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* Spelunking at Maquoketa CavesSpelunking at Maquoketa Caves

Time: 8:00 am

Spelunking at Maquoketa CavesEdit Monday August 3rd, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 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. Ages 9 and older 8:00 am - 4:00 pm $55 Member child $65 Non Member child Limited to 12 participants

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* Creek Stompers 2Creek Stompers 2

Time: 9:00 am

Creek Stompers Session 2Edit Ages 6-9 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Camp is FULL. Registration is CLOSED. Thursday, August 14 We will spend time exploring Bena Brook to find sandbars, create dams, and find animal tracks. At Lynch Wetland we’ll use nets to discover and catch the small aquatic life the fish eat and use fishing poles to try to catch the larger fish. $35 Member $45 Non-member Limited to 12 participants

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* Create Naturally Create Naturally

Time: 9:00 am

Session 2 Wednesday, August 5th, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The beauty of nature inspires the artist in each of us. We’ll explore nature and capture it using a variety of artistic techniques. Begin by crafting your own personal hiking staff. Explore en plein air art in the wild. Try print making with items from nature, working with clay and some natural collage activities. $35 Members; $50 Nonmembers

* Trail Trekkers-Forest FriendsTrail Trekkers-Forest Friends

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Forest FriendsEdit 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, Aug. 5, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult The forest is filled with life. We see it on branches, under leaves, running through the woods, and in all the evidence the animals leave behind. Meet some of our favorite forest friends, learn how they live where they do, and explore their habitats! Prepare for a relatively long hike. $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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* Trail Trekkers-Forest FriendsTrail Trekkers-Forest Friends

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Forest FriendsEdit 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. Thursday, August 6, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult The forest is filled with life. We see it on branches, under leaves, running through the woods, and in all the evidence the animals leave behind. Meet some of our favorite forest friends, learn how they live where they do, and explore their habitats! Prepare for a relatively long hike. $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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* Orienteering & GeocachingOrienteering & Geocaching

Time: 9:00 am

Orienteering with Compass and Geocaching for Fun (ages 10 and older)Edit Friday, August 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Never abandon traditional skills for technology! Both have important value. Learn to navigate using a topographical map and compass to find your way through the woods. Orienteering is a competitive sport that you will enjoy. Then use GPS technology to discover the fun sport of geocaching. Learn how to program and use a hand-held GPS receiver to find hidden caches on the nature center property. $35 Members; $50 Nonmembers

* Legs: Crawling life in PrairieLegs: Crawling life in Prairie

Time: 6:30 pm

Legs: 2, 4, 6, 8 or more! Crawling Life in the Prairie Friday, August 7, 6:30 PM The prairie is maturing and the invertebrate life is humming, but the insectivores are on the hunt! Take a fun look at the plants, insects, birds and other wildlife that bring the prairie habitat to life. See what you can catch with a net! Program length: 90 minutes. Adults: M $4; NM $6. Children ages 5-12: $2.

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* Into the WoodsInto the Woods

Time: 9:00 am

Into the Woods (Ages 10-11)Edit August 10-13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Knives, knots, rope making, primitive tool making, fires with out matches and reading the wild are all part of this outdoor experience. Learn to use a bow and arrow and well as make and use an atlatl. Experience teamwork, learn skills and gain confidence in your ability to navigate and understand the wild. Limited to 16 campers. $130 Members; $150 Nonmembers

* Wild Cat CampWild Cat Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Wild Cats Camp – Session 3 (ages 8-9)Edit August 10-13 9 a.m. – 3 pm Wild Cats Camp (Ages 8-9) Camp is FULL, registration is closed. 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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* 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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* 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, August 14, 6:30-8 PM Are you missing time spent in nature when 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. Call to Register 362-0664.

* Mothing: Nighttime HuntMothing: Nighttime Hunt

Time: 8:00 pm

Friday, August 14, 8 PM Hot, muggy August nights are perfect for placing moth bait on trees in the woods and waiting for Catocala or Underwing moths to appear. Jim Durbin and Nature Center staff will lead this fun and informative evening experience. Learn how to attract these colorful moths and bring your flashlight to spot them at our bait sites. Program length: 90 minutes. Adults: M $4; NM $6. Children ages 5-12: $2. (Continued from page 3) ??

