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Calkins Nature Center & Amphitheater

18335 135th Street
Iowa Falls, IA, 50126

Call for Availability

641-648-9878

Calkins Nature Area is a truly unique asset to Hardin County. Located between Iowa Falls and Alden, Calkins Nature Area boasts a first rate nature center of over 6,000 square feet which greets you as you enter 76 acres of rolling hills, nestled up to the banks of the Iowa River.

Calkins Nature Center contains a Native American and Natural History Museum that tells the story of the county’s ecological and cultural history. The museum is home to one of central Iowa’s largest collections of Native American artifacts dating back to the earliest inhabitants of North America. There is also a classroom, resource library and great room that is available for meetings and public programs.

Calkins also features an outdoor amphitheater with a stage that seats over 120 people, is constructed primarily from plastic recycled lumber, and is surrounded by native prairie plants.

In order to avoid conflicts with Calkins programs, please contact Calkins at 641-648-9878 BEFORE reserving the facility. Rentals in evenings and off-hour times need prior arrangements and approval.

Occupancy

The maximum occupancy for the Calkins Nature Center is 64 for the actual meeting space (if needing seating around tables). The amphitheater can hold 150 people.

Rental Rates

  • Free for non-profit organizations
  • $125/half day
  • $200 whole day
  • $250/weddings & holidays

Location

Calkins Nature Area
18335 135th St
Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126

Google Maps Location

Amenities

In addition to the nature center and amphitheater, these attractions are also found at Calkins Nature Area:

  • Live wildlife exhibit featuring over 20 species of native wildlife
  • 3 miles of hiking trails to explore native ecosystems
  • Butterfly house with native wildflowers and butterfly species
  • Wild bird observatory
  • 2,000 square foot educational rain garden
  • Native American agriculture and foraging garden
  • Full-sized Plains Native American tipi
  • Gazebo and picnic area
  • Nature exploration backpacks
  • Cross-country ski trail and ski rental
A/C
Electricity
Handicap Accessible
Heating
Kitchenette
Microwave
Pets prohibited
Pressurized water
Refuse cans
Restroom
Table with chairs

Fees

In order to avoid conflicts with Calkins programs, please contact Calkins at 641-648-9878 BEFORE reserving the facility. Rentals in evenings and off-hour times need prior arrangements and approval. 

Rental Rates

  • Free for non-profit organizations
  • $125/half day*
  • $200 whole day
  • $250/weddings & holidays

*2 half day rentals will not be scheduled on the same day.

  • $4 NON-REFUNDABLE processing fee will be added to each facility rental at the time payment is submitted.

This facility requires an additional deposit check of $100 (refundable). The deposit check must be mailed and received at Calkins Nature Area within 30 days of the reservation arrival date.

Calkins Nature Area
18335 135th St
Iowa Falls, IA 50126

Deposits for reservations made shorter than 30 days in advance of the cabin stay will be arranged with Calkins Staff.

The renter is responsible for cleaning the facility prior to check-out, to ensure a complete refund, the facility must be cleaned and ready for the next visitor. The check will be shredded if the facility is in satisfactory condition. 

Hours of Operation & Seasons

Calkins Nature Center is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday - Saturday. The grounds, including the trails and animal exhibits, are open from sunrise to sunset. Admission is FREE to the public.

Closures

Regular facility hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday - Saturday. In order to avoid conflicts with Calkins programs, please contact Calkins at 641-648-9878 to reserve the facility. Rentals in evenings and off-hour times need prior arrangements and approval.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you need to cancel a reservation, you will forfeit 100% of all reservation fees paid. All cancellations must be made by calling the Hardin County Calkins Nature Area at 641-648-9878.

REFUND POLICY

All reservations with Hardin County Conservation Board facilities are final. Reservations are non-refundable, unless the following situations occur:

  • The National Weather Service has issued severe weather and/or travel conditions.
  • Accident, serious injury or death of an immediate family member. All requests for refunds must be made by calling the Hardin County Conservation Board Office at 641-648-4361.

Permits

Rental Requirements:

  • $100.00 refundable damage/cleaning deposit is required.
  • Facility should be cleaned according to cleaning checklist or deposit money will be forfeited.
  • No alcoholic beverages of any kind.
  • Make prior arrangements with staff for building access on evening, Sunday, and holiday rentals.
  • Tables, chairs, and equipment must be setup and taken down by renters.
  • Parking is limited to parking lots.
  • No access is allowed to lower level of the nature center.
  • No access to museum or basement.
  • All rules and regulations of the Hardin County Conservation Board are in effect.
  • All laws of the State of Iowa are in effect.
  • Smoking and pets are prohibited.