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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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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.