Calendar

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* CLOSED - July 4th HolidayCLOSED - July 4th Holiday

Buildings and Offices are closed for the July 4th Holiday. All trails are open sunrise to sunset for your enjoyment.

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* CLOSED - July 4th HolidayCLOSED - July 4th Holiday

Buildings and Offices are closed for the July 4th Holiday. All trails are open sunrise to sunset for your enjoyment.

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* Eager Beaver Explorers Eager Beaver Explorers

Time: 9:00 am

The perfect half day camp for young campers! Eager beavers are esc ited about hiking, catching bugs, going on bird hunts, and exploring the pond. wild adventures are behind every bush as you explore and learn about Iowa's wild world.

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* Eager Beaver Explorers Eager Beaver Explorers

Time: 9:00 am

The perfect half day camp for young campers! Eager beavers are esc ited about hiking, catching bugs, going on bird hunts, and exploring the pond. wild adventures are behind every bush as you explore and learn about Iowa's wild world.

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* Eager Beaver Explorers Eager Beaver Explorers

Time: 9:00 am

The perfect half day camp for young campers! Eager beavers are esc ited about hiking, catching bugs, going on bird hunts, and exploring the pond. wild adventures are behind every bush as you explore and learn about Iowa's wild world.

* Trail Trekkers - Earth RocksTrail Trekkers - Earth Rocks

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Earth RocksEdit This camp is Full. Registration is closed. We will maintain a waiting list in case of any cancelled registrations. To add your name to this list, call: 362-0664. Wednesday, July 8, 9:30 – 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult The earth below our feet is filled with rocks and mysteries! Come learn a bit about dinosaurs and fossils, rocks, and what rocks are made of. Go on a rock hunt, and adopt a pet rock of your own! $8 Member Child; $10 Non-member Child per session Series Registration Discount (not available with online registration, call for this discount) Attend all six programs for $40 Member; $50 Non-Member. Each Session is limited to 14 children Rain Policy: The program will be adapted for the indoors if it should rain.

* Graden Party: Land StewardsGraden Party: Land Stewards

Time: 5:30 pm

Garden Party: Calling All Land Stewards! Wednesday, July 8, 5:30-7 PM July may bring the heat, but don’t let it beat you down. At this monthly volunteer event we will discuss and highlight opportunities for upcoming land management projects and spend time working outdoors. As always, meet at the barn for a snack and pack your own water bottle. Free.

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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

* Eager Beaver Explorers Eager Beaver Explorers

Time: 9:00 am

The perfect half day camp for young campers! Eager beavers are esc ited about hiking, catching bugs, going on bird hunts, and exploring the pond. wild adventures are behind every bush as you explore and learn about Iowa's wild world.

* Trail Trekkers - Earth RocksTrail Trekkers - Earth Rocks

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Earth RocksEdit Camp is FULL, no more registrations accepted. Thursday, July 9, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult The earth below our feet is filled with rocks and mysteries! Come learn a bit about dinosaurs and fossils, rocks, and what rocks are made of. Go on a rock hunt, and adopt a pet rock of your own! $8 Member Child; $10 Non-member Child per session Series Registration Discount (not available with online registration, call for this discount) Attend all six programs for $40 Member; $50 Non-Member. Each Session is limited to 14 children Rain Policy: The program will be adapted for the indoors if it should rain.

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* Monarch Butterfly PartyMonarch Butterfly Party

Time: 6:30 pm

Friday, July 10, 6:30 PM Tour our butterfly hoop house, see our monarch caterpillar raising project, and learn what you can do at home to create a safe haven for butterflies. Kid activities, family fun. Program length: 90 Min. Adults: M $4; NM $5. Children ages 4-12: $2.

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* Stream WalkingStream Walking

Time: 1:00 pm

Saturday, July 11, 1 PM Join us to explore Indian Creek looking out from inside of the stream. Net some creek life, explore the sandbars, and just cool off as you play in the stream shallows. Wear old shoes or boots to protect your feet. Naturalists will help you find and identify amazing stream critters! Program length: 90 minutes. Adults: M $4; NM $6. Children ages 5-12: $2.

