Jun
3
Mon
Nature Friends @ Multiple Parks
Jun 3 @ 6:30 pm

Nature Class for children ages 3-5 with an adult
We will explore a different nature topic each evening through stories, sharing time, guided exploration, and art activities. Snacks will be provided. Participate in a Park Passport Program. Attend five different programs, each located at a different park and receive a Nature Friend Explorer pack. Participants must record program name, location and date with the speaker’s initials on their passport. Turn the passport in at the office at Jester Park or Raccoon River Nature Lodge to receive your Nature Friend Explorer pack. One Nature Friend Explorer pack per child please.

Spring & Summer 2019 Schedule

Mon May 6 Wiggly Squiggly Animals at Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge
Tues May 21 Silly Salamanders at Jester Park Nature Center
Mon June 3 Fishing at Raccoon River Park Fishing Pier
Tues June 11 Birds of a Feather at Brown’s Woods
Mon July 8 Super Snakes at Fairmeadows Park Shelter
Tues July 23 Animal Homes at FDM Shelter 3
Mon Aug 5 Tricky Tracks at Quail Cove Park
Tues Aug 13 Busy Bees at Easter Lake Park

These programs are co-sponsored by the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, Polk County Conservation, and West Des Moines Parks and Recreation. To register for Nature Friends, please call the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation office.

Jun
4
Tue
Princess Adventures @ Jester Park, Shelter #6
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am

Do you know a little girl who loves princesses? Want to encourage her to dress up AND have fun exploring the outdoors at the same time? Girls ages 4-6 are invited to the park in “princess attire” (whatever that means to them). We will learn about a courageous woman from the past, participate in a nature activity, followed by a tea party with a snack.

June 4: Theme is Birds. Pre-registration required; deadline is May 31.

July 16: Theme is Butterflies. . Pre-registration required; deadline is July 12.

Jun
5
Wed
Nature’s Story Hour @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm

Pack your picnic lunch, blanket and bring our family for an hour of nature stories and activities with a naturalist. Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, munch your lunch, listen to a story or two and discover new natural areas with your children. FREE. No registration required.

Jun
6
Thu
Toddler Tales @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 6 @ 10:00 am

Let your imagination run wild with this fun, nature-themed story time! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets or a craft. Recommended for ages 3-6. FREE. No registration required.

Nature Songs Stories & More @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 6 @ 11:00 am

Join a naturalist to hear stories and sing songs as we learn about insects, decomposition, how dirt made your lunch, and more. Come ready to sing loud and proud, the more singers, the more fun. FREE. No registration required.

Jun
7
Fri
Fishing Basics @ Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #1
Jun 7 @ 9:00 am

Learn about the different kinds of fish in Iowa, fishing safety, casting, and how to tie a hook. It is Free Fishing Weekend in Iowa so no license is needed. Bait and poles will be provided. Feel free to a chair to sit in. FREE. No registration required.

Jun
8
Sat
Insect Hunt @ Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3
Jun 8 @ 10:00 am

From ladybugs to butterflies, we’ll explore the fascinating world of insects. The program will feature a large insect collections and an insect hunt. Nets will be provided. FREE. No registration required.

Jun
11
Tue
Nature Friends @ Multiple Parks
Jun 11 @ 6:30 pm

Nature Class for children ages 3-5 with an adult
We will explore a different nature topic each evening through stories, sharing time, guided exploration, and art activities. Snacks will be provided. Participate in a Park Passport Program. Attend five different programs, each located at a different park and receive a Nature Friend Explorer pack. Participants must record program name, location and date with the speaker’s initials on their passport. Turn the passport in at the office at Jester Park or Raccoon River Nature Lodge to receive your Nature Friend Explorer pack. One Nature Friend Explorer pack per child please.

Spring & Summer 2019 Schedule

Mon May 6 Wiggly Squiggly Animals at Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge
Tues May 21 Silly Salamanders at Jester Park Nature Center
Mon June 3 Fishing at Raccoon River Park Fishing Pier
Tues June 11 Birds of a Feather at Brown’s Woods
Mon July 8 Super Snakes at Fairmeadows Park Shelter
Tues July 23 Animal Homes at FDM Shelter 3
Mon Aug 5 Tricky Tracks at Quail Cove Park
Tues Aug 13 Busy Bees at Easter Lake Park

These programs are co-sponsored by the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, Polk County Conservation, and West Des Moines Parks and Recreation. To register for Nature Friends, please call the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation office.

Jun
12
Wed
Nature Playdate @ Various Polk County Parks
Jun 12 @ 10:30 am

Wednesdays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Explore, discover and play in your local parks with a Polk County Naturalist.  Meet families interested in getting their children outdoors for natural play and discovery.  Wear appropriate clothes and shoes.  We may be hiking, discovering life in a log or playing in the creek. This is a morning of adventure and discovery with curiosity be the most important ingredient. FREE. No registration required.

