Trail Workday


Come be a part of the TEAM! Join Story County Conservation for a TEAM (Trail Enhancement and Management) Day on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 9 a.m. Volunteers will be building box steps at McFarland Park (56461 180th St., Ames). Registration is required by 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, to ensure enough tools and refreshments for everyone.


Come out for some good old-fashioned volunteering! Volunteers are asked to bring a water bottle and should dress for the weather. Long pants, gloves and boots or sturdy shoes are strongly recommended. TEAM Days typically last three hours. If you like to work outdoors, don’t mind hard work and want hands-on experience – we’d like to see you on the trail!


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


Evening Walks at Doolittle Prairie


Not all the plants in the prairie bloom at the same time! Join us for a series of evening walks at Doolittle Prairie and witness the ever-changing beauty of this important habitat. The first walk will be held Thursday, May 23, beginning at 7 p.m. at Doolittle Prairie (14249 560th Ave., Story City).


Participants will enjoy viewing the largest prairie remnant in Story County with Dr. Thomas Rosburg. Rosburg will point out the rare and common prairie flora that change each month, and share the history and ecology central Iowa prairies. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the walks, including sturdy walking shoes and long pants. The walks are free and no registration is required. Walks will conclude by 8:30 p.m.


Future evening prairie walks include: June 27, July 25 and Aug. 22. All walks start at 7 p.m. Doolittle Prairie is located 1.25 miles south of county road E-18 on 560th Avenue, south of Story City.


Backpacking Basics


Backpacking is a means to challenge yourself to be self-reliant and go where others do not dare. But it can be daunting for first-timers! Join naturalist Heather Hucka for an afternoon of backpacking basics on Saturday, June 1, 1–7:30 p.m. at Robison Wildlife Acres (29490 632nd Ave., Nevada).


Learn step-by-step what it takes to thrive in the wilderness. We will cover planning, technique, gear and sample some back-country cuisine. Practice with our equipment or bring your own. Two reusable 32 oz. water containers are all you need. Join other like-minded learners who, just like you, need a dose of confidence to start a new adventure!


Fee of $20 with registration is required by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 24. Registration is available at www.storycountyconservation.org.


Introduction to Orienteering


What happens when your GPS or mapping app fails? Just pull out your map and compass! Join the members of STAR 1 (Search Team and Rescue) for an introduction to orienteering on Sunday, June 2, 1–5 p.m. at McFarland Park (56461 180th St., Ames).


Participants will be coached before embarking in teams of two or three on a longer orienteering course. No experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided. This experience is most appropriate for ages 12 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult). Be prepared to be outside and hiking through the woods.


Fee of $10 per person with registration is required by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17. Registration is available at www.storycountyconservation.org.


Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day!


Let’s Go outside and PLAY! Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day by exploring your parks on Saturday, June 8, 1–5 p.m. at West Peterson Park (55310 180th St., Ames) and McFarland Park (56461 180th St., Ames).


Try canoeing, wildlife watching, fort building, fishing, pond and insect nets, building mason bee houses, geocaching, creek walking and more! First time trying a skill? No worries — we’ll welcome you with friendly staff and volunteers to get you started, share our favorite spots to explore and provide all the tools needed (canoes, fishing poles, binoculars, GPS units, nets, etc.). Skunk River Paddlers will be on hand to lead canoeing and the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers will open the observatory. Ready, set, GO!


This event is free and no registration is required. You won’t need a fishing license because it’s free fishing weekend! Co-sponsored by ISU and Story County Extension and Outreach and Iowa Young Birders.


For more information about this or other programs and meetings, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), email us at conservation@storycountyiowa.gov or visit www.storycountyconservation.org.


For more information about this or other programs and meetings, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), email us at conservation@storycountyiowa.gov or visit www.storycountyconservation.org.