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* Total Lunar Eclipse at MoonsetTotal Lunar Eclipse at Moonset

Time: 4:00 am

Join astronomer and naturalist Jenny Rupp in the prairie along Otis Road near the Nature Center’s labyrinth to enjoy a predawn lunar eclipse. Come and go as you please. Bring a lawn chair, snack, and dress warm. We will provide coffee, telescope and binoculars. Program will be cancelled if it is rainy or cloudy. $5 per person.

* Easter Egg Hunt - OrienteeringEaster Egg Hunt - Orienteering

Time: 1:00 pm

Registration is FULL, no more registrations will be accepted. NO WALK-INS. The Easter rabbit left a map showing where all the eggs are hidden. You will have to retrieve one egg from each stash to prove you’ve found each hiding place. We’ll teach compass basics and elementary map reading so you can take your map and compass out on the trails to fill your bag. After finding each stash, bring your eggs back to enjoy an Easter treat. We will finish by 3 PM. Registration is required by Thursday, April 2 Individual: age 12 or older. M $6; NM $8. Family: age 5-12 must be accompanied by adult M $15; NM $20.

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* Cub Corner: Sounds of SpringCub Corner: Sounds of Spring

Time: 10:00 am

You know it’s spring when the frog pond wakes up with a chorus of joyful singing. Children will learn about the frog life cycle and special frog features, sing frog songs, do a frog craft and go on a frog-watching hike. Evening is the frog’s favorite time to sing. Children: M $5; NM $8. Parents: Free.

* Garden Party!Garden Party!

Time: 5:30 pm

The weather is warming and the world around us is once again showing its colors. Gather to celebrate this new life as it emerges all around us. Bring your favorite pair of gloves and a light snack to share as we start to do some spring cleaning around our campus. We will discuss and highlight volunteer opportunities for upcoming land management and spend some time working in our outdoor spaces. Free. Please let us know you will be joining us by calling the nature center 362-0664.

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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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* Backyard Chickens WorkshopBackyard Chickens Workshop

Time: 6:30 pm

Learn the basic information you need to raise hens in urban and suburban areas. Participants will receive a certificate of completion that enables them to get a permit to legally keep chickens in Cedar Rapids and other communities. Register by 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 8. M $10; NM $12.

* Cub Corner: Sounds of SpringCub Corner: Sounds of Spring

Time: 6:30 pm

You know it’s spring when the frog pond wakes up with a chorus of joyful singing. Children will learn about the frog life cycle and special frog features, sing frog songs, do a frog craft and go on a frog-watching hike. Evening is the frog’s favorite time to sing. Children: M $5; NM $8. Parents: Free.

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* Plants, Pollinators & Seeds. Plants, Pollinators & Seeds.

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World” Plants, Pollinators & Seeds. Wednesday, April 15., 1 pm. Nature is bursting with growth after the winter. This botany experience introduces you to plants and all their parts and systems beginning with the tiny seed. Learn about some unique spring wildflowers and their relationship with insects, mammals and us! Visit our indoor honey bees and go on a scavenger hunt to find native pollinators. Plants are essential to us all and to the earth. Both an indoor and outdoor experience. 1 ½ hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

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* Volunteer & Teacher NaturalistVolunteer & Teacher Naturalist

Time: 12:00 pm

Volunteer Information Session - Teacher Naturalist Training. There are many exciting ways to volunteer at the Nature Center! Join us at noon to learn about all the opportunities. At 12:30 PM there will be a training specifically for those interested in becoming a teacher-naturalist – volunteers who lead groups of children on nature adventures. You will have an opportunity to experience being a teacher-naturalist at the pond. We will begin indoors but soon move to the wetland so come prepared for the weather. Invite a friend and begin an exciting adventure as a Nature Center volunteer. Call 319-362-0664 for more information or to register. Free.

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* BSA Naturalist BadgeBSA Naturalist Badge

Time: 9:30 am

This session is closed, no more registrations will be accepted. Do you know what a naturalist is? Discover the naturalist in yourself as you bird watch, learn about migration flyways, identify poisonous plants and animals, and discover amazing facts about Iowa’s wild animals and their habitats.(Fulfills requirements 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 & 11)

* BSA Forester BadgeBSA Forester Badge

Time: 9:30 am

Saturday, April 18, 2015 9:30 - 11:30 AM Boy Scouts - Webelos. This session is closed, no more registrations will be accepted. If you love to explore trees in your own backyard and would like to learn more about what a forester does, you should check out this workshop. Learn how to identify trees and other plants of the forest and more.(Fulfills requirements 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 9) 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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* Chimney Swifts ReturnChimney Swifts Return

Time: 1:00 pm

The historic Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swift Tower, now located in Iowa City, has been restored. Linda & Robert Scarth were privileged to photograph the first family of chimney swifts to nest in the newly restored 99-year-old tower. Over several weeks the Scarths made images and detailed observations of the five nestlings as they grew. Join the Scarths’ adventure through their amazing photographs. Learn about the history of this amazing structure. This weekend is the traditional date chimney swifts return to Iowa after wintering in the upper Amazon Basin of South America. M $5; NM $8

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* Earth Day / Sense of WonderEarth Day / Sense of Wonder

Time: 6:30 pm

Earth Day Celebration and Sense of Wonder Trail Seasonal Reopening Wednesday, April 22 6:30-8 PM Celebrate Earth Day with your family in nature! Encourage your sense of wonder as you wander our certified Nature Explore classroom activity stations. Sing, play and dance along with Sheila Stevens on the music stage. Spend time at the frog pond with a net and a naturalist to find frogs and other water friends who live there. Try your “foot” at stump hopping, and discover what’s in the grass hut. Join us as we reconnect with Mother Earth and find peace in nature. Free!

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* Women in Nature Women in Nature

Time: 8:00 am

.Women in Nature (formerly Women’s Walking Workshop) registration is closed, watch for this amazing day next spring! A Day-long Wellness Retreat Saturday, April 25 8 AM-3:30 PM Enjoy a retreat into nature to reconnect with earth, self and others. In the morning, Sarah Young with zing coaching will lead Nature as our Teacher: Leadership Lessons from Mother Earth. Marsha Nieland, yoga teacher at Fusion Studio, will facilitate Brave Intuitive Creating, a fun, artistic adventure beginning with gentle yoga, a short guided meditation and art experience. Enjoy two engaging, guided walks that offer a choice of experiences including a labyrinth walk. Carlson College of Massage Therapy will provide massages and a variety of mini-sessions will be offered during the lunch break. You can register and find details at indiancreeknaturecenter.org. Call 319-362-0664 with questions. M $45; NM $55. Register by April 10 and save $5. After April 10th cost will be M $50; NM $60.

* Eagle Scout Project OrientatioEagle Scout Project Orientatio

Time: 9:00 am

Interested in learning more about Eagle Scout service project opportunities at ICNC? Join us to learn about available upcoming projects and begin the process. Meet in the Sugarhouse. Preregistration required. Call to register: 319-362-0664. Free.

* Eagle Scout OrientationEagle Scout Orientation

Time: 9:30 am

Saturday, April 25 9:30 am - 11:00am Scouts, parents, leaders!! Are you Interested in learning more about Eagle Scout service project opportunities at ICNC? Join us to learn about available upcoming projects and begin the process. Preregistration is required. Call 362-0664 to register. Free.

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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.