Calendar

Summer 2014 Calendar of Events

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* Summer Wildflower PhotosSummer Wildflower Photos

A summer Prairie walk will find you among some of the most beautiful wildflowers! Enjoy this pictorial wildflower exhibit in our second floor auditorium. Photos will be available throughout the month of July during open hours M-F 9-4 & Sat. 11-4.

* Trail Trekkers - Wild ThingsTrail Trekkers - Wild Things

Time: 9:30 am

Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult. Meets from 9:30 - 10:30 am. What's Wild? Explore a few of the wonderfully wild places at the Nature Center, and get to know some of the wild animals that share our world! Be sure to wear your hiking shoes! We'll be going for a long walk. Limited to 14 children. COST: $6 Member Child; $8 Non-member child. Online registration will be available after March 15th.

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* One Day Adv Fishin' & Fryin'One Day Adv Fishin' & Fryin'

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 9 and up. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Thursday, July 3. Bring your fishing gear for a day of exploring, fishing and tasting your catch. discover where fish hand out, what makes good bait, how to clean your catch and how to fry them up for a great feast. No fishing gear? Let us know and we'll help out. Meet at the Nature Center and fish at Prairie Park Fishery. Limited to 10 participants. COST: $35 Members; $45 Non-Members. Online registration will be available after march 15th.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, July 7 - Friday, July 11. Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, July 7 - Friday, July 11. Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, July 7 - Friday, July 11. Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center.

* 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

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, July 7 - Friday, July 11. Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Create Naturally Create Naturally

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-12. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Friday, July 11. Enjoy a day of capturing nature using cameras, sketching, watercolors and clay. Build a simple loom to create a wall hanging. Enjoy creating while being outdoors. Create an exhibit of your work to share with parents at the end of the day. Limited to 10 participants. $35 member; $45 Non-Member. THIS CAMP IS FULL, no more registrations will be accepted.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, July 7 - Friday, July 11. Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Ribbit's Favorite Food & BugsRibbit's Favorite Food & Bugs

Time: 9:30 am

What’s your favorite food? Think a frog would be interested in that? Frogs like bugs! Insects of all kinds are Ribbit’s favorite. Come out and enjoy a fun outdoor adventure that will start at the edge of the frog pond and end in the prairie. We will look at all the different insects that we can catch and find along the way! 9:30 - 10:30 am COST: M Child: $5; NM child: $6. Parents: Free

* Thunder Moon WalkThunder Moon Walk

Time: 8:30 pm

Dramatic July storms inspired the Native American name for this month’s full moon. This year the Thunder Moon is also a “ super full moon.” Join us for a casual walk to the prairie for a view of the moon rise and to enjoy the wonderful night sounds and sights on an Iowa prairie.8:30 - 10 or 10:30pm. COST: M/$5 NM/$8 Children/$2

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* Level 2 OrienteeringLevel 2 Orienteering

Time: 1:00 pm

Rescheduled from July 5th - Learn compass basics and map skills before you venture out onto the landscape with your compass, score card and new skills to find a series of control points. Come dressed for the weather. Sturdy shoes recommended. Program is co-sponsored by Sons of Norway. Those finishing the course will earn a special orienteering patch. Registration recommended for event. Call 362-0664 or go to www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org COST: M family/$10 NM family/$15 Individuals/ M$5 NM/$8

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* Trail Trekkers - Worm WorldTrail Trekkers - Worm World

Time: 9:30 am

Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult. Meets from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Have you ever been curious about the life of a worm? Learn more about where they live, what they eat, and how they're made! We'll spend some time up close and personal with some worms, and then go worm hunting. COST: $6 Member child; $8 Non-Member child. Limited to 14 children. Online registration will be available after March 15, 2014.

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* Photo Submission DeadlinePhoto Submission Deadline

Amateur Photographers are invited to submit by July 15 their favorite 8x10" nature photo taken at Indian Creek Nature Center. Photos will be displayed in August. Reception for exhibit will be August 1, 7-8 pm. Questions, call 319-362-0664.

