Madison County Conservation Center

Madison County Conservation Center The Madison County Conservation Centers mission is to encourage children and adults to learn about and discover their natural surroundings through education and outdoor recreation.

SUMMER FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE!This summer we challenge you to join us and show your support of the Madison County Conserv...
06/29/2020

SUMMER FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE!

This summer we challenge you to join us and show your support of the Madison County Conservation Center! Help us reach our goal of raising $100,000!

We are looking for 100 DONORS to give a gift of $1,000, when you donate, you will receive a set of custom commemorative tumbler glassware AND recognition on our donor wall💫

Please share, join us and be part of creating the future of conservation!

For more information or to donate online, see https://www.madisoncountyconservationcenter.org/donate/

Get out and explore!
06/17/2020

Get out and explore!

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of our state park system, earn prizes and enjoy the outdoors with the Iowa State Park Passport. It’s free to sign up and the more parks you visit, the more prizes you earn! For each park that you check-in at, you’ll receive one entry to the Grand Prize Giveaway - a two-night stay at the Honey Creek Resort with waterpark passes, golf passes and more. You can also win prizes like t-shirts and state park art prints! Sign up for the passport at https://bit.ly/30xVeAA

Which parks are you going to explore?

So many folks getting outdoors, great to see our parks so busy!  It's also a great time to consider a donation to our ne...
06/08/2020

So many folks getting outdoors, great to see our parks so busy! It's also a great time to consider a donation to our new conservation center...Look for some exciting updates and a NEW fundraising challenge coming soon!

Over the last few weeks all of our county parks have seen an increase in usage as the parks have provided many recreatio...
05/05/2020
Donate | Madison County Conservation Center

Over the last few weeks all of our county parks have seen an increase in usage as the parks have provided many recreational opportunities including places to picnic, hike, paddle, and safely meet with loved ones. For some, these activities have been part of their way of life for many years. For others, this has been a chance to connect with nature in a new way. As we look into the future, we are excited to pursue the construction of the new Madison County Conservation Center which will play a big role in continuing to promote the benefits of our local natural resources and the Madison County park system.

If you would like to support the Madison County Conservation Center on this Giving Tuesday, you can donate online at https://www.madisoncountyconservationcenter.org/donate/

Visit this page to donate securely online via PayPal or credit card, or download a donation form and send it in with your check. Thank you!

Family field trip!
04/29/2020

Family field trip!

Here is another family field trip idea for anyone looking for a creative way to get out and explore Madison County parks. Late April and May is the best time to go wildflower hunting. Most of these plants can only be seen in bloom for a few weeks during the spring so don't miss your window of opportunity.

All of these flowers and more have been documented in our local county parks. For kids, print a copy of this ID sheet and let them see how many they can find. Keep in mind many of these flowers prefer wooded areas so think of all those parks that have wooded trails including Pammel Park, Middle River park, and Goeldner Woods. If you get stuck on one, let us know. We will point you in the right direction.

A printable version of the worksheet is available on our website using this link:http://www.madisoncountyconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Spring-Wildflowers.pdf

In case you missed our previous family field trip activities, they are available on the event page of our website: http://www.madisoncountyconservation.org/calendar/

Congrats! Our beautiful nature center will be yet another destination along the Covered Bridges Scenic Byway.
04/29/2020
Madison County Chamber of Commerce

Congrats! Our beautiful nature center will be yet another destination along the Covered Bridges Scenic Byway.

The Covered Bridges Scenic Byway in Madison County was recognized by the National Scenic Byway Foundation as the Honorable Mention award winner for Public-Private Partnership.

The Covered Bridge Scenic Byway in Iowa was lauded for creating a successful Partnership to completely rebuild the iconic Cedar Covered Bridge destroyed by fire in 2017. It was only one of six remaining historic covered bridges in Madison County. This expensive project successfully combined the resources of county government, private organizations, and a multitude of stakeholders. The new construction of the famed covered bridge is based on a steel frame, but the original wood style was completely replicated. Successful grants from Iowa Great Places, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Madison County Covered Bridge Preservation, and many other agencies, partners, donors, and stakeholders contributed to the successful project.

https://nsbfoundation.com/2020-nsbf-awards/

HAPPY EARTH DAY! 🌎 Get outside and enjoy this beautiful day in Madison County. We are picking up trash today and enjoyin...
04/22/2020

HAPPY EARTH DAY! 🌎
Get outside and enjoy this beautiful day in Madison County. We are picking up trash today and enjoying a hike along the Middle River. What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Show us your pictures!

