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* Spring Plant SaleSpring Plant Sale

Time: 9:00 am

Nature Center Guild Annual Spring Plant Sale. You will find wonderful plants of all types, yard art, willow trellis & towers for your yard and garden. Local vendors also offer a wide variety of yard art, foods and garden plants for sale. Open 9 am - noon

* Backyard Chickens Workshop Backyard Chickens Workshop

Time: 2:00 pm

This Class has been rescheduled for Friday, May 8 at 6:30 pm.

* Full Flower MoonFull Flower Moon

Time: 7:30 pm

Enjoy a casual walk beginning before sunset to enjoy spring ephemeral wildflowers along the trails. Early May is when woodland ephemeral wildflowers are in full bloom. We’ll enjoy a spring sunset and the rising full moon will light our path as we return. Meet at the barn. Walk will be approximately one mile on grass paths and natural trails in both prairie and woods. Individual: M $4; NM $6. Family: M $10; NM $15.

* Home School-Life in the WaterHome School-Life in the Water

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World” Life in the Water: Exploring the Pond. Wednesday, May 6, 1 PM. This water experience focuses on all the life that lives in and around the pond and creek. The water habitats are home to many creatures, both unique and bizarre, that survive and thrive in their wet world. Use scientific tools to measure the water quality of our pond and nets to collect and examine the life in the pond. Be prepared for mud. 2 hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

* Backyard Chickens Workshop Backyard Chickens Workshop

Time: 6:30 pm

Backyard Chickens Workshop Friday, May 8, 6:30-8:30 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 PM on Thursday, April 30. M $10; NM $12.

* IOWATER WorkshopIOWATER Workshop

Time: 8:30 am

IOWATER, Iowa’s statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program, will host an introductory workshop in the auditorium. Participants will learn how to monitor and assess the quality of their local streams, rivers, and lakes through classroom instruction and hands-on training. Registration fees are $20 per person or $30 for a team and cover all program fees, meals, and testing equipment. Pre-registration required by May 2. For more information or to register, please visit and click on “Calendar of Events.”

* Cub Corner: Tree TalkCub Corner: Tree Talk

Time: 10:00 am

We invite preschoolers and parents to join us for an exciting adventure each month in Cub Corner. Did you know that trees tell stories? Come hear great stories from apartment trees and the animals that live in them. Learn the parts of a tree, explore the years and celebrate a tree’s birthday by learning to read tree rings! Search for leaf shapes, feel bark textures, smell a tree, and do a craft. Children: M $5; NM $8. Parents: Free.

* Garden Party: Calling All NatuGarden Party: Calling All Natu

Time: 5:30 pm

May showers bring more flowers. Join the Garden Party Crew each month for discussion on upcoming land restoration projects, opportunities to volunteer and, of course, a little dirty work, too. Bring a snack to share if you desire, and join us in keeping our campus beautiful. All ages are welcome. Free.

* 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

* Cub Corner: Tree TalkCub Corner: Tree Talk

Time: 10:00 am

We invite preschoolers and parents to join us for an exciting adventure each month in Cub Corner. Did you know that trees tell stories? Come hear great stories from apartment trees and the animals that live in them. Learn the parts of a tree, explore the years and celebrate a tree’s birthday by learning to read tree rings! Search for leaf shapes, feel bark textures, smell a tree, and do a craft. Children: M $5; NM $8. Parents: Free.

* Eco-SwapEco-Swap

Time: 1:00 pm

Eco-Swap Sunday, May 17, 1-3 PM At Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center 120 E Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA Eco-Swaps are a way for people to come together and “swap” items they no longer want or need for items that they do want or need. Everything is FREE, so no money is exchanged. Bring an item(s) to swap and be sure it is in good condition and working order. Each individual is responsible for taking un-swapped items home with them. Don't have items to swap? No worries, you are still welcome to come. The philosophy behind an eco-swap is one of love, abundance and sharing. Partners include Indian Creek Nature Center, Catherine McAuley Center, The Tapestry, and Lovely Lane Methodist Church. For more information call Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or visit Free.

* CLOSED - Memorial DayCLOSED - Memorial Day

Buildings and Offices Closed. All trails are open for your enjoyment sunrise to sunset.

* Monarchs & Milkweed Seed BombsMonarchs & Milkweed Seed Bombs

Time: 10:00 am

Andria Cossolotto and Patty Ankrum, members of Monarchs of Eastern Iowa, raised monarch caterpillars throughout last summer and released the adult butterflies to the wild. Last winter they traveled to Mexico to visit the monarch winter resting site. Come hear about their experiences and learn more about this amazing insect. Discuss how you can help monarch butterflies survive. Make milkweed seed balls from mud and seed (a.k.a.“seed bombs”); then hike out to the prairie and toss the bombs about, to increase the milkweed diversity of the prairie. We may even spot some monarch butterflies returning to Iowa by then! Participants will be welcome to take seed bombs home to introduce milkweed into the home habitat. Adults: M $5; NM $8. Children age 3 and up: $3.


