Spring 2019

Nature Center in SpringEE Update: Spring 2019

Hours of operation:

Spring has finally sprung at Starr’s Cave Nature Center. Field trips are in full swing at the park; we are starting to see busloads of students nearly every day.

On that note, as we transition into our spring and summer programs, we would like to remind everyone of the Nature Center’s hours of operations. Due to a busy schedule of programs, field trips, and summer camps, Starr’s Cave Nature Center is open by appointment only Monday through Friday. However, we are now open on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sundays from Noon to 4:00 pm. And as always, if you are visiting during the week and the sign says “open,” feel free to stop in and say hello!

IMG_3490Summer Camps:

Registration for summer camps at Starr’s Cave Nature Center is set to go live Tuesday April 30th at midnight. Live links will be posted on the Starr’s Cave Nature Center and Des Moines County Conservation Facebook pages. The live link will also be posted on the Des Moines County Conservation web site. For best results use an updated Google Chrome or Safari as your web browser.

This year we would like to highlight our trailblazers camp for students ages 13-15. This is a 4 day off site camp with two overnights camping in Yellow River State Forest. Campers will explore both Yellow River State Forest and Effigy Mounds National Monument. We will spend a day in orientation reviewing equipment, safety, and team building in preparation for a two day back county camping experience in one of Iowa’s most pristine forests.  Campers will explore, fish, forage, and have fun.  Students will learn about natural and human history while acquiring valuable outdoor-living and safety skills. Campers will learn to work together to accomplish goals and challenges, building confidence and trust, both in themselves and in others.

Starr’s Cave Nature Center camps address the growing need to introduce and engage today’s youth in the natural world. Camps are designed to be fun and active and to provide high quality environmental learning experiences through games, crafts, stories, and in-depth nature exploration. Kids love coming to our camps and look forward to them each summer. Parents love our camps too because they know their kids are having fun AND are learning at the same time!

Camp Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available. If the camp fees are a financial hardship, please call (319) 753-5808 to inquire about assistance.

Volunteers

Most camps need one parent volunteer to help our EE staff. If you would like to volunteer for a week of camp contact Starr’s Cave Nature Center (319) 753-5808. Volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation meeting. Volunteers are also expected to pass a background check and sigh a Volunteer conduct policy.

Disabilities

Camp activities can be designed to accommodate children of different abilities; please let us know any special needs when you register.

Refunds

Refunds will be given for cancellations made one full week before the start of the camp. Cancellations made less than a week before camp starts will not receive a refund (with the exception of medical emergencies). Any days canceled due to inclement weather will be refunded. 

Camp Schedule:

SCNC CAMP DESCRIPTIONS 

POLLIWOG CAMP

Ages 3-4; 9:30-11:30 AM,  2 days with adult accompaniment. $20.00
Parents can introduce their child to the wonders of nature during this camp. Each day will feature a nature hike, craft, or story, as well as hands-on nature learning that parents or guardians will get to experience along with their children.

CATERPILLAR CAMP

Ages 5-6; 9-noon, 4 days. $40.00
In this fun camp, young children explore the outdoor world. Activities include different art projects, stories, hiking, games in the woods, catching bugs, going on bird hunts and much more!

DISCOVERY CAMP

Ages 7-9; 9-noon, 5 days. $50.00
Campers explore the prairie, forest, and creek around the nature center with a focus on ecosystems, habitat, and nature discovery. They look closely at where things live and what they need to survive. They use dip nets to catch aquatic critters; learn about amazing birds and mighty mammals. They play camouflage games to discover how animals survive; discover animal trails, tracks and signs; and learn about the predators who hunt and the prey that escapes.

FIREFLY CAMP

Ages 7-9; Night camp; 7-10 pm, 4 nights. $40.00
Campers learn about what comes out in nature during the night. As the sun sets, they will see bugs that light up, bats that eat them, and extraordinary birds with night vision. They will learn about the stars that light up the night sky and play games in the dark.