6/12/2019 – Brown’s Woods – Tyke Hike

6/26/2019 – Jester Park, Shelter #5 – Life in a Pond

7/17/2019 – Thomas Mitchell Park, Shelter #2 – Creek Walk

7/31/2019 – Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3 – Bird Hike

8/14/2019 – Jester Park Nature Center – Art Discovery Hike

Jun
13
Thu
Kayak Basics @ Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Jun 13 @ 6:00 pm
Learn the basics of recreational kayaking from a PCC naturalist. Participants will learn about types of kayaks, equipment, techniques, and have a chance to practice skills on the water.

Pre-registration required; deadline June 11. Minimum age 12

 

Jun
14
Fri
Prairie Hike @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 14 @ 2:00 pm
Tallgrass prairie covered 80% of our state when Euro-Americans started to move here. In fact, it is the tallgrass prairie that helped create the rich soils that makes Iowa the “Bread-basket of the World”. Join a PCC Naturalist on a walk through the prairie at Jester Park to learn about the amazing diversity of plants and animals that call it their home. FREE. No registration required.
Jun
15
Sat
Catch-it, Clean-it, Cook-it @ Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Jun 15 @ 10:00 am

Come learn the basics of fishing, how to clean fish, and then how to cook fish. Fishing license is required for participants over 16 years of age. Bait and poles will be provided but, feel free to bring your own as well.

Pre-registration required; deadline is June 12.

Canoe Chichaqua @ Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, meet near Longhouse
Jun 15 @ 12:00 pm
Explore Polk County’s biggest county park as we canoe through the beautiful winding oxbows while enjoying the view and wildlife this park has to offer. We will cover basic safety and instruction; all equipment will be provided.

Pre-registration required; deadline June 10. Minimum age 12.

Jun
19
Wed
Nature’s Story Hour @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 19 @ 12:00 pm

Pack your picnic lunch, blanket and bring our family for an hour of nature stories and activities with a naturalist. Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, munch your lunch, listen to a story or two and discover new natural areas with your children. FREE. No registration required.

Jun
20
Thu
Giants of the Prairie @ Jester Park Bison & Elk Exhibit
Jun 20 @ 11:00 am

Bison and elk were two of the largest animals to ever roam across Iowa. What happened to them and where did they go? A naturalist will walk you through the exhibit and share the history of these giants of the prairie. We’ll also introduce you to the resident herds of Jester Park and provide an opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close. Don’t forget your cameras! FREE. No registration required.

Jun
22
Sat
Paddle the Boone River @ Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Jun 22 @ 8:00 am

Join Polk County Conservation Naturalists on a day float of the beautiful Boone River. We’ll depart from the Outdoor Rec. and Wellness Center at Jester Park at 8:00 am and travel by van to our launch point just South Webster City. Expect three to four hours of paddling, river flow dependent, with a lunch stop along the river before returning to Jester Park. Kayaks, paddles, and life jackets provided. All you need to bring is your lunch, a refillable water bottle, and plenty of sunscreen.

Pre-registration is required; deadline is June 19.

Family Camp Out @ Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, meet near Longhouse
Jun 22 @ 5:00 pm
6/22/2019 5:00 PM – 6/23/2019 10:00 AM

This brand new event is just what you need to get the kids off their screens and to get started camping. Do you want to go camping, but have small children and are worried about safety, keeping kids occupied, and the logistics of setting up a tent, and what and how to cook? This event will help you learn what to do with help from the experts without a lot of risk. Program includes two meals, evening activities, and camping.

Pre-registration required; deadline is June 19.

Jun
26
Wed
Nature Playdate @ Various Polk County Parks
Jun 26 @ 10:30 am

Wednesdays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Explore, discover and play in your local parks with a Polk County Naturalist.  Meet families interested in getting their children outdoors for natural play and discovery.  Wear appropriate clothes and shoes.  We may be hiking, discovering life in a log or playing in the creek. This is a morning of adventure and discovery with curiosity be the most important ingredient. FREE. No registration required.

6/12/2019 – Brown’s Woods – Tyke Hike

6/26/2019 – Jester Park, Shelter #5 – Life in a Pond

7/17/2019 – Thomas Mitchell Park, Shelter #2 – Creek Walk

7/31/2019 – Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter #3 – Bird Hike

8/14/2019 – Jester Park Nature Center – Art Discovery Hike

Jun
28
Fri
Dragons in Polk County @ Jester Park Nature Center
Jun 28 @ 6:30 pm

We have dragons living in Polk County; dragonflies and damselflies that is. Come learn about these amazing aerialists! We’ll even try to catch some! FREE. No registration required.

Jun
29
Sat
Pond Study @ Yellow Banks Park
Jun 29 @ 10:00 am
Come discover what creatures live in and around a pond. All sampling equipment will be provided. All ages welcome. FREE. No registration required.