Calendar

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* Firefly Labyrinth WalkFirefly Labyrinth Walk

Time: 8:00 pm

Firefly Labyrinth Walk Friday, June 5, 8 PM Catch a glimpse of flickering fireflies while walking the Prairie Labyrinth as the grasses and forbs reach up to the late spring sky. Bring a poem or story about fireflies from your childhood to share. Meet at the Barn. Bring insect repellent and wear sturdy shoes. Led by Marion Patterson, Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator. Program length: 75 minutes. M $4; NM $5.

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* National Trails DayNational Trails Day

Time: 9:00 am

National Trails Day Saturday, June 6, 9 AM We want to celebrate our trails with you! Muddy trails, bike trails, rails to trails, and hiking trails, of course. We will spend time sharing about our favorite trails around the world, get dirty with some invasive species removal, walk our bluebird routes and search for art along the trails. Tools will be provided, but don’t forget your favorite gloves and hat. Meet at the barn. Program length: 2 hours. Free.

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* Garden Party - Land StewardsGarden Party - Land Stewards

Time: 5:30 pm

Garden Party: Calling All Land Stewards! Wednesday, June 10, 5:30-7 AM Join the Garden Party crew each month to volunteer on the Nature Center grounds and discuss upcoming projects. This month, to celebrate National Trails Week, we will hit the trails and learn the lay of the land as we enjoy an evening woodland stroll with our favorite hand nippers. Bring a good pair of hiking shoes and a friend. 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

* Trail Trekkers - Shapes/SoundsTrail Trekkers - Shapes/Sounds

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Shapes and SoundsEdit Thursday, June 11 9:30-10:30 AM Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult Listen and you will hear the happy tweeting of birds, the rustle of grass, and the babbling of the creek. Look closely and you will see that everything is made of different shapes. Shapes are the building blocks of the whole world! Come explore the shapes and sounds in nature! A program for a child, parent (s) or companion adult. Fee: $8 Members (M) child, $10 Nonmember (NM)child per session Series Registration: All six programs for $40 (M), $50 (NM) only available by phone, not online Each session limited to 14 children. Rain policy: The program will be adapted for the indoors if it should rain.

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* Film Night: The Legend of PaleFilm Night: The Legend of Pale

Time: 6:30 pm

Film Night: The Legend of Pale Male Friday, June 12, 6:30-8 PM Unexpected gifts drop into our lives. Pale Male, a young red-tailed hawk, moved into Central Park and became an amazing gift to people living in the heart of New York City. Explore this raptor’s incredible story as he mesmerizes and inspires the people who watch and learn from him. This hawk, the people, and Frederic Lilian’s beautiful photography will capture your heart. The DVD and books will be available to purchase. Free-will offering.

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* Wild Foods WalkWild Foods Walk

Time: 9:00 am

Wild Foods Walk Saturday, June 13, 9 AM Discover common wild plants that deserve a spot on your dinner table! Delicious teas, crunchy salads and vitamin-packed vegetables are yours to forage once you learn to recognize and prepare wild foods. Program length: 2 hours. M $5; NM $8.

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* Backyard Chickens WorkshopBackyard Chickens Workshop

Time: 6:30 pm

Backyard Chickens Workshop Monday, June 15, 6:30 PM Learn 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. Register by 4 PM on Saturday, June 13. Program length: 90 minutes. M $10; NM $12.

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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, June 19, 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. Preregistration is required - call 362-0662 to register. Space is limited. Free-will donation.

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* OrienteeringOrienteering

Time: 1:00 pm

Saturday, June 20, 1 PM 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. Advance registration is encouraged: please call 319-362-0664 or visit indiancreeknaturecenter.org. Program length: 2 hours. Individuals: M $5; NM $8. Family: M $10; NM $15.Family pricing is available by phone only.

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* Trail Trekkers Going BuggyTrail Trekkers Going Buggy

Time: 9:30 am

Trail Trekkers – Going BuggyEdit Camp is Full. Registration is closed. Monday, June 22, 9:30 - 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5, with parent or other adult What is a bug? What is an insect? Learn new words to describe your creepy crawly friends! Spend time looking for new friends in the tall prairie grass, and see who you can catch. Fee: $8$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.