We’ve seen so many folks getting outside and enjoying our beautiful parks, connecting with nature and spending time with...
04/20/2020

We’ve seen so many folks getting outside and enjoying our beautiful parks, connecting with nature and spending time with their families. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to seek out places that allow us space, fresh air and the ability to decompress. Our fundraising continues, our nature center will be built soon...but perhaps for now, fishing the day away seems like the best plan.

04/17/2020
Madison County Conservation Board

Madison County Conservation Board

Take a break from your morning routine and head out to the park to check out the winter wonderland. If you have never taken a drive through Pammel Park as the snow begins to melt and rain down from the beautiful snow covered trees now is your chance. What a great way to start a Friday.

03/05/2020
Madison County Conservation Center

What role will you play?

At no time in history is outdoor education and environmental stewardship more important. We live in a world of advancing technology that influences new generations to be less connected to the outdoors. If our children are not connected to the environment, how will they learn about, understand and take care of it?
The rapid growth of Madison County and its economic vitality are unquestioned. If we are to preserve Madison County’s critical landscapes and habitat through education, it will require broad public support. If our land and water resources are to continue to stand the test of time, people must well understand their benefits and needed protections. Achieving that understanding through captivating learning tools are at the very core of the Conservation Center’s mission and need.

If you too truly believe that we preserve what we cherish, then we hope you would agree that we need people willing to fill the role to support the mission of outdoor education and environmental stewardship.

YOUR SUPPORT IS VITAL…
in helping to raise money for the construction of a quality facility that will spawn curiosity and enhance the visitor’s experience.
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED…
for a center that is professionally designed and equipped to educate and intrigue.
YOUR SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL…
to create an experience that demonstrates the fun and joy of being outside.
YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL…
to build the Madison County Conservation Center for the legacy of our future generations.

Join us and DONATE today!

Imagine generations coming together in support of conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation right here in beautiful Madison County. Take a moment to check out this video for a sneek peek of the Madison County Conservation Center's plans to create an environmentally friendly nature center that will awe and inspire our community and visitors alike.

Sharing some renditions of the future spaces coming to the new nature center. Can't you just imagine sitting in the outd...
02/20/2020

Sharing some renditions of the future spaces coming to the new nature center. Can't you just imagine sitting in the outdoor classroom/patio area listening to the birds, watching local wildlife or how about enjoying the stars next to the outdoor fireplace on a brisk fall evening?

The new conservation center promises to be a destination for hands on learning, land preservation and stewardship and outdoor recreation! A place for corporate retreats, conferences, social events and even weddings. A gathering place for the community and visitors alike.

There are still a few naming opportunities for donors interested in creating a lasting legacy and commitment to the future of our natural resources in Madison County, Iowa. Our outdoor courtyard and fireplace as well as the event space (pictured) are still available! Picture your family or business name, greeting thousands of visitors every year and proudly showing your commitment to the future of conservation.

Contact the Madison County Conservation Board if you are interested in learning more about a donation to this project! We thank you for your continued support.

Madison County Conservation Center's cover photo
02/20/2020

Madison County Conservation Center's cover photo

Thank you to Dean & Kit Schantz for your gift of $25,000 and sponsoring the Wildlife Exhibit! This interactive exhibit w...
02/10/2020

Thank you to Dean & Kit Schantz for your gift of $25,000 and sponsoring the Wildlife Exhibit! This interactive exhibit will feature the many diverse types of wildlife residing in the habitats of the Southern Iowa Drift Plain.
We appreciate their support and can’t wait to welcome the thousands of visitors through our doors to learn about our local wildlife and environmental education.

We had a great time ice fishing last weekend! Events like this one hosted by the Madison County Conservation Board and o...
01/31/2020

We had a great time ice fishing last weekend!

Events like this one hosted by the Madison County Conservation Board and our friends at the Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education (MCFEE) are fun for the whole family...it’s FANTASTIC to see so many people turn out and share their love of the outdoors and fishing!

Thanks Anita Smuck for the photos!

Thank you Union State Bank for this generous donation! Union State Bank is proud to donate $25,000 to Madison County Fou...
01/29/2020

Thank you Union State Bank for this generous donation!

Union State Bank is proud to donate $25,000 to Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education for the construction of the Conservation Center in Pammel Park.

Union State Bank was established in 1936 and has served Madison County for 85 years. USB is a $ 92,000,000 bank with offices located at 611 West Hwy 92, Winterset, 6306 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, and 160 E Garfield, Truro. For more information, go to usbiowa.com.

Pictured: left to right, Duane Gordon, USB VP and MCFEE Treasurer, Naomi Hupton, Conservation Leadership Board, Jim Liechty, Conservation Director, Jeff Nolan ,USB President and CEO, Gene Lange, Chairman and Bank Owner.

