Environmental Education

The Henry County Conservation Department has a Naturalist available for your organization, group, or classroom free of charge. Call for an appointment. Programs given at Oakland Mills Nature Center, in school classrooms, or at other facilities. We have an Environmental Education Classroom located in the Oakland Mills Nature Center!

Cari Nicely


There are many changes each school year. Some teachers change grade levels or buildings, others change specialties. This list is intended to help with those transitions. Remember- environmental education classes aren’t just for science! Call Cari at 319-986-5067 or e-mail ​her at cnicely@henrycountyconservation.com to set up appointments for your classroom.

Program ideas for all ages include, but are not limited to:

live raptors, a specific animal, ecosystems, food chains, geology, Native Americans, pioneer activities and crafts, dutch oven cooking, area history, weather, plant parts, tracks, predators, birds, campfires, planets/stars, compass, trees, leaves, weeds, poisonous plants, wild edibles, energy conservation, renewable resources, pond study, pollution prevention, wildlife, habitats, adaptations, prairies, fishing, wetlands, night creatures, outdoor photography, nesting boxes, endangered species, insect study, survival skills, groundwater protection, hazardous waste, recycling, Leave No Trace, and wildflowers.

               Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Girl Scout programs are also available. 
Programs will be specific for rank and merit badges.



Participation in this program is new to the Henry County Conservation Department. The Iowa Junior Naturalist program is a wonderful opportunity for children ages 6-12 to experience environmental education programs, outdoor recreation, and our natural resources. This program encourages children to attend programs offered by local county conservation departments, Iowa Department of Natural Resources state park units, local libraries, nature centers, YMCA camps, 4-H, or any other program with a nature theme. In addition, participants will be encouraged to work on independent activities. When all requirements are completed, participants will receive an official Iowa Junior Naturalist patch and certificate of achievement. Patches will be different each year. Contact Cari for more information at cnicely@henrycountyconservation.com.
Summer Programs

The Henry County Conservation Department will offer summer programs as well as family programs. Activities will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All children who have not graduated from first grade must be accompanied by an adult, as do all children requiring one-on-one aids while in school. Some programs may be a bit advanced for younger children– see camp descriptions for details and age restrictions. 
Programs will be geared toward school aged children. Pre-registration is required and all fees are due at least one week prior to the start of the program. All programs will begin and end at the Oakland Mills Nature Center unless otherwise noted. Activities will be held rain or shine. Dress accordingly. Avoid wearing sandals.