Calendar

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* Happy New Year!!Happy New Year!!

Nature Center offices and buildings are closed January 1st and 2nd for the New Year's Holiday. All trails are open for your enjoyment!

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* Happy New Year!!Happy New Year!!

Nature Center offices and buildings are closed January 1st and 2nd for the New Year's Holiday. All trails are open for your enjoyment!

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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

* Home School-Eagles/Owls/HawksHome School-Eagles/Owls/Hawks

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World” Eagles, Owls and Hawks: The Raptors. Thursday, January 8, 1 PM. Owl, hawks and eagles are common raptors with fascinating stories. Discover the special ways each hunts and survives in Iowa. Dissect an owl pellet to discover what it has been eating. Learn about the amazing flight abilities of our hawks and falcons. A short hike will take us to the Cedar River to view eagles. Bring your binoculars or borrow ours. 1 ½ hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

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* Eagles Have Super Powers!Eagles Have Super Powers!

Time: 10:00 am

Announcing: Cub Corner for Preschoolers Join us each month for an exciting adventure just for you and your parents in Cub Corner. Our first adventure will be with eagles, owls and hawk. Cub Corner Adventures begins with Eagles Have Super Powers! Saturday, January 10, 10 AM Discover eagles! Have fun learning about our national bird and where it hangs out in winter. Learn how eagle eyes work, and try stretching your eagle “wings.” Just how big is that nest? We’ll also learn about other raptors, such as owls and hawks. Adults must accompany children. M $5; NM $8. Parents: free.

* Backyard Chicken BasicsBackyard Chicken Basics

Time: 1:00 pm

Backyard Chicken Basics Saturday, January 10, 1 PM Get 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 Thursday, January 8. M $7 NM $10

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* Eagles Have Super Powers!Eagles Have Super Powers!

Time: 10:00 am

Announcing: Cub Corner for Preschoolers Join us each month for an exciting adventure just for you and your parents in Cub Corner. Our first adventure will be with eagles, owls and hawk. Eagles Have Super Powers! Tuesday, January 13, 10 AM Discover eagles! Have fun learning about our national bird and where it hangs out in winter. Learn how eagle eyes work, and try stretching your eagle “wings.” Just how big is that nest? We’ll also learn about other raptors, such as owls and hawks. Children must be accompanied by an adult. M $5; NM $8. Parents: free.

* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 1:00 pm

Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

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* Beginning Bee Keeping 2015Beginning Bee Keeping 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

This very popular CLASS IS FULL - no more registrations will be accepted. Please call 319-362-0664 to be added to the 2016 Interest List. This eight session series is designed for individuals serious about starting a beekeeping hobby. The series will take the participant through the annual cycle of beekeeping from establishing a hive to harvesting and marketing the honey produced. The class members will be actively involved in learning activities by working with the hives at the Indian Creek Nature Center. All classes are held at the Nature Center and last approximately two hours; attendance is critical. Starting two colonies of bees (recommended) costs approximately $600-$700. Beekeepers usually devote 2-5 hours weekly to working in their apiaries April-September, with several additional days in the early spring and fall. The city of Cedar Rapids currently has an ordinance against apiaries on residential property. Beekeeping is allowed in Linn County. Check with your local government to see if you can keep bees. Instructors: Bob Wolff, Phil Cummings, Jean Wiedenheft Fee includes classes, informational handouts, and use of the Nature Center’s Honeyhouse and extracting equipment (student must have attended session VII; extracting is scheduled between Sunday, August 23 and Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Plan to spend approximately 1 hour per super, plus an hour for setup and cleanup). Required text: The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diane Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, 2011. This book is available in the Creekside Gift Shop at Indian Creek Nature Center.

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* Guild Potluck & Annual MeetingGuild Potluck & Annual Meeting

Time: 12:00 pm

ICNC Guild Potluck and Annual Meeting Friday, January 16, Noon Current, past and future Guild members are invited to enjoy a potluck lunch and meeting to celebrate the group’s 2014 accomplishments. Bring a dish to share and your table service.

* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 1:00 pm

1:00 pm Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

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* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 10:00 am

Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

* Boogie in the Barn!Boogie in the Barn!

