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* Your Maple Syruping Heritage. Your Maple Syruping Heritage.

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World” Your Maple Syruping Heritage. Thursday, March 5, 1 PM. Maple syrup making has an interesting and unique history. Discover both the history and how to’s of maple syruping as you use tools to tap trees, visit a sugar house and enjoy maple syrup on ice cream. Learn how to make maple syrup at home from your own maple tree. Reading Little House in the Woods by Laura Engles Wilder is a great preparation for your experience. 1 ½ hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

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* BSA Bear - American IndiansBSA Bear - American Indians

Time: 6:00 pm

Friday, March 6, 2015 6:00-8:00 PM Boy Scouts - Bear Cub Achievement #24 Find out about the Native Americans who lived in this area. Hear “How Turtle Flew South” and other American Indian legends during a storytelling session with a naturalist. Find out what these people used as shelter, create a map using Native American symbols, and play American Indian games. (Fulfills requirements a, b & c) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. This can be done online, in person, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. Use a separate registration form for each event. Completed registration forms, payment, and roster of scouts attending must be received by the Nature Center no later than one week prior to the scheduled workshop (by 4 p.m. on the Friday prior to the event). Late registrations will be excepted through the Wednesday preceding the event at an additional fee of $2/scout. Payment must accompany registration. To register, call 319-362-0664 or visit: www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. To complete the process you must also download and fill out one Registration Form and one Roster sheet per pack/group and submit these two forms to ICNC via email or fax.

* BSA Wolf - American IndiansBSA Wolf - American Indians

Time: 6:00 pm

Wolf Cub Elective #10 “American Indians” Friday, March 6, 2015 6:00-8:00 PM Find out about the Native Americans who lived in this area. Hear “How Turtle Flew South” and other American Indian legends during a storytelling session with a naturalist. Find out what these people used as shelter, create a map using Native American symbols, and play American Indian games. This program is offered to Wolf and Bear Cubs at the same time (also listed under Bear Cub offerings). (Fulfills requirements a, d, e & f) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. This can be done online, in person, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. Use a separate registration form for each event. Completed registration forms, payment, and roster of scouts attending must be received by the Nature Center no later than one week prior to the scheduled workshop (by 4 p.m. on the Friday prior to the event). Late registrations will be excepted through the Wednesday preceding the event at an additional fee of $2/scout. Payment must accompany registration. To register, call 319-362-0664 or visit: www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. To complete the process you must also download and fill out one Registration Form and one Roster sheet per pack/group and submit these two forms to ICNC via email or fax.

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* Coffee and ChatCoffee and Chat

Time: 9:00 am

Coffee and Chat. Each month on the second Thursday gather in the sunroom at Indian Creek Nature Center to enjoy coffee and conversation about the latest happenings at Indian Creek Nature Center. Enjoy a social time, and learn what’s happening in nature at that time, meet Nature Center staff and become better acquainted with our facilities, programs and trails. Free

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* Maple Syrup FestivalMaple Syrup Festival

Time: 8:00 am

Saturday & Sunday - March 21 & 22nd 8 am - 12:30 both days Maple Syrupin' Time! Enjoy pancakes with pure maple syrup, sausage on the grill plus demonstrations of how trees are tapped and maple syrup is made. A yummy, fun festival for the whole family to celebrate Syrupin' Season! Discount tickets available online until noon Friday, March 20th. Advance tickets: Adult $8; Children 4-12 $4; children 3 and under are free.

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* Maple Syrup FestivalMaple Syrup Festival

Time: 8:00 am

Saturday & Sunday - March 21 & 22nd 8 am - 12:30 both days Maple Syrupin' Time! Enjoy pancakes with pure maple syrup, sausage on the grill plus demonstrations of how trees are tapped and maple syrup is made. A yummy, fun festival for the whole family to celebrate Syrupin' Season! Discount tickets available online until noon Friday, March 20th. Advance tickets: Adult $8; Children 4-12 $4; children 3 and under are free.

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* ClosedClosed

Buildings and offices are closed. All trails are open from sunrise to sunset for your enjoyment.

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History

A rear view of the Indian Creek Nature Center barn and frog pond in lush summer greeneryThe Indian Creek Nature Center sits on land previously occupied by two farms that were established in 1849.  The land changed hands several times before Milo Wolfe purchased what is known today as the Bena Farm. The farm remained in the Wolfe family until 1899, when William Christle purchased it.  For twenty years the Christle family owned the property, then sold it to Wencil and Carrie Bena on March 1, 1920.  Cary was William Christle’s  daughter.   The farm remained in the Bena family until it was sold to the Indian Creek Nature Center in 1994.

Penningroth Dairy Farm

In the mid 1920s Charles Penningroth, a Cedar Rapids attorney, purchased other land bordering Indian Creek. For the next 25 years, under Penningroth ownership, the land was in various forms of agriculture. Construction of the Penningroth Dairy Barn was completed in 1932 in the midst of the Depression.  The remodeled barn is currently used as the hub of many Nature Center activities.

Lily pads in the frog pond at the Indian Creek Nature CenterIn 1968 the City of Cedar Rapids used Federal Housing and Urban Development funds to purchased about 1000 acres of floodplain along the Cedar River.  This land, known as the Greenbelt, stretches from southeast Cedar Rapids to Indian Creek; then extends north through the lower Indian Creek valley.  The Penningroth farm was part of this purchase.

Creation of the
Indian Creek Nature Center

In 1970 B.B. Stamats visited a nature center in the Twin Cities and became an advocate for an environmental education center in the Cedar Rapids area.  B.B. and Jean O’Donnell shared this vision and recruited a steering committee of about forty community members.  The Indian Creek Nature Center was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1973 but a physical site had yet to be found. Studies found the best was the Penningroth farm, now owned by the City of Cedar Rapids.  A lease for the barn and 120 acres of land was arranged and the Indian Creek Nature Center became the first nature center in Iowa. The first public program was held on Groundhog Day in 1974. An exceptional and unexpected opportunity came in 1994 when the Bena family offered to sell their farm to the Nature Center.  The resulting transaction increased Nature Center land  210 acres.

BB Stamats’ and Jean O’Donnell’s dream of a nature center for their community materialized into green prairies, teeming wetlands, and protected woodlands that are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.