Madison County was awarded an Iowa Great Places grant in the amount of $310,000 for the construction of the new environm...
01/16/2020

Madison County was awarded an Iowa Great Places grant in the amount of $310,000 for the construction of the new environmental learning facility. Thank you to the Iowa Arts Council for contributing to the future of the environmental education program!

The 2020 Iowa Great Places grantees have been announced! Congratulations to the communities of Madison County, Clinton, Guttenberg, Marion, and Adel, which were awarded a total of $1 million for community-based infrastructure projects through the Iowa Great Places program.

• Madison County Chamber of Commerce will construct a new environmental learning center in Winterset, Iowa to meet the needs of environmental and outdoor recreation programming in the county (pictured).
• Clinton, Iowa will complete improvements and amenity additions from South Bridge to Eagle Point Park, Clinton along the Mississippi River to expand usage and safety, and provide a beautified connection between historic downtowns.
• Guttenberg, Iowa will create a gateway entrance at Schiller Street leading to streetscape improvements to attract Highway 52 travelers into the riverfront downtown and business district.
• The Marion Chamber of Commerce will create a plaza in the Uptown Marion District, which will provide multi-use cultural spaces for community events and act as a catalyst for growth, redevelopment and community building in the business district.
• The Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce will add two public art pieces in the towns of Adel and Redfield, plus artistic lighting on a railroad bridge in Adel to build upon the previous work to create a “Cultural Trail District” along the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

Funding for the Iowa Arts Council's Iowa Great Places program is provided by the Iowa Legislature through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.

Do you live in an Iowa Great Place? Apply for Designation by May 1, 2020 - http://bit.ly/IowaGreatPlaces

#iowaarts #iowaculture #iowagreatplaces #empowerruraliowa
Madison County Conservation Center Madison County Conservation Board Raccoon River Valley Trail Association City of Adel, Iowa Governor's Empower Rural Iowa Initiative City of Marion, Iowa Government Redfield, Iowa

Thank you to the Winterset Optimists for their generous donation of $5,000!  This support from our local service clubs i...
01/13/2020

Thank you to the Winterset Optimists for their generous donation of $5,000! This support from our local service clubs is incredible and makes us feel OPTIMISTIC to be so close to our goal! We are very lucky to be able to work together with the local community to build this incredible new conservation center in Madison County.

Thank you AGRILAND FS, Inc. for your generous donation and support!
01/02/2020
MCFEE, Conservation Center get pledge from Agriland FS

Thank you AGRILAND FS, Inc. for your generous donation and support!

The Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education (MCFEE) received a multi-year pledge donation of $25,000 from Agriland FS and the Agriland Foundation to go towards the new conservation center.

Happy New Year!🚴‍♀️🚣🌲🌿🏕Resolutions include more time outdoors? Land and wildlife conservation? Environmental education? ...
01/01/2020
Donate | Madison County Conservation Center

Happy New Year!
🚴‍♀️🚣🌲🌿🏕

Resolutions include more time outdoors? Land and wildlife conservation? Environmental education? We need your support!

The new year is the perfect time to get involved with the new Madison County Conservation Center. No donation is too small, every donation counts! Help us crush our goals in 2020 and DONATE now.

https://www.madisoncountyconservationcenter.org/donate/

Visit this page to donate securely online via PayPal or credit card, or download a donation form and send it in with your check. Thank you!

There’s no time like the present to consider an end of year donation to the Madison County Conservation Center! Your don...
12/26/2019

There’s no time like the present to consider an end of year donation to the Madison County Conservation Center! Your donation is a tax deductible gift that will help shape the future of Madison County’s environmental education for generations to come!

Donate now!

Many thanks to Bobbie and Jack Kennedy who have pledged a multi-year donation of $25,000 to the new conservation center!...
12/13/2019

Many thanks to Bobbie and Jack Kennedy who have pledged a multi-year donation of $25,000 to the new conservation center! They have selected to sponsor the Water Exhibit. This exhibit will showcase Madison County’s water-ways and how water has helped to shape Iowa’s Southern Drift Plain, with its limestone backbone and beautiful landscape. Thank you to the Kennedys for their commitment to this project and to conservation for generations to come.

Placed throughout the building, this graphic will draw visitors attention to the different energy saving elements of the...
12/10/2019

Placed throughout the building, this graphic will draw visitors attention to the different energy saving elements of the center that support conservation efforts! Thank you for this generous $25,000 donation MidAmerican Energy Company!