Time: 1:00 pm

Boogie in the Barn! Saturday, January 17, 1 PM Guitarist Sheila Stevens will keep your feet tapping and fingers snapping with fun sing-along songs for young and old. This lively afternoon of musical fun and activities will include musical crafts. We will create a few instruments of our own from gourds and other natural materials. M $5; NM $7; M Family $12; NM Family $15

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* ICNC Annual MeetingICNC Annual Meeting

Time: 4:30 pm

ICNC Annual Meeting Tuesday, January 27, 4:30 PM All members are cordially invited to attend Indian Creek Nature Center’s annual meeting.

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* BSA - Take Care of Your PlanetBSA - Take Care of Your Planet

Time: 6:00 pm

Friday, January 23, 2015 6:00-8:00 PM Bear Cub Achievement #6 Become an Earth Caretaker! Learn where energy and natural resources come from and how to use them more responsibly. Play a game to discover how much water a leaky faucet wastes. Discover ways the Nature Center is sustainable. (Fulfills requirements c, d, e & f) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. This can be done online, in person, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. Use a separate registration form for each event. 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 (by 4 p.m. on the Friday prior to the event). Late registrations will be excepted through the Wednesday preceding the event at an additional fee of $2/scout. Payment must accompany registration. To register, call 319-362-0664 or visit: www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. To complete the process you must also download and fill out one Registration Form and one Roster sheet per pack/group and submit these two forms to ICNC via email or fax.

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* GSA - Be Energy StarsGSA - Be Energy Stars

Time: 9:30 am

Saturday, January 24, 2015 9:30-11:30 AM - Girls Scouts - Junior Energy is an important part of everything from the lights in your room to the food you eat. Explore energy at the Nature Center and determine your ecological footprint. Learn about using solar energy to create electricity. Build a sun oven and cook. Discover the things the Nature Center has done to turn an old barn into an energy-efficient environmental center. We will lead you on part of the Get Moving! Journey. REGISTRATION/CANCELLATION POLICY: 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.

* Paddle DayPaddle Day

Time: 12:00 pm

Paddle Day Saturday, January 24 Noon-4:30 PM Paddle Day offers something for every paddler, whether a beginner or seasoned veteran. Connect with a paddling buddy, share experiences, learn about new gear, and discover new places to paddle. Doors open at noon for you to enjoy paddling exhibits and displays by various paddling organizations. Speakers begin at 12:30 PM and will include: “Paddling Adventures in the Ozarks” by Marty Koch; “Kickapoo River, A Gem in SW Wisconsin” by Lisa Nagle and Jan Aiels; “Expanded View from the Cockpit,” by Bill and Joyce Schoon; and “Discover Great Local Paddling Opportunities.” Visit indiancreeknaturecenter.org for details. M $8; NM $12.

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* Willow Garden OrbsWillow Garden Orbs

Time: 10:00 am

Willow Garden Orbs Saturday, January 31, 10 AM Create a lovely willow orb for your garden or home using one of nature’s fastest growing plants. Participants will learn simple random weaving techniques to create one or more rustic willow ball. We will use a combination of wild willow harvested from the Nature Center wetland and cultivated basket willow. Good hand strength required. All consumable supplies provided. Participants should bring sharp garden shears or basketry scissors and a towel for wrapping your materials. We will “warm” willow “withies” across our knees, so wear an apron or old pants that can get dirty. Our finished product will be roughly basketball-sized. Bring a brown bag lunch. We will provide beverages. Register by 4 PM on Wednesday, January 28. M $25; NM $35.

* Chicken ChatterChicken Chatter

Time: 1:00 pm

Chicken Chatter Saturday, January 31, 1 PM Anyone new to keeping a flock of chickens is likely to experience the joys and frustrations of caring for animals and learning husbandry skills. Join longtime chicken keeper and ICNC Director Emeritus Rich Patterson for an interactive discussion. He will suggest solutions for the five most common problems experienced by new poultry keepers, then encourage everyone to share experiences. Call 319-362-0664 to reserve your place. Suggested donation: $5.

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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.