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John Myers, Executive Director

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John has been enjoying the outdoors and camping since early childhood in both the east coast mountains and Midwest plains.  An Eagle Scout, and former volunteer and employee with the Boy Scouts of America, John further developed a love of education and outdoor environments.  He has a strong non-profit background in program development, strategic planning, and donor development at several local organizations.  Currently, John serves as president of the Daybreak Rotary club and a member of the board of Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

John and his wife have two children. They enjoy camping, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

Jan Aiels, Education Director/Senior Naturalist

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Jan Aiels is an Iowa native who grew up in rural Dubuque county. She has been a zoology instructor at Mt. Mercy College, a Girl Scout professional and joined the Nature Center staff in 1993. Jan enjoys backpacking, gardening, quilting, hiking (she recently “survived” a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon – and back to the top), canoeing and helping others enjoy and appreciate nature.

Jean Wiedenheft, Land Stewardship Director

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Jean Wiedenheft started as a volunteer at the Nature Center, helping with scout workshops and spreading wood chips on the trails. She’s been a full-time employee since 2001, sharing her enthusiasm for nature with volunteers and visitors. She enjoys horseback riding, beekeeping and walking in the woods.

Lindsey Flannery, Marketing & Business Development Coordinator

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Lindsey is a life-long nature lover who grew up on a farm in the beautiful rolling hills of Northeast Iowa, near Decorah. Her duties include marketing and promotion, securing sponsorships, and developing relationships with the Nature Center’s many wonderful supporters. Lindsey has a BA in Public Relations and English from Coe College, as well as experience in non-profit fundraising at several other Cedar Rapids organizations. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, mushroom hunting, photography, journaling, yoga, and spending time with her husband and baby boy.

Jennifer Rupp, Program Specialist/Naturalist

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Jennifer grew up loving nature on an acreage near Ames, Iowa. She attended the University of Northern Iowa for an undergraduate degree in Earth Science (Astronomy) and a Meteorology minor, and again for a master’s in Environmental Science. She moved to Cedar Rapids in 2010 and joined the Indian Creek Nature Center staff in 2012.  Jennifer enjoys all outdoor activities, astronomy, reading, and helping others learn about the natural world.

Dana Wood, Office Manager

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Dana Wood grew up in Center Point, Iowa. After college, she spent several years at Weddings, Etc. working as a seamstress.  A career change made her Administrative Assistant at Global Crossing where she stayed until becoming Office Manager at Indian Creek Nature Center in 2002.  Dana enjoys volunteering and coaching at her children’s school, sewing, swimming and camping.

Nancy Lackner, Development Assistant

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A native of southern New Jersey, Nancy moved with her family to Cedar Rapids in 1970. She has two bachelor’s degrees, received 14 years apart, in vastly different fields: business administration with an English minor; and biology and general science. Nancy joined the Nature Center staff in 2000 and her responsibilities include all aspects of fund raising, editing the quarterly newsletter and overseeing memberships. Nancy enjoys exploring nature on foot with her husband and their enthusiastic dog.

Julie Walters, Creekside Shop & Volunteer Coordinator

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Growing up in Nebraska surrounded by the beauty of the Great Plains and amazing wide open skies, Julie gained an early appreciation for the land and it’s natural cycles and beauty.  She brings strong organizational skills to the Nature Center team along with a degree in Art.  Julie’s professional experience–regional and national—includes sales, merchandising, marketing, market research & analysis plus exhibit & display coordination and design.  Her interests include travel, photography, walking, hiking and experiencing the outdoors.  Julie’s favorite travel destination – the north shore of Lake Superior.  An appreciation for nature and the spirituality of nature are very important to her.  Life’s adventure is best experienced close to nature’s energies.

Andrea Blaha, Trail Specialist/Naturalist

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Andrea’s passions for preserving the land, educating people and working outdoors attracted her to the Nature Center. She desires to create spaces and experiences that will inspire others to be good stewards of the land. Andrea currently serves by developing and leading various public programs, coordinating Eagle Scout projects, and working with local businesses and volunteers to keep the land healthy, safe and beautiful. Her degree from ISU in Landscape Architecture brings a unique perspective to future campus planning and design efforts at the Nature Center.

Andrea grew up in Cedar Rapids, traveling every summer with her family to explore new places. She is an avid outdoorswoman and you may find her on local trails, skiing, biking, playing volleyball, or landscaping. She also serves as a volunteer for many local non-profits, aides as a nursing assistant and is an advocate for Tree Keepers, storm water management and living a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Suzanne Hunter, Registrar

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Suzanne grew up in East Moline, IL where she worked for John Deere Healthcare Insurance. She transferred to Cedar Rapids, working as a customer service representative. Following her retirement from John Deere, she worked for Mercy Care Community Physicians before joining the staff at the Nature Center in early 2012. Suzanne spends her free time in her garden and playing golf with husband Steve. She stays entertained at home with her two cats Maggie and McGee.