Calendar

Summer 2014 Calendar of Events

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* Labor Day - All trails openLabor Day - All trails open

Labor Holiday - all trails are open for your enjoyment. Offices and buildings are closed.

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* Level 3 OrienteeringLevel 3 Orienteering

Time: 1:00 pm

Level 3 Orienteering: Compass and Topographic Maps Saturday,September 6, 1 PM. Bring your own compass or borrow one of ours for an off-trail orienteering experience using a topographic map and compass skills to find controls. Begin with an instructional session on reading topo maps and basic compass skills. Participants will then explore the woods and prairie to find several controls using their compass and map skills. Be prepared to be off trail! This experience is for both the beginner and the experienced! To register go to indiancreeknaturecenter.org Individuals: M $5; NM $8. Family: M $10; NM $15.

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* Tallgrass Prairies!Tallgrass Prairies!

September 11 through November 11: Tallgrass Prairies: Past, Present and Future. Enjoy this professional exhibit created by the Iowa Association of Naturalists. On display in the barn. Hours: Monday-Friday 9-4; Sat. 11-4.

* 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

* Backyard Chicken Basics Backyard Chicken Basics

Time: 7:00 pm

Backyard Chicken Basics Thursday, September 11, 7:00 PM Learn the basics required to safely and successfully raise hens in urban and suburban areas. Participants will receive a certificate of completion enabling them to get a permit to legally keep chickens in Cedar Rapids. Registration required by 4:00 PM Wednesday, Sept. 10. Cost: M: $7; NM: $10. This will be our only fall chicken class -sign up today!

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* Grant Wood’s Indian CreekGrant Wood’s Indian Creek

Time: 8:30 am

Grant Wood’s Impressions of Indian Creek Saturday, September 13 8:30-11 AM Grant Wood loved to paint the beauty of Indian Creek, which you can see in the collection of his Impressionistic paintings on display at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Grant Wood: American Impressionist. Follow in Wood’s footsteps as we hike along the water and set up an easel to capture Indian Creek’s beauty, painting en plein air, or “in plain air” just as he did. Create your own watercolor landscape with professional instruction. This class is great for all skill levels, so beginners are welcome! To register, contact the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art at (319) 366-7503 by Wed., Sept. 10. M $10; NM $15.

* Watershed ForumWatershed Forum

Time: 10:00 am

Watershed Forum Saturday, September 13 10-11:30 AM Todd Dorman, columnist and editorial board member of The Gazette, will keynote a water quality forum and panel. Panelists include Steve Cooper, storm water manager, City of Marion; Jennifer Fenci, Indian Creek Watershed Management Authority; Rich Patterson, retired director, Indian Creek Nature Center; Martin St. Clair, Coe College chemistry professor; and Curt Zingula, farmer, Linn County. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Linn County. Free.

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* Teacher Naturalist TrainingTeacher Naturalist Training

Time: 12:00 pm

Experience our Pond and Wetland Field Trip for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. We will begin in the auditorium but will move outdoors to the ponds for a hands-on experience. Be prepared for possible mud. This training is Free and Fun! Call 362-0664 for more information.

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* GSA - Senses BadgeGSA - Senses Badge

Time: 9:30 am

"Eyes, Fingers, Ears and Nose". Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. 9:30 - 11 am. Girl Scout Daisy - Your senses come alive in nature! Come participate in an exciting nature scavenger hunt, listen to nature sounds, sniff out some interesting smells, and feel the different textures found around the nature Center. We'll have a snack to explore our taste buds. This completes the Senses badge.

* GSA -Bug ClubGSA -Bug Club

Time: 12:30 pm

Saturday, September 20, 2014 12:30-2:30 PM. Girls Scouts - Brownie. Insects are everywhere and an important part of our world. Become an amateur entomologist and learn all about bugs. Observe bugs in nature, learn the usefulness of many insects, and visit our observation honey bee hive. Craft a home for pollinators for your backyard. Capture bugs in our prairie and learn about their role in nature. This completes most of the Bug badge. Cost: $11/Scout Attendance requirement: Minimum of 10 Scouts and maximum of 60. Registration and payment must be completed no later than Thursday the week prior to the scheduled workshop (at least 8 days before the workshop). Workshop registrations should be made through the Girl Scout office. To register by phone call 319-363-8335 or go to www.girlscoutstoday.org to register online.

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* Bee Amazing Trail Run/WalkBee Amazing Trail Run/Walk

Time: 11:00 am

Explore the trails on an official route around the Indian Creek Nature Center! Register in advance, and plan to stay for Honey Fest afterward! Adult Run/Walk participants get in to Honey Fest FREE!

* Honey FestHoney Fest

Time: 12:00 pm

12:00 - 4:00 pm Annual Honey Fest celebration. Family Fun - enjoy honey lemonade, kid's crafts, food, music, games, demonstrations, beeswax candle making and the famous Live Bee Beard! Learn about bees and how you can support a healthy bee populations!

