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* Using a Weave-it LoomUsing a Weave-it Loom

Time: 1:30 pm

Using a Weave-It Loom Saturday, February 7, 1:30 PM Learn the basics of using a hand-held Weave-It Loom to make your own bookmark. This craft dates back to colonial times, with a patent granted for the loom in 1934. This activity is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Learn something new and relax with friends! Supplies provided. Register by 4 PM on Thursday, February 5. M $8; NM $10

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* Home School-Water!Home School-Water!

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World”. Water: We Can’t Live Without It. Wednesday, February 11, 1 PM. Water is everywhere, even is some surprising places. But is there enough? Learn about the water cycle & where water is hidden. Learn about water issues both here in the U.S. and around the world as you experience hands-on and sometimes wet activities. 1 ½ hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

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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

* Backyard Chicken BasicsBackyard Chicken Basics

Time: 7:00 pm

Backyard Chicken Basics Thursday, February 12, 7 PM Get 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. Registration required by 4 PM on Wednesday, February 11. M: $7, NM: $10.

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* Closed for President's DayClosed for President's Day

Buildings and offices closed but all trails are open dawn to dusk

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* Cub Corner Preschool AdventureCub Corner Preschool Adventure

Time: 10:00 am

Cub Corner Adventures: Tails and Tales Wednesday, February 18, 10 AM Preschoolers, bring your parent(s) to Cub Corner to explore animals that have nifty tales and tails. Learn why animals need tails and how squirrels, opossums, birds and many other animals use theirs. Make a tail of your own and hear how Opossum got his tail. Please preregister. M $5; NM $8. no fee for parents

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* Astronomy Night - Feb 20, 2015Astronomy Night - Feb 20, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

Astronomy Night Friday, February 20, 7 PM Winter evenings provide clear skies that are great for finding bright planets. Join us to catch a glimpse of a mystery planet that cannot usually be seen with the naked eye. Spend time searching the heavens for objects like Galileo, and take a tour of the constellations with an astronomer. Binoculars and a telescope will be available, but feel free to bring your own. If it’s cloudy we’ll go on a night hike. Please register in advance. M $5; NM $7; children 3-12 $3

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* Cub Corner Preschool AdventureCub Corner Preschool Adventure

Time: 10:00 am

Cub Corner Adventures: Tails and Tales Saturday, February 21, 10 AM Preschoolers, bring your parent(s) to Cub Corner to explore animals that have nifty tales and tails. Learn why animals need tails and how squirrels, opossums, birds and many other animals use theirs. Make a tail of your own and hear how Opossum got his tail. Please pre register. M $5; NM $8. parents are free

* STEM Science thru NatureSTEM Science thru Nature

Time: 1:00 pm

Explore STEM Science through Nature Saturday, February 21, 1-3 PM Families are invited to visit the Nature Center for an afternoon of STEM Science activities. Employ your designing, measuring and calculating skills as you create a critter that can survive under specific conditions; do some maple math; find solutions to community development challenges and explore water conservation issues. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please register. $5/family.

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* Volunteer Training-Maple SyrupVolunteer Training-Maple Syrup

Time: 9:30 am

Volunteer Training: Maple Syruping Season Saturday, February 28, 9:30 AM Become an ICNC volunteer and help with our maple syruping operations this March! Assist with daily syrup-making operations or teach children and adults about history, tapping maple trees, and collecting sap. Call 319-362-0664 to sign up. Free.

* Maple Syrup from your BackyardMaple Syrup from your Backyard

Time: 1:00 pm

Maple Syrup from Your Backyard Maple Tree Saturday, February 28, 1 PM Learn how to harvest maple sap and make delicious syrup as a fun, family activity using tools from your own toolbox and kitchen. Each family receives a spile for tapping their tree and handouts on how to collect and boil sap for syrup. Making maple syrup is a great heritage and STEM science activity for kids! M Family $12; NM Family $16 (includes spile).

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Land Conservation

Conserving the Nature Center’s Land

Original Nature Center Land

140 acres leased in 1973. Trails invite visitors to explore prairies and savannas, wetlands and pine groves. This land that was once intensely farmed now provides habitat for wild turkey, great horned owls, bluebirds, and fox. Many of the Nature Center’s programs take place here.

Allsop Woods

24 acres donated in 2001. Currently closed to the public, this landscape serves as a wildlife refuge. These woods are dominated by mature oaks, hickories, and sugar maples growing in steep ravines. Species include pileated woodpeckers, indigo buntings, and yellowbellied sapsuckers. The Nature Center features guided hikes through the hilly terrain; watch the calendar for upcoming dates.

Vecny Woods

A couple enjoy a walk on a hillside in Vecny Woods at Indian Creek Nature Center28 acres leased in 2008. Open to the public, this landscape has a diversity of spring wildflowers and groves of mature oaks, maples, and walnuts. Steep ravines make this topographically interesting. No trails are currently on the land. This property is permanently protected through the state’s Resource Enhancement And Protection program.

Bena Homestead

3 acres purchased in 2005. Currently closed to the public. This land provides storage for Nature Center equipment, a storm shelter for guided programs,  and expands an oak-hickory savanna.

Bena Farm

Stepping Stone path across Bena Brook at the Indian Creek Nature Center67 acres purchased in 1994. Eroding soybean fields were replanted to prairie, old farm buildings were removed, and thousands of saplings were planted. This landscape features Bena Brook and a small sand prairie. It is permanently protected  through a conservation easement held by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Many of the Nature Center’s programs take place here.

Grandon Woods

27 acres donated in 2010. Currently closed to the public, this landscape serves as a wildlife refuge. Mature walnuts and oaks stand on a gentle slope leading to Indian Creek. A new prairie reconstruction will soon blossom where buildings once stood, and provide a haven for wild animals close to town. The Nature Center features guided hikes through the woods; watch the calendar for upcoming dates.

Conserving Your Land

The Nature Center is interested in expanding protected open space in the area, and there are a number of possibilities for land owners interested in the long-term care of their land. All land conservation programs and entities have specific guidelines and criteria that reflect their mission and purpose. We have general information about some of the available tools, and are happy to talk with you about your land. A few of the possibilities include:

  • Enrolling the land in a government program, such as the Conservation Reserve Program or the Timber Reserve Program.
  • Placing the land in a conservation easement, through the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Johnson County Heritage Trust, or other legally recognized land trust.
  • Donating or selling the land to a nonprofit, such as The Nature Conservancy or the Indian Creek Nature Center.
  • Donating or selling the land to a government agency, such as the Department of Natural Resources or your county.