Happy December!  Can you believe it is DECEMBER already? With the holidays and new year quickly approaching now is a gre...
12/02/2019

Happy December! Can you believe it is DECEMBER already? With the holidays and new year quickly approaching now is a great time to consider a donation to the Madison County Conservation Center. A gift on behalf of your family, organization or business not only will create a legacy for generations to come, it will help to shape the future of our beautiful natural resources here in Madison County. We are only $500,000 away from our goal! Now is the time to get involved, there are still some naming opportunities available and plenty of ways to show your support of this project!

Our local Lions club has made a donation of $5,000 to the Conservation Center!  One member of the Lions said, "the decis...
11/22/2019

Our local Lions club has made a donation of $5,000 to the Conservation Center! One member of the Lions said, "the decision to donate to the new Conservation Center was one of the easiest decisions the club has ever made!" Another member says, "with a 500% growth in environmental programs, the need is there and our community is ready to step up." Thank you, Winterset Lions

The Madison County Conservation Center has received a $100,000 grant from the Prairie Meadows Legacy Grant Program. This...
11/21/2019

The Madison County Conservation Center has received a $100,000 grant from the Prairie Meadows Legacy Grant Program. This grant provides funding for large-scale signature projects and resources for enhancing and revitalization of communities. The benefits of this project are far reaching and will surely be a gem for Madison County and all of central Iowa. These funds are sponsoring the Entryway and Reception areas, with expansive views of the surrounding outdoors and a unique donor wall greeting thousands of visitors every year!

11/14/2019

Many thanks to the City of Winterset for their support of the Conservation Center. They have committed to a donation of $25,000 over 5 years! We are so grateful for their contribution!

With winter weather coming early this year, many of the animals are already showing off their winter adaptations whether...
11/14/2019

With winter weather coming early this year, many of the animals are already showing off their winter adaptations whether that means burrowing into mud for the winter (frogs), putting the final touches on the winter food stash (chipmunks and squirrels) or changing colors to camouflage with their surroundings.

Check out these photos of whitetail deer taken at Pammel Park throughout the last year. As you can see, deer adapt to the winter season by changing from their tan colored summer coat to a gray colored winter coat. Their fur also gets thicker in the winter which helps them stay warm during cold whether. The thicker fur is the reason deer look fluffier in the winter.

Of course the males also adapt for the fall mating season with the growth of antlers. This fall adaptation process begins early in the year as bucks begin growing their antlers by the end of April starting with the small brow tine. By the end of July or early August, the antlers are fully grown and they begin to shed the velvet seen in the photos below. Once the velvet has shed from the antlers, they are fully hardened and ready for use during the rut.

Note: Thank you to local wildlife photographer, Tom Moss, for providing the locally sourced example photos.

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Winterset, IA

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Madison County Conservation Center

Madison County Conservation and it’s foundation, Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education (MCFEE) are working together on the construction of a new environmental learning center to meet the expanding needs of environmental and outdoor recreation programming in Madison County.

The Madison Count Conservation Center will serve as the central hub of outdoor recreation opportunities within Pammel State Park which include hiking, paddling, biking, snowshoeing, and swimming. The Center will promote outdoor learning experiences through interactive exhibits that encourage outdoor exploration, a classsroom for hands-on STEM based programming, and a multi-purposed Events/Conference room which will connect people to their natural surroundings while they attend seminars and special events.

The center’s unique location at Pammel State Park (managed by Madison County Conservation since 1989) serves as a gateway to the natural landscapes which define Madison County - Limestone bluffs, heavily forested river valleys and rolling grasslands.

Inside the center, you will find interactive exhibits that inspire visitors to investigate and explore Madison County’s natural resources.

The conservation center is designed to promote environmental education and outdoor recreation. From the moment visitors step out of their cars to approach the center, they will be immersed in nature. Connecting the parking area to the building is a short walking path containing the first exhibit - Journey through time.

Upon entering the exhibit hall, visitors will find interactive exhibits highlighting the major components of the Madison County landscape. Designated exhibit areas will include Geology, Water, Soil, and Woodland Ecosystems. Each exhibit features geopins containing geographic coordinates encouraging visitors to explore the surrounding resources to locate the key environmental features highlighted in the exhibits.

The Madison County Conservation Center will serve as a central hub for outdoor recreation in Madison County. With over 1 million visitors a year seeking out Madison County each year, it is important to have a central headquarters for outdoor recreation connecting visitors to our natural resources through hiking trails, state designated water trails, and availability of kayak/canoe rentals.

Just outside of the conservation center will be an outdoor patio/courtyard area featuring a limestone fireplace perfect for social gatherings. Located within a wooded setting, the patio will be the perfect spot to watch the squirrels, turkey, and deer foraging nearby.

Nearby government services