Don’t forget to take pictures for Story County Conservation’s annual photo contest

Amateur photographers are reminded to get outside and take pictures! Story County Conservation will hold its annual photo contest in March, and all amateur photographers are encouraged to submit photos of nature and recreational activities.

The following categories are judged: A: Landscape (within Story County Conservation parks and areas — may include structures); B: Flora and Fungi (photographs of specific plants or fungi – micro or macro); C: Fauna (photographs of specific animals – micro or macro) or D: Connecting People and Recreation (people enjoying Story County Conservation areas). Photographs in categories “A” and “D” must be taken in Story County Conservation areas.

Each photographer may submit up to three entries. Youth entries (18 years or younger) will be judged separately. Photos from all seasons will be accepted. Cash and other prizes will be awarded in each category at the Spring Festival on May 6. Special awards include “Bill Horine Best in Show,” “SCC Magnet” and “Fan Favorite.” Photos may be submitted March 5-23 at the conservation center.

Photographers retain all rights to their images except for use by Story County Conservation.

Images from the contest are used to enhance Story County Conservation’s photo library and to encourage people to visit SCC areas year-round. For inspiration, visit our Facebook page to see photos submitted to last year’s contest.

For a complete list of rules, entry forms and a map of SCC areas, visit or contact Outreach Coordinator Erica Place at 515-232-2516 or at

O.W.L.S. program

Story County Conservation invites the public to the monthly O.W.L.S. (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors) program at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park (56461 180th St.) northeast of Ames on Tuesday, March 6, beginning at 11 a.m.

Iowa rivers and associated gravel deposits contain the remains of extinct Ice Age animals, such as musk ox, mammoth and mastodon, caribou, stag moose and ground sloth. Matt Hill from ISU will explain how the study of this material aids in the reconstruction of the ecology of these animals, as well as the context, cause and chronology of their extinction.

O.W.L.S. programs are designed for “boomers” or older – but anyone can attend. An optional luncheon follows the program at 12 p.m. Lunch is catered for a $7.50 fee, and registration with payment is required by 4 p.m., Friday, March 2. The planned lunch menu is beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, dinner roll and chocolate pound cake.

Registration for lunch is available at or by calling our office at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday).