Your Neighborhood Natural Adventure - Just Far Enough
The vision of the Linn County Conservation Board is to improve community through people, parks, trails and open space. This vision is accomplished in many different ways, including increasing environmental awareness. In order to meet the mission of increasing environmental awareness in citizens, the Conservation Board built the Wickiup Hill Learning Center in 2002 and completed an expansion in 2012. One of the Center’s long-standing goals is to provide opportunities for people to experience the outdoors and develop an awareness and admiration of nature.
Richard Louv in his book, “Last Child in the Woods” highlights the need to connect children with natural places. This book coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to highlight the emotional and developmental issues involved when children become too connected to electronics and disconnected from natural places. Wickiup Hill serves a vital role in addressing this need.
Oliver & Ava's River Raft Adventure Exhibit & Other Learning Areas
The exhibit stations at Wickiup Hill are designed around a story of a school-aged boy and girl who follow a magical dragonfly on a learning adventure related to Native American history, nature, and watersheds. Come visit to see where the dragonfly takes you!
Life Along the River:
Features a full-size replica of an Ioway summer home; a three-sisters garden; a maple syrup camp and scent station; and historic artifact replicas!
Nature is Fun:
Features a muskrat hut; research fort; hollow tree; nature view finders; an oversized underwater room; a larger than life green frog, and a special secret passage-way from the muskrat hut to the fort!
Everyone Lives in a Watershed:
Features the waterdrop game; a watertable; and a video touchscreen about healthy watersheds!
Features the interpretive trails; wetland boardwalk; observation deck; prairie, woodland and savanna habitats; and Native American mounds.
Other exhibit areas include:
Bird viewing area; wildlife viewing area; wildlife and habitat management; movie clip station; the hallway of habitats (woodland, prairie, and wetland); and traveling exhibits.
For a photo gallery of the exhibits, view these photos:
Outdoor education starts at a young age at Wickiup Hill. Monthly programs are provided for kids ranging in age from 1-5 and programs are scheduled regularly with daycare and preschool organizations. The educational staff at Wickiup Hill provides field trip opportunities to thousands of school-aged children in Eastern Iowa. A variety of programs are offered year-round. Additionally, education doesn’t stop after grade school. Life-long learning opportunities and programs are available for adults, nature clubs, and senior-citizen organizations. Wickiup Hill encourages educational programming for people of all ages, abilities, and interests.
Ask a Naturalist/Naturalist Niche Series
Teacher Resources/Environmental Education Program Guide