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* Home School Students: PrairieHome School Students: Prairie

Time: 11:44 am

Home School Students: Prairie is our History Monday, November 9, 10 AM People, ancient and modern, have molded the beautiful prairie habitat to support our culture. Explore the story of the plants, people and wildlife of the prairie as you participate in a prairie survey to discover diversity, adaptations to prairie life, and food webs and life cycles. Please register by Sunday, November 8. Program length: 2 hours. $5 per student.

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* Trail Trekkers-Pond PalsTrail Trekkers-Pond Pals

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Pond PalsEdit 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. Monday, Aug. 17, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult Meet me at the pond for a muddy fun time! Learn about the frogs and turtles that call this big puddle home. We’ll do a bit of dip net fishing, and see what kind of little bugs, tadpoles and fish we can find! Be sure to wear your old shoes and clothes. Mud is the word for day! $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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* Trail Trekkers-Pond PalsTrail Trekkers-Pond Pals

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Pond PalsEdit Pond Pals Tuesday, August 18, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult Meet me at the pond for a muddy fun time! Learn about the frogs and turtles that call this big puddle home. We’ll do a bit of dip net fishing, and see what kind of little bugs, tadpoles and fish we can find! Be sure to wear your old shoes and clothes. Mud is the word for day! $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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* Garden Party: Land StewardsGarden Party: Land Stewards

Time: 5:30 pm

Garden Party: Calling All Land Stewards! Wednesday, August 19, 5:30-7 PM Join the Garden Party crew each month to volunteer on the Nature Center grounds and discuss upcoming land management projects. This month, it’s harvest time! Come harvest some crop from our pizza garden, collect sumac blossoms along the trail and learn how to make your own natural “Gatorade.” Bring your gloves, hat, water bottle and a grocery bag as we work out in the prairie and find some of our own treats along the way. We will also look forward to the honey harvest season. Free

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* Supermoon ExperienceSupermoon Experience

Time: 7:30 pm

Supermoon Experience Saturday, August 29, 7:30 PM Enjoy the first of three fall Supermoons! These moons have a special designation because they are super close to the earth, or perigee. Spend the evening listening to stories of the moon, and admiring the moon through a telescope. Binoculars and telescopes will be available for sharing, but feel free to bring your own. If cloudy, the program will be canceled. Please call ahead if in question. Program length: 90 minutes. Adults: M $4; NM $6. Children ages 5-12: $2.

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Staff

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

Email Lindsey

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

Email Andrea

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

Email Suzanne

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.

Madeline Witcher, Visitor Services Associate

Email Madeline

Madeline is new to the Nature Center staff as of April 2015. You will find her at the front desk and Creekside Shop on weekends! Bio coming soon.

Summer Interns and Employees 2015

 

Megan Washburn, Environmental Education Facilitator

Megan is a physical science teacher at Prairie Point 9th Grade Academy in Cedar Rapids. With diverse teaching experiences both in the classroom and out, and in the U.S. and abroad, Megan’s passion for education makes her a great asset to the Nature Center team. She enjoys finding ways to “make science come alive” for her students and focuses on practice and collaboration. She will lead Creek Camps summer nature camps throughout the summer.

McKenna Kilburg, Environmental Education Intern

McKenna is currently a biochemistry major at Central College in Pella, Iowa. She finished her freshman year with a 4.0 GPA and enough credits to be considered a finishing sophomore. McKenna’s passion for her biology lab classes and her role as biology lab teaching assistant, as well as her prior familiarity with the Nature Center, led her to seek out this summer internship experience. In summers past she worked as a nanny, and brought the children to the Nature Center to let them explore and discover. In her role as intern, she will lead groups of children at Creek Camp. McKenna’s internship position is funded through a grant from Silos and Smokestacks.

Kelly Souza, Environmental Education Practicum

Kelly’s increasing sense of curiosity about the natural world prompted her to go back to school to earn her Associate of Applied Science degree in Parks and Natural Resources from Kirkwood Community College, with anticipated graduation in December 2015. Her summer experience leading children through field trips and Creek Camps, and assisting with land restoration will fulfill her practicum experience for this degree. Previously, Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Iowa. She has devoted time to leading Girl Scouts and supporting her children in 4-H, and has worked as a Head Start counselor and in insurance.  She enjoys planning adventures for her family, anything Yooper-themed, and aspires to train her dogs to pull her on a sled next winter.