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* WildingWilding

Time: 9:00 am

Wilding (Ages 10-11)Edit July 13-16 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Experience the skills that allow you to comfortably live in the wild. Fire building and safety are essential. Primitive shelter building and learn to identify and prepare various wild foods and teas. Use a compass and map to find your way, and learn basic trail first aid. As you explore the wilder areas of the nature center you will also learn about the wildlife that lives here. Limited to 16 campers. $130 Members; $150 Nonmembers

* Wild Cat CampWild Cat Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Wild Cats Camp (Ages 8-9) Session 2: July 13-16, 9 a.m. – 3 pm Hands-on adventures will take you to every habitat at the nature center. Explore Bena Brook, discover the pine groves, use dip nets at the ponds to catch aquatic critters. Learn about amazing birds, mighty mammals and curious critters that live in Iowa habitats. Play camouflage games to discover how animals survive; discover animal trails, tracks and signs; and learn about the predators who hunt and the prey that escapes. Limited to 12 campers. $130 Members; $150 Nonmembers

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* Serious Shelters in the WildSerious Shelters in the Wild

Time: 9:00 am

Serious Shelters in the Wild (ages 10 and older),Edit Friday, July 17 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Work with experienced adults to build a shelter in the woods totally from the materials nature offers. Think creatively as you engineer a unique structure and learn about knots, tools, and effective construction techniques. $35 Members; $50 Nonmembers

* Flash Dance in the Prairie!Flash Dance in the Prairie!

Time: 8:30 pm

Friday, July 17, 8:30 PM At dusk, fireflies magically appear, dancing above the grasses. Enjoy an evening of firefly flash codes, discover how to recognize different species by light color and learn how you can keep fireflies’ flash in our yards and neighborhoods. Like many insects, fireflies are disappearing but a few simple changes in our backyards will ensure their presence in our summer evenings. Program length: 90 Min. Individuals: M $3; NM $4. Family: M $7; NM $10.

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* Bats, Birds & ButterfliesBats, Birds & Butterflies

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Bats, Birds and Butterflies This camp is FULL. Nor more registrations available. We will maintain a waiting list in the case of any cancelled registrations. To add your name to the waiting list, call 362-0664. Tuesday, July 21, 9:30 - 10:30 am What do all three of these things have in common? Wings! Find out how these creatures are alike, and how they are very different at the same time. $8 Member Child; $10 Non-member Child per session Series Registration Discount (not available with online registration, call for this discount) Attend all six programs for $40 Member; $50 Non-Member. Each Session is limited to 14 children Rain Policy: The program will be adapted for the indoors if it should rain

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* Bats, Birds & ButterfliesBats, Birds & Butterflies

Time: 9:30 am

Wednesday, July 22, 9:30 - 10:30 am This camp is FULL, no more registrations accepted. We will maintain a waiting list for any possible cancelled registrations. To add your name to this list, call 362-0664. What do all three of these things have in common? Wings! Find out how these creatures are alike, and how they are very different at the same time. Trail Trekkers - Bats, Birds and Butterflies Each Session is limited to 14 children Rain Policy: The program will be adapted for the indoors if it should rain.

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* Trees and Quiet A Nature NightTrees and Quiet A Nature Night

Time: 6:30 pm

Trees and Quiet A Nature Night for Caregivers and Children Ages 3-12 Friday, July 24, 6:30-8 PM Are you missing time spent in nature where you could hear sounds other than stomping feet and chatty little voices that scare wildlife away? Here’s your chance to have a little “Trees and Quiet” at Indian Creek Nature Center. While the staff provides nature activities for your children near the barn, you have quiet time to explore the trails, enjoy the birds or marvel at the wildflowers. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Free-will donation. To register, call 362-0664.

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* Blue Moon WalkBlue Moon Walk

Time: 8:00 pm

Blue Moon Walk Friday, July 31, 8 PM Now is “once in a blue moon.” Join us for a quiet evening walk to enjoy summer’s Blue Moon and learn a bit about moon lore and evening sounds. Meet at the barn. Program length: 90 Minutes. M $4; NM $6.

 

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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.