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* Home School-Monarch ButterflyHome School-Monarch Butterfly

Time: 1:00 pm

The Monarch Butterfly Story Thursday, September 25, 1 PM. Learn about amazing Monarch butterflies and their unique life cycles and adaptations. You will participate in a monarch role-playing migration game, learn about all butterflies and moths and their various life cycle survival strategies, and use nets to capture migrating monarch and tag them for the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch migration study. 1 ½ hours. Indoors and outdoors. Indoor program if raining. COST: $5 per student age 5 and older.

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* Naturalist Badge - BSA WebeloNaturalist Badge - BSA Webelo

Time: 6:00 pm

Naturalist Badge Friday, September 26, 2014 6:00-8:00 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. Registration closes Sept. 16th. (Fulfills Requirements: 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 & 11.)

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* GSA - Animal AdventuresGSA - Animal Adventures

Time: 9:30 am

Saturday, September 27, 2014 9:30-11:30 AM - Girls Scouts - Junior Who lives in your wild backyard? Discover several animal habitats at the Nature Center. Explore animal homes and create your own bird feeder to help the birds. Investigate endangered habitats: the arctic, prairie, and rain forest. How can we help protect them? Discover who lives in your own backyard habitat. This completes most of the Animal Habitats badge. Cost: $11/Scout Attendance requirement: Minimum of 10 Scouts and maximum of 60. Registration and payment must be completed no later than Thursday the week prior to the scheduled workshop (at least 8 days before the workshop). Workshop registrations should be made through the Girl Scout office. To register by phone call 319-363-8335 or go to www.girlscoutstoday.org to register online.

* Celebrate Prairie DayCelebrate Prairie Day

Time: 1:00 pm

Celebrate Prairie Day Saturday, September 27 Join us for one or both Prairie Day programs for one low fee! M $3; NM $5; children $2. 1 PM Join our naturalist for a hands-on exploration of the Tallgrass Prairies: Past, Present and Future exhibit. The Iowa Association of Naturalists created this professional exhibit. Experience hands-on activities, games, and a “fun for all ages” prairie scavenger hunt. 2:30 PM “America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie” documentary This award-winning documentary, created by Daryl Smith, University of Northern Iowa Tallgrass Prairie Center, features “extraordinary cinematography of prairie remnants, original score and archival images, delicately interwoven to create a powerful and moving viewing experience.”

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* Fall Wild EdiblesFall Wild Edibles

Time: 1:00 pm

Fall Wild Edibles! Sunday, September 28, 1 PM Fall is a season of bountiful wild edibles including nuts, roots, mushrooms, and much more! Join botanist Christine Kirpes to learn about the fall feast that’s waiting for you. We’ll start by learning identification and preparation basics indoors, then move outdoors to forage for food in the “wild.” M $8; NM $12.

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FAQ

Animals

There’s a raccoon in my garage/house. Can I trap it and release it away from my house?

Trapping and moving raccoons does not work. A detailed study revealed that raccoons have a strong homing ability and will return quickly. So, removing a raccoon and driving it 20 miles out into the country will not solve your problem.

The only way to keep raccoons out of structures is to find out how they get in. Raccoons leave at dark so have your patching materials ready.  Check to make sure the animal has left for the evening (but make sure it is not a female with babies inside the structure).  Patch the hole so it cannot get back in when it returns. The only way a trap will work in this situation is if you trap the raccoon as it leaves the structure and hold it in the trap while you patch the hole.  Then release the raccoon right there.

How do I get rid of bats?

Bats are very beneficial creatures, consuming literally thousands of insects daily!  They actually cause few problems, even if roosting in an attic. But every once in a while, a bat will find its way into the living quarters of a home, most often after dark, scaring everyone half to death. Usually they are easy to evict.  Turn off all the lights in the room and open any exterior doors and windows. The bat will soon depart on its own. If the bat won’t leave, turn the lights back on.  Bats are light shy and will try to hide in the folds of a curtain or other dark location. Carefully cover it with a large jar or landing net or even a gloved hand.  Release the bat outdoors and search to locate and plug the bat’s entrance hole.

If your problem is bats roosting in your attic, your best weapon is a caulking gun. Every hole and creack leading into your attic should be filled with quality caulking. Vents should be covered by screening with a mesh no larger than 1/4 inch. Small holes are sometimes hard to find but often they are located under eaves or around attic windows. You can locate the holes during the day but they holes must be plugged at night after the bats have left for the evening hunt.

Rabbits are destroying my garden!  How do I get rid of them?

Probably the best defense against rabbits is a stout fence. Rabbits can leap long distances but they can’t jump very high. A two-foot chicken wire fence is plenty high enough to keep them away from flowers and vegetables. The bottom two inches should be buried in the dirt.  Fencing can be expensive, but it works well.  Trapping is generally a very temporary solution. A more long-term solution would be to encourage predators and discourage rabbit habitat. Remove shrubbery and debris where rabbits can find shelter and leave open lawn surrounding your garden. A large tree nearby may encourage predators to roost and hunt.

Trees

There is something wrong with a tree in my yard.  Can you come out and look at it?

Unfortunately, the Nature Center does not have the staff or the specific expertise to visit and diagnose the many issues confronting trees and plantlife.  We recommend contacting the ISU Extension Office for your county.  They may ask you to bring in leaves or bark from your tree to be examined and/or tested. You might also contact Trees Forever to see if they have a field coordinator in your area who might be able to help.