Non-resident deer tag auction set for August 10-13, 2015

July 22nd, 2015 by

White-tailed_deerIf you live outside of Iowa, this is your chance to hunt Iowa Whitetail deer!

Indian Creek Nature Center and the Iowa DNR are again teaming up to offer a 2015-2016 Iowa Non-Resident Deer Tag to the highest bidder. The winner, who must live outside of Iowa, receives a tag that allows them to harvest one any-sex deer and one antlerless deer. The auction will take place on E-Bay from Monday, August 10 through Friday, August 14, 2015. The listing will be under sporting goods/hunting/hunting trips & leases on (<–This link will take you directly to the hunting trips and leases category.)

This auction is a fundraiser with proceeds divided between Indian Creek Nature Center and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to help fund conservation and sustainability projects. This a fantastic opportunity because the Iowa DNR limits the number of non-resident hunting permits offered annually, and those permits are awarded by lottery drawing. Competition is stiff. Iowa is home to several record-setting racks and the state presents abundant opportunity for hunters to score a “big one.”

More details:
This non-resident deer tag is valid statewide; however, landowner permission is required before hunting on private land. Hunting is not allowed on Indian Creek Nature Center property. The tag may be used either in the 2015 Season or 2016 Season. To participate in the auction, you must live outside of Iowa and bid through Indian Creek Nature Center prefers that the winner pay with check, to avoid Paypal fees. The Nature Center will contact the winner for payment at the conclusion of the auction.



“Get Dirty and Let’s Move”

July 9th, 2015 by

Indian Creek Nature Center’s new mantra, “Get Dirty!”, and a list of accompanying programs designed to fit in with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, have garnered national attention. Read the blog post on the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) blog here.


Calling All Nature Photographers!

June 13th, 2014 by

Dragonfly Kevin Railsback

Photo by Kevin Railsback


We know you are out on the trails at all hours photographing the beauty and wonder of nature. Now we want you to share your photos for a special exhibit! Submit an 8 X 10” print of a favorite photo taken at the Nature Center by July 15. The staff will then create a special exhibit of all photos that will be on display from August 1-31. Join us for a reception to meet the photographers and enjoy a cool beverage from 7 – 8 PM on Friday evening, August 1.

Please mail your 8×10 prints to:

Indian Creek Nature Center
c/o Photo exhibit
6665 Otis Rd SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

Please include the following with your submission:

  • Full Name
  • Title of print, if desired
  • Address
  • Email

Please note: only your name will be displayed with the photo. All mailed prints become property of ICNC. If you would also like your photo featured on our Facebook page, please email an electronic copy of your photo to Lindsey Flannery.

We look forward to seeing your photos!


Volunteers deconstruct 1920s era barn in Marion for use in Amazing Space project

May 14th, 2014 by



May 5, 2014  This week, over 100 volunteers are assisting Indian Creek Nature Center in deconstructing a 1920s era barn, located at 4002 Winslow Road in Marion. The barn’s salvaged boards, sliding door hardware and more will be repurposed in the Nature Center’s new building, slated for construction in 2015 as part of the Amazing Space project.

The barn sits on land slated for commercial development as part of the Tower Terrace Road expansion project. Current landowners Dan Engle and Tim Mooney of Mooney-Engle Land Company LLC did not want to see the barn end up in the landfill, so they went to social media looking for anyone interested in tearing down and repurposing the barn. There, Engle connected with Indian Creek Nature Center Executive Director John Myers, who saw the barn’s potential.

“We made a conscientious choice to salvage the barn boards, save them from the landfill, and offset the number of trees being cut down for our new building. We will use them in public spaces to showcase the natural beauty of the wood and bring elements of the barn indoors,” Myers said. The Nature Center’s new campus will be Iowa’s largest sustainable, net-zero energy project, and the only Nature Center worldwide to pursue the Living Building Challenge certification.

Engle and Mooney are donating other structures on the farm to be repurposed as well, including the chicken coop and grain bin. “We’re pretty community-oriented, and we always try to do the right thing,” said Dan Engle. “Just because the barn has to come down, doesn’t mean it has to die.”

Project volunteers represent several organizations throughout the Corridor, including GE Capital, Transamerica, Alliant Energy, Marion High School, Eagle Scouts, and US Green Building Council.

Some Really Mammoth News

October 14th, 2013 by

Naturalist David Brenzel has been even busier than usual at the mammoth dig site!  They’ve formed an interesting and important theory about our mammoths and he shares it with us. I’ve included a couple of his photos here; all eight are available on our Facebook page.

Indian Hills Community College Science Club digging at the mammoth excavation site.

Stratton Bond (left) and Brandy Millikin (right), Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa) Science Club, September 21.

I’m just back from the Oskaloosa mammoth site–my 5th trip in a month. With school back in session, teacher demand is high to visit the site with students and experience digging first hand. The Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa) Science Club came September 21.  Grinnell College brought their introductory geology class October 5. It was the Cornell College Archaeology Club October 12 with various teachers and naturalists sprinkled throughout. In-between, there’s been a parade of geologists trekking to the site to study the bones and test a new theory about how the mammoths ended up here. 

Dr. Deborah Waggett, Castleton State College, Vermont (right); on sabbatical for a year to study with Dr. Art Bettis UI Department of Geoscience (left).    Setting up a GPS base station at the mammoth site, October 2.

Dr. Deborah Waggett, Castleton State College, Vermont (right); on sabbatical for a year to study with Dr. Art Bettis UI Department of Geoscience (left). Setting up a GPS base station at the mammoth site, October 2.

It has been said get three UI geology professors in a room and ask their opinions and you’ll get four, so it’s remarkable Dr’s. Art Bettis, Frank Weirich and Holmes Semken, Jr. have come to consensus about the origin of the bones. The fossil bed has always been noteworthy for its depth of 2+ feet. The bones weren’t buried flat on the ground, some are standing almost straight up! We’ve long assumed they eroded from their primary deposit and were transported to the site in a flood, where they were dumped into a deep pool. But looking at the layers of sediment we exposed in the course of digging over the summer, the professors developed a new theory: that we have discovered a deep ancient spring that drew these elderly woolly mammoths to it to die. Like some professors coincidentally, their teeth were worn, they couldn’t chew very well and were hungry all the time, but at least they weren’t thirsty. So we’re no longer searching for a primary deposit–we’re in it! The new game plan: trace the shoreline of the pool around this ice age spring to find the missing bones. The landowner has multiple springs emerging from the same geological stratum for about 300 feet along his creek. They are all worth checking for fossils.

Dr. Chris Widga, Illinois State Museum (left) with Dr. Holmes Semken, Jr. (right) examining gnaw-marks on a mammoth tibia (shin bone).

Dr. Chris Widga, Illinois State Museum (left) with Dr. Holmes Semken, Jr. (right) examining gnaw-marks on a mammoth tibia (shin bone).

Last week we hosted a visit by Dr. Chris Widga, assistant curator of geology, Illinois State Museum, and expert on ice age megafauna. He confirmed we’ve discovered three individuals–all woolly mammoths, likely two old bulls and an aging female. That makes the site unique in the Midwest.  It’s not unusual to find multiple mammoth remains in a gravel pit, but those bones have been transported a long distance and are far removed from their sites of origin. We know our mammoths lived right here and are buried with the evidence of a wider ice age community. There’s a treasure chest of ecological information here about mammoth times (e.g. seeds, wood, pollen) and years of digging and research fun ahead determining how these incredible beasts lived.