Oakland Mills Nature Center

Conservation Through Education

For a day of family entertainment at its best, make tracks for the Oakland Mills Nature Center and Park. Our nature center is different than most. This is the place to learn what the rest of the park has to offer.

Learn about the Skunk River Valley and the varieties of plants and animals in this area. Discover how each species of wildlife interacts with its habitat, and test your knowledge of nature by experiencing the exhibits. Whether they test your sense of touch or your knowledge of the weather, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much these exhibits can teach you.

When you feel ready to practice what was learned, step outside to experience it all first hand throughout the park. Come discover wildlife such as raccoons, deer, hawks, owls, squirrels, and many others in their natural habitat.

In addition to wildlife, you may observe or participate in various other activities on the grounds such as trailer or tent camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, admiring the spillway, or hiking the nature trails.

Hope to see you soon with your walking shoes, camera, and your sense of adventure for a full day of excitement at the Oakland Mills Nature Center and Park.


The Oakland Mills Nature Center is located in Oakland Mills Park, Top-of-Hill Recreation Area.

2591 Nature Center Drive

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641
Phone: 319-986-5067


Live Animal Display: OPEN YEAR-ROUND

Oakland Mills County Park is home to several raptors with permanent wing injuries that prevent them from being released back into the wild. All of these birds are available for live programs on or off-site.

The Oakland Mills outdoor classroom is also home to a red fox.

With the help of all of our sponsors, we are able to take care of these animals. In return for sponsorships, each sponsor's name is printed on signs at the display cages and are recognized at live programs involving these animals. All gift amounts are accepted. For more information, contact Henry County Conservation Department's Naturalist, Kendall Prehn at 319-986-5067.


We have two barred owls, Iowa's most common mid-sized owl. They are sponsored by Sharon Barton; Todd Brereton; He-Vee, Inc. of Mt. Pleasant; Alexandria Rowe; Dane and Chaley Cook; John and Mary Ann Freeland; Richard and Elizabeth Garrels; Henry County Nature Society; Duane and Joni Maxwell; Kenny Morrison Memorial; Lori Muntz; Real Estate by Waters; Ralph and Helen See; Steffensmeier Surveying; Terry J. Vlademar; and Winfield Elementary School. The hoot of a barred owl resembles the English words: "Who cooks for you?" Both have wing injuries and the smallest is blind in one eye.

Our female red-tailed hawk is a special black phase of this species, called a Harlan's. The male has more typical coloring. They are sponsored by Electronic Engineering Co.; David McCoid; Dan Peterson; Ralph and Helen See; Pat and Dan McCabe, and Paulette Shappell. Both have partial wing amputations.

Oakland Mills is also home to a rough-legged hawk. She is a beautiful girl that likes to eat! She has a partial amputation and cannot fly. Rough-legged hawks nest in the Arctic and return to Iowa for the fall and winter months. Their tails and wings are longer that those of red-tailed hawks. She is sponsored by Dick and JoAnn Corell; Henry County Democrats; Bruce and Bertha King; Genevieve McCabe; Pat and Brenda McCabe; Jim and Doris Onorato; Patricia Richenberger; Ralph and Helen See; Deborah Fisher Vroom; and and Drs. Steve and Mary Wettach.

The newest addition to the outdoor classroom is a red fox. This vixen was severly burned at two and a half months of age and has gone through extensive rehabilitation. She is unable to be released to the wild. The fox is sponsored by Owain Bennett; Pam Bennett; Chayse Conrad; Penny Creech; Jeff and Maggie Epperson; Gabe Featherstun; Friends of Conservation in Henry County; In Memory of Camellia Hill; Iris Dental P.C.; Annie James; Tristan Keomanivong; Jerry, Betty, and Buster Krieger; Mike Prottsman; Ralph and Helen See; Jared and Cole Smith; John and Debra Wiberg; Jake and Sarah Virden; and Rob, Kat, and Rhett Zeglen.

The Oakland Mills Nature Center houses a beautiful male American Kestrel. He came to us from the Iowa Raptor Project and was found with only one eye. He is sponsored by Mike and Alissa Wetherbee.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Nature Center Hours: Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to noon, mid-April through mid-October. Contact the Conservation Department office to schedule other appointments.