* Eager Beaver ExplorersEager Beaver Explorers

Time: 12:00 pm

Eager Beaver Explorers – Session I (Ages 6 & 7)Edit June 22 thru 25 Noon – 3 PM The perfect half day camp for young campers! Eager beavers are excited about hiking, catching bugs, going on a bird hunt and exploring the pond. Wild adventures are behind every bush as you explore and learn about Iowa’s wild world. Limited to 12 campers. $70 Member; $80 Nonmember

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* Trail Trekkers Going BuggyTrail Trekkers Going Buggy

Time: 9:30 am

Tuesday, June 23, 9:30 – 10:30 am Ages 3,4,5 with parent or other adult What is a bug? What is an insect? Learn new words to describe your creepy crawly friends! Spend time looking for new friends in the tall prairie grass, and see who you can catch. $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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* Bluebird StrollBluebird Stroll

Time: 6:30 pm

Friday, June 26, 6:30 PM Hike the Nature Center’s bluebird trail with a Nature Center naturalist. We’ll check some bluebird boxes to observe nesting progress and watch for these beautiful insect eaters hunting over the grasses. Program length: 90 minutes. M $4; NM $6

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* Mushrooms, Mosses, Liverworts Mushrooms, Mosses, Liverworts

Time: 1:00 pm

Saturday, June 27, 1 PM Hike to some of the Nature Center’s more unusual habitats to look for plant life that you might not find in your backyard. Learn about their unusual reproduction, unique needs and quirky lifestyles. This is an off-trail experience. Hiking shoes and long pants recommended. Program length: 2 hours. M $4; NM $6.

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* Creek Stompers 1Creek Stompers 1

Time: 9:00 am

One Day Experiences – Creek Stompers (ages 6-9) – Session 1Edit June 29, Aug. 4, 9 am - 3 pm 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 Members; $50 Nonmembers

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* Create Naturally Create Naturally

Time: 9:00 am

Create Naturally (ages 8-11) Session 1Edit Tuesday, June 30 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

       

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Wildlife

Photo of a mounted owl in the auditorium of the Indian Creek Nature CenterMost wild animals tend to avoid one of their largest predators—humans. If you are quiet and patient, some animals may let you see them. Signs of wildlife are abundant on the property.

The Nature Center receives many inquiries about abandoned or injured wildlife people find in their yards or on hikes.  We are not licensed, equipped or staffed to handle injured or abandoned wildlife. We recommend you contact the Wapsie River Wildlife Rehabilitation Project if you have orphaned, injured, or displaced wildlife. They are volunteers licensed through the Department of Natural Resources who care for area wildlife in need. Their services are free although donations are always appreciated. The Wildlife Hotline number is: 319-480-6828. This phone number will place you in contact with over twenty rehabilitators with consideration of location, expertise of species, and circumstances. Click HERE to visit their Facebook page.

Other resources include the McBride Raptor Project at Kirkwood Community College for birds of prey (319-398-5495). You can also contact DNR Game Wardens Aric Sloterdyk (319-350-2863) or Ron Lane (319-350-2871) for assistance.

Orphaned Wildlife is Rarely Truly Orphaned

Usually mother is hidden nearby watching. Adult mammals have strong odors that are easily detected by predators. Young mammals are naturally protected by not having strong odors that attract predators. Wild mothers will not stay in a nest unless they are actually nursing their offspring. If you discover a nest of young wildlife, leave it alone. They do not need to be “rescued”.

Baby rabbits spend many hours alone in their fur-lined nest with the mother rabbit secretly visiting only to nurse them. She is rarely seen. Rabbit nests that are discovered should be left alone and pets should be kept away from the site. If tiny rabbits handled by humans, the mother rabbit will still return and care for them. Her instinct to care for her young is greater than her fear of human scent. Leave them in the nest or at the nest site if the nest have been destroyed. The mother will move them to a new nest. Be patient. She may wait for darkness to hide her activities.

Deer hide fawns in tall grasses or woodland plants. Fawns may appear to be abandoned but do not be fooled. The doe is nearby watching and she will return. Never remove a fawn from where it is found.

Photo of bluebird hatchlings on the prairie at the Indian Creek Nature CenterBaby birds are frequently found on the ground, especially as they leave the nest for the first time, an act called fledging. It is natural for fledglings to spend some days on the ground while learning to fly and be independent. The parents feed and care for the young during this critical period. It is important to keep cats and dogs away from the site. A young bird found on the ground can be placed in a nearby bush or tree for safety. If you place it back in the nest, it will only leave again. Birds that are fledglings will be covered with feathers.

Storms often knock baby birds from nests before the birds are ready to fledge. These birds will not be fully feathered. Place the bird back in the nest if you can. Birds have very little sense of smell and parent bird will not detect that a human has handled their young. Parents will return to care for the young. Do not take the bird into your house. If the parents return and cannot find their young, they will assume a predator destroyed them and not return to that nesting site. It is best to let nature take it’s course. Injured creatures are a link in the natural food chain.

All wild baby birds, mammals and reptiles are difficult to care for. Wild animals and birds never make good pets. They often carry diseases you can contract. A license from the state Department of Natural Resources is required to care for injured animals or birds. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained and licensed to care for injured or truly orphaned wildlife. Contact the Iowa DNR, 1-515-281-IDNR for more information. It is illegal to have a wild bird, mammal or reptile as a pet unless you have a state license to do so.