DARK WINGS CAMP

Ages 10-13; Night camp; 7-10 pm; 4 nights. $40.00
Campers learn what goes on in the natural world at night. They go hooting for owls, canoe with head lamps, listen for bats, and peer through a telescope at the night skies. This camp includes one or more evenings at Big Hollow Recreation Area.

ADVENTURE CAMP

Ages 10-13; 9-noon, 5 days. $50.00
Students learn about the natural and human history of the land and acquire valuable outdoor living and safety skills. Shelters, knots, rope making, fires without matches and reading the wild are all part of this outdoor experience. Campers learn to use a bows and atlatl; they’ll improve and develop navigation, canoeing, and climbing skills. Campers will also learn to work together to accomplish goals and challenges, building confidence and trust both in themselves and in others. This camp includes one or more days at Big Hollow Recreation Area near Sperry.

TRAILBLAZERS CAMP

Ages 13-15; all-day off-site camp; 4 days with two overnights. $150.00
Campers will backpack and explore Yellow River State Forest. We will spend a day in orientation reviewing equipment, safety, and team building in preparation for a two day back county camping experience in one of Iowa’s most pristine forests.  Campers will explore, fish, forage, and have fun.  Students will learn about natural and human history while acquiring valuable outdoor-living and safety skills. Campers will learn to work together to accomplish goals and challenges, building confidence and trust, both in themselves and in others. This camp includes two overnights within Yellow River State Forest.

SCNC 2019 SUMMER CAMP SCHEDULE 

Discovery 1, June 10-14
Dark Wings 1, June 10-13 (night camp)
Caterpillar 1, June 17-20
Trailblazers, June 19-21 (overnight campout)
Discovery 2, June 24-28
Fire Fly 1, June 24-27 (night camp)
Polliwog, July 1-2
Caterpillar 2, July 8-11
Fire Fly 2, July 8-11 (night camp)
Dark Wings 2, July 15-18 (night camp)
Discovery 3, July 22-26
Caterpillar 3, July 22-25
Adventure Camp 1, July 29- Aug. 2 (SCNC)
Adventure Camp 2, Aug. 5-9 (Big Hollow)



For more information, visit the Nature Center page HERE.

Park Spotlight: 4th Pumping Station

4th Pump SignThe 4th Pumping Plant Recreation Area north of Burlington is a popular destination for picnickers, boaters, RVers, tent campers, and boaters. The park is located along the Mississippi River and offers a total of 46 campsites. Of these campsites, 22 have electricity. Amenities at the 4th Pumping Plant include a central water supply, a central RV dump station, a shelter house, three outhouses, and a playground. A boat ramp and dock with fish cleaning station provide boating and fishing access to the backwater lake. In addition to lake fishing, anglers can also fish off the banks of the Mississippi.

For more information / directions, visit the 4th Pumping Station page HERE.

Upcoming Events:

May 3

Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is an international program aimed primarily at women, but is an opportunity for anyone 18 years or older to learn outdoor skills usually associated with hunting and fishing, but useful for many outdoor pursuits. Check out the BOW Brochure for more information!

Event Info

May 4-5

Burlington HS Dragon Boats
Dragon Boats

For 2019, the BHS Dragon Boat races are moving to Big Hollow!

Saturday, May 4, practice from 8am to approximately noon.

Sunday, May 5, races start at 8am with a captains meeting at 7:45.

Event Info

May 11

2019 Outdoor Youth Jamboree
Fishing 1
Register at https://register-ed.com/events/view/140968

Instructor-led shooting sports (shotgun, rifle, air rifle and archery), fishing, fully guided boat tours of Big Hollow lake, prizes, giveaways, and a FREE LUNCH!


Event Info

May 17-18

Buy Two Nights, Get a VoucherSunset
Pay for Friday & Saturday night in any Des Moines County campground (Big Hollow, 4th Pumping Station or Welter), get a voucher for a free night to use any time later. Applies only to electric sites.

Witte Observatory will be open Friday night.

Event Info