* Trail Trekkers - Worm WorldTrail Trekkers - Worm World

Time: 9:30 am

Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult. Meets from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Have you ever been curious about the life of a worm? Learn more about where they live, what they eat, and how they're made! We'll spend some time up close and personal with some worms, and then go worm hunting. Limited to 14 children. COST: $6 Member Child; $8 Non-Member child. Online registration will be available after March 15, 2014.

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* Living in Sync With NatureLiving in Sync With Nature

Time: 6:30 pm

Join a group of like-minded individuals on the 3rd Thursday of each month to socialize and discuss various earth friendly everyday life topics. For this first gathering we will discuss possible topics for future discussions, share ideas and resources. Come to listen, come to share what you are doing or share resources that you know of. Call 319-362-0664 to register by 4 PM, Tuesday, June 17. Free Will Donation.

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* Campfire Sing Along!Campfire Sing Along!

Time: 7:00 pm

Enjoy a family evening in nature around a cozy fire enjoying a sing-along, tasty treats and an introduction to some nighttime wildlife that lives at the Nature Center. Guitarist, Sheila Stevens, will share traditional campfire songs and the nature center staff will provide some wildlife fun. 7:00 - 8:00 pm. COST: M/$4 NM/$5 Children/$3 Under Age 4/Free

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* Trail Trekkers - Rainbow MagicTrail Trekkers - Rainbow Magic

Time: 9:30 am

Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult. Meets from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Color surrounds us! Spend some time talking about colors in nature and what it all means. Why are some birds red and others are blue? Are all fish orange like a goldfish? What about camouflage? We'll go on a rainbow hike, and look for colorful plants and animals. Limited to 14 children. COST: $6 Member child; $8 Non-Member child. Programs are for a child and parent or other adult. Register online after March 15, 2014.

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* Trail Trekkers - Rainbow MagicTrail Trekkers - Rainbow Magic

Time: 9:30 am

Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult. Meets from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Color surrounds us! Spend some time talking about colors in nature and what it all means. Why are some birds red and others are blue? Are all fish orange like a goldfish? What about camouflage? We'll go on a rainbow hike, and look for colorful plants and animals. Limited to 14 children. COST: $6 Member child; $8 Non-Member child. Programs are for a child and parent or other adult. Register online after March 15, 2014.

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* Meet the MintsMeet the Mints

Time: 6:30 pm

Many mint family plant species live at Indian Creek Nature Center. Some are showy, some less conspicuous. Some smell wonderful, and others smell... "strong". Learn to identify members of this aromatic and tasty family and then stroll the prairie with Botanist Christine Kirpes in search of as many family members as you can find. Enjoy some refreshing mint ice tea and discuss other ways mints can be used for flavoring food or enhancing various products we use every day.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center. THIS CAMP IS FULL, no more registrations will be accepted.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, August 28 - Friday, August 1 Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center. THIS CAMP IS FULL, no more registrations will be accepted.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, August 28 - Friday, August 1 Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center. THIS CAMP IS FULL, no more registrations will be accepted.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, August 28 - Friday, August 1 Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

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* Wild Cats CampWild Cats Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Just like your favorite TV nature explorers, you will spend the day finding and learning about wild creatures, large and small in their natural habitats. Hands-on adventures will take you to Bena Brook, the ponds, the pines and hidden corners of the nature center. THIS CAMP IS FULL, no more registrations will be accepted.

* Survivor CampSurvivor Camp

Time: 9:00 am

Ages 8-11. Meets from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday, August 28 - Friday, August 1 Into the wild for five days of survival skills and fun! Create fire without matches, pick a campsite and build a shelter. Learn to harvest drinking water and find wild foods. Carve your own hiking stick, explore trails using map and compass skills, learn how to use GPS to navigate. Create your own camouflage and practice skills you need to have safe adventures away from home. Limited to 16 participants. COST: $155 Members; $185 Non-member. Online registration will be available after March 15.

   
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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 40 percent of our energy needs, powering lights, appliances, and computers.   Find more information on photovoltaics from Pfoff Electric, GoSolar!, Iowa Energy Center and I-Renew.