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* Coming Home--Discovery JourneyComing Home--Discovery Journey

Time: 7:00 pm

"Coming Home: A Journey of Discovery." A film by Kevin J. Raislback International award-winning nature and wildlife filmmaker Kevin J. Railsback has taught HD cinematography in Hawaii, tested high definition cameras in Africa and wrestled a camera beg from a wolf in Montana. Discover why the tallgrass prairie and woodland wildflowers of Indian Creek Nature Center are his preferred film subjects these days. See Indian Creek Nature Center through the eyes of this talented filmmaker and come away with the greater appreciation for what we have here in our own backyard. COST: Members: $5; Non-Members: $8

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* Webelo-Forester BadgeWebelo-Forester Badge

Time: 9:30 am

If you love to explore trees in your own backyard and would like to learn more about what a forester does, then you should check out this workshop. Learn how to identify trees and other plants of the forest and much more. (Requirements: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 9.) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. Cost is $8.00 per boy, per workshop. Scout leaders and assistant leaders should make every effort to register their Scouts as a group. Completed registration forms, payment and roster of scouts attending must be received by the Nature Center no later than one week prior to the scheduled workshop. Register by phone at 319-362-0664 or click to register online. THIS BADGE WORKSHOP IS FULL AND NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

* Webelo-Naturalist BadgeWebelo-Naturalist Badge

Time: 12:30 pm

Do you know what a naturalist is? Discover the naturalist in yourself as you bird watch, learn about migration flyways, identify poisonous plants and animals, and discover amazing facts about Iowa’s wild animals and their habitats. (Requirements: 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 & 11.) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. Cost is $8.00 per boy, per workshop. Scout leaders and assistant leaders should make every effort to register their Scouts as a group. Completed registration forms, payment and roster of scouts attending must be received by the Nature Center no later than one week prior to the scheduled workshop. THIS BADGE WORKSHOP IF FULL AND NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

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* Coffee and ChatCoffee and Chat

Time: 9:00 am

Each month on the second Thursday gather in the sun room at Indian Creek Nature Center to enjoy coffee and casual conversations about the latest happenings at Indian Creek Nature Center. This is a social time to relax and enjoy, meet Nature Center staff and become better acquainted with our facilities, programs, trails and learn what's happening each month in nature. This is a Free, casual gathering.

* Become a Teacher NaturalistBecome a Teacher Naturalist

Time: 12:00 pm

There are many fun ways to volunteer at the Nature Center! As a teacher-naturalists, you get to lead groups of children fro nature adventures. Join us at noon for a soup and dessert lunch and to meet other Teacher-Naturalists. The training will begin at 12:30 pm indoors but will move to the wetland, so come prepared for the weather. Bring a friend and begin an exciting adventure as a nature center volunteer. Call Jan Aiels at 362-0664 for more information or to register. FREE, but please let Jan know you are coming.

* Backyard Chicken BasicsBackyard Chicken Basics

Time: 6:30 pm

Get the basic information you need to raise hens in urban and suburban areas. This workshop will give you a certificate that will enable you to get your permit. COST: members: $7; Non-members: $10

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* Moon MadnessMoon Madness

Time: 7:00 pm

Spend the evening with naturalist astronomer Jenny Rupp as she prepares you for the pending Lunar Eclipse in the wee hours of the morning on April 15th. Learn how lunar eclipses occur and what to expect when you crawl out of your warm bed to see this magnificent site. Discover moon lore, how the moon affects the earth, and the love/hate relationship astronomers have with it. viewing equipment will be available, but feel free to bring your own. Dress for the weather, and please let us know if you plan to attend. If it is cloudy, and we are unable to observe the moon, we'll finish with a night hike. Event will run from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. COST: Member Adult: $5; Non-Member Adult: $6; child age 10 and under: $3.

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* Ribbit's Spring SearchRibbit's Spring Search

Time: 9:30 am

Buds, flowers, green things and spring birds! What do you think of when you think SPRING?? Hike the trails looking for things that sing spring! Learn who is waking up, and what they need to do next. Plant seeds for early spring blooms to enjoy at home. For children age 3-6 years; 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. COST: Member child: $5; non-Member child: $6. Parents are free.

* Getting the Kids Outdoors!Getting the Kids Outdoors!

Time: 1:00 pm

Our Bringing Nature Home Series continues.. Getting the Kids Outdoors! Enough indoors! It's time to get outside and play in nature. Join us for an afternoon of fun activities to explore and enjoy nature in your backyard, local park, favorite campsite or empty lot! We'll go groking, use a magic potion, hike on a string and become human cameras! We will most likely get dirty! COST: members: $4.00; non-members: $5.00. Member family: $10; Non-member family$15.

* Frogs SongsFrogs Songs

Time: 7:00 pm

Enjoy a walk from the barn to the wetland to visit ponds along the trails and enjoy a serenade of several frog species as the males sing their spring love songs. Boots are recommended. COST: Members: $4.00; Non-members: $6; Families: Member: $8.00; Non-Member: $12

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* Beginning OrienteeringBeginning Orienteering

Time: 1:00 pm

Indian Creek Nature Center and the Sons of Norway are partnering to present a progressive series of orienteering experiences. This first adventure will introduce the history of this sport and teach the basics of Level I Orienteering using a map and landscape features to find a series of Control points. Begin learning the sport using a simple string course and then take your trail map and score card out on the trails for a fun family afternoon. This basic course will be followed by a series of progressively more challenging orienteering programs that will increase your skills to using a compass and topographical map to efficiently find your way through the woods. COST: Member family: $8.00; Non-Member family: $12.00; Member: $5; Non-Member: $8.00

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* Race and BiologyRace and Biology

Time: 7:00 pm

Dr. Hannah Marsh addresses the biology of our racial differences, erasing taboos and judgement by encouraging people to see each other as diverse keys that unlock the mysteries of our species' past. by looking at variation in body shape, nose size, and skin color, we see that human differences do not tell us about an individual's worth, but about the mutual past that we have all shared. Let's talk about our differences to see that we are all really the same. Free will donation. This event is held at Flaherty Hall, Mt. Mercy University.

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* Backyard Chicken Basic WorkshoBackyard Chicken Basic Worksho

Time: 6:30 pm

Get the basic information you need to raise hens in urban 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. Please register at least one day before this workshop. COST: member: $7; Non-Member: $10

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* Women's Walking WorkshopWomen's Walking Workshop

Time: 8:00 am

Nature, Health & Walking... 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Be inspired, explore new ideas, experience nature and be motivated. Learn the joy of journaling your walk, discover how Ayurveda can enhance your life, enjoy a walking travelogue and learn how to plan your own, experience a Blue Zones walking moai and learn how to attain your goals. Enjoy a massage by Carlson college of Massage Therapy. Experience two invigorating walks on trails or in the labyrinth. Registration is a MUST! Register by April 9th for discounted pricing. COST: Register before April 9th: Member: $50; Non-member: $55.

* Eco-Arts Festival at New Bo Eco-Arts Festival at New Bo

Time: 10:00 am

Join the nature center and many other area environmental organizations at the New Bo City Market for a fun day of games, music, activities, arts and more to celebrate Earth Day. Open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visit EcofestCR on Facebook or www.ecofestcr.org for more information.

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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.