated the Remington Model 887 Nitro Ducks Unlimited gun for the raffle.

The raffle raised over $1,000 for the new Environmental Education Center project!

A big thank you goes out to Gary and to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket!



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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A conflict has come up, so tonight's public trap shooting at the Florence Trap Shooting Range has been canceled.

The August 10th Summer Stargazing program at Pilot Knob State Park has been canceled because of predicted cloudy and rainy weather. But, be sure to watch for our Autumn Stargazing program this fall!

This fall, we will be working with the Winnebago County Extension Office to offer a Master Conservationist Program here in Winnebago County! The Master Conservationist program helps local residents learn more about conservation through an educational curriculum that blends online and classroom lessons with outdoor field experiences. The program consists of seven weekly classes, each covering a different environmental topic. A $20 fee covers the whole 7-unit course.

The classes will be held each Thursday from 9:00 AM until noon from September 5th through October 17th. The classroom part of each session will be held in the TSB Bank meeting room in Forest City, while the field trips will be to nearby outdoor areas. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help conserve our precious natural resources, we encourage you to consider participating in this valuable program! Simply contact us (at 641-565-3390) or the Extension Office (at 641-584-2261) for more information or to sign up.

August public trap shooting dates have been set at the Florence Trap Shooting Range!

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A conflict has come up, so tonight's public trap shooting at the Florence Trap Shooting Range has been canceled.

Come to the Thorpe Park shelter house on 8/31 to learn about the Monarch butterfly’s amazing life history and migration to Mexico! The program will begin at 10:00 AM and we’ll even tag some Monarchs and release them! You can also bring some Monarchs or catch some at the park!

Join us at Forest Plaza Assisted Living in Forest City on 8/29 to learn about the Monarch butterfly’s amazing life history and migration to Mexico! The program will begin at 2:00 PM and we’ll even tag some Monarchs and release them to help with the research! Hope to see you!

The August 10th Summer Stargazing program at Pilot Knob State Park has been canceled because of predicted cloudy and rainy weather. But, be sure to watch for our Autumn Stargazing program this fall!

Join us for this fall's Master Conservationist Program that helps people learn about conservation through a curriculum that blends online and classroom lessons with outdoor field experiences. Call 641-565-3390 or 641-584-2261 for more information! https://t.co/JyvraJOSns

Brent Winter won the shotgun raffled off by the Friends of Winnebago Co. Conservation this summer. He received the gun from Gary Wunder who donated it for the raffle, which raised over $1,000 for the new Environmental Ed Center! Thanks, Gary, and all who bought a raffle ticket!

Be sure to come join us for our Summer Canoe Float this evening at Thorpe Park’s Lake Catherine! From 6:00-8:00 PM, you can use our canoes, paddles, and life jackets free of charge to enjoy a leisurely paddle around the lake. Instruction will also be available, if you need it!

Join us for our annual Summer Stargazing program at Pilot Knob State Park at 9:15 on August 10th! We'll observe the stars, a couple planets, and maybe even a meteor or two! Be sure to bring along a flashlight for the walk to and from the tower. See you there!

Be sure to visit our booth at the Winnebago County Fair! You can learn about our Environmental Education Center project, pick up some bird and bat house plans, and sign up for a free cabin stay. We hope to see you there!

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