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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Green Practices

Here at the Indian Creek Nature, we are constantly working to implement as many green practices as possible so that we tread gently on the earth. Use this guide to take your own, self-directed “Green Tour” of the Indian Creek Nature Center.

Energy Efficiency

Tankless Electric Water Heater

Heats water just before it is used, minimizing the need to constantly keep water hot. Look in kitchen (lower level) under the sink on the back wall of the cupboard.

Programmable Thermostats

These allow users to set the time they want the furnace to start and the time they want the thermostat at a cooler temperature. The furnace turns on before staff arrive, allowing staff and visitors a pleasant experience, but are set to 55 when the building is empty. There is one in the hallway by the restrooms.

Flat-Panel LCD Computer Screen Monitors

These use a fraction of the energy as standard monitors, and take up a much smaller portion of the desktop. Peek in any office.

Soy-based Wall Insulation

This product has an environmentally-friendly base, and provides a high insulating value. It also reduces mouse problems and cold air leaks, as it penetrates and fills small gaps. Look in the lower level exhibit area on the brick wall.

Air Conditioner

Where? Where? Air conditioners draw a tremendous amount of energy. For most of the summer, an open window and fan can keep the building habitable. When it does become extremely hot and muggy, as Iowa does, the Nature Center occasionally closes the doors instead of paying to keep the building climate controlled.

Lights on Motion Sensors

Reduces lights being left on when a room isn’t occupied. Found throughout the building.

Sun Tunnel

Allows natural day light into the room, often eliminating the need for lights. Second level, Resource Room

Compact Fluorescent Lighting

Significantly reduces the amount of energy used to light a space. Found throughout the building.

Photovoltaic Electrical Array

Look upstairs in the Sun room; see below for description.

Efficient Windows

Double panes, gas between the panes, glazing, and tight trim reduce energy loss.  Look upstairs in the Sun room.

Window Quilts

Keeps cold air out.  Found throughout the building. Look upstairs in the Sun room.

Water Efficiency

Wetland Waste Water Treatment System

Built in 1994, this self-contained system is both chemical and energy free. Wastewater from the sinks and toilets pass through a septic tank, and then through two cells in which plant roots help clean the water. Located directly behind the barn, the cattails in the first basin and wildflowers in the second provide beautiful animal habitat. Wastewater remains underground. A kiosk on-site explains the process in more depth.

GrassPave Permeable Paving

Permeable paving, unlike standard asphalt or concrete, holds rainwater underground and on-site, instead of sheeting off the surface and contaminating Indian Creek. Planted in 2009, the grass reduces the heat-island affect while providing structure for vehicles and pedestrians.  Our GrassPave permeable paving is located outside the east side of the barn and between prairiegate bridge and the suspension bridge south of the building.

Grasspave2 fulfills the same function as asphalt by providing a load-bearing, sturdy structure for people to walk on or drive on. It provides the aesthetics of grass, does not heat up the way asphalt does, and, like other permeable paving systems, holds rainwater in a gravel bed underneath the surface. The water retention allows the rainwater to percolate slowly into the surrounding surface over time, allowing contaminants to settle out and reduces fast-moving surface water that scours out rivers and creeks and contributes to flooding. The Nature Center selected Grasspave2 from the Coleman Moore Company in part because it is fairly simple to install. It was installed in partnership with Metro High School students.

Permeable Concrete

Permeable concrete fulfills the same function as standard concrete by providing a load-bearing, sturdy structure for people to walk or drive on. The large size of the limestone chips in the concrete allow water to percolate downward, into a gravel bed underneath the concrete, where the water is held. Installed at the Nature Center in 2010 by Eggleston Concrete, our permeable concrete welcomes visitors on the front walk to the building. King’s Masonry and Landscape can also provide permeable pavers that provide load-bearing capability while significantly reducing runoff associated with traditional hard surfaces.

Rain Garden

Rain Gardens collect and temporarily hold water from your roof or driveway that would otherwise runoff across your lawn and be channeled into fast-moving torrents of water. In our case, it collects rainwater from the east side of the barn. Native plants in the garden help take up the water while providing attractive wildlife habitat. The Nature Center’s rain garden, constructed in 2009, is located to the southeast of the headquarters barn, near the cedar tree.  Native plants, including butterfly weed, cardinal flower, columbine, foxglove beardtongue, Jacob’s ladder, Ohio spiderwort, prairie sage, purple prairie clover, royal catchfly, aster, thimbleweed, white prairie clover, New Jersey tea,  and whorled milkweed help absorb the water and add beauty and wildlife habitat to the campus. The water slowly infiltrates from the garden into the soil, rather than creating fast moving, contaminated runoff that would directly run into storm drains or, in our case, Indian Creek.

The Nature Center created its own garden in partnership with the Iowa Conservation Corps and Metro High School. Plants were purchased from Ion Exchange. For more information about how to design and install a rain garden on your own, contact the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service. There is cost share money available from the Linn County Soil and Water Conservation District. Locally, there are a number of rain garden designers and installers. Examples include Sue Kramer (364-5724), Ruth Fox (363-6018), and Smith Massman Landscape & Design (363-5230).

Rain Barrels

“Moby,” as we call the 65 gallon rainwater collection device on-site, usually travels between the auditorium and the exhibit area, and frequently makes off-site visits to other organizations and businesses as an educational tool. Holding roof water to be used alter for gardening is a good water-saving technique. Moby can be purchased through the website, and the Nature Center occasionally holds “make your own” rainb arrel programs.

Photovoltaics

A leader in energy efficiency, the Indian Creek Nature Center began using photovoltaics in 1993. The first system stored solar produced electricity in batteries. This type of system allows a homeowner or business to draw on the electricity even when the sun is not shining, but some possible energy is lost in the transfer into and back out of the batteries. The system was generating about 10 percent of what the Center was using.

A new system was designed in 2003. The current photovoltaic array, located on the sun room roof, is not a battery system. Instead, it is net metered into Alliant Energy’s electrical grid. When the Nature Center produces more energy than it uses, the surplus electricity enters the electric grid and is used by other Alliant customers. Selling surplus electricity to Alliant further reduces our energy bill. The system currently generates about 25 percent of our energy needs, powering lights, appliances, and computers.