Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

Woodbury County Conservation Board Main Office

Step into the Loess Hills…
Hike a trail and let prairie grasses tickle your chin. Explore bur oak forests with 150-year old giants.
Climb the ridges and imagine what Lewis and Clark might have seen.

We invite you to visit this unique outdoor educational facility.



The Woodbury County Conservation offices are located in the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in the 1,089 acre Stone State Park in the northwest corner of Sioux City. Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit the area now known as Stone Park . Although little is known specifically about their activities in Stone Park , the area would certainly have been used during hunting activities, migration and possibly for encampments. The Dakota Sioux were the last Native American group to inhabit what is now northwest Iowa . They inhabited the area when Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri River in 1804 and passed close to Stone Park .

In 1885, Daniel Hector Talbot began buying land that would later become Stone Park. Talbot was well known for the various animals he raised, including: elk, bear, bison, wolves, and monkeys. Thomas Jefferson Stone acquired the Talbot farm in 1895. Stone's son, Edgar, began developing the area into a park in 1905. Sioux City acquired the land from the Stone family in 1912 and continued to develop roads, picnic areas, and a zoo. In 1935, the city sold the property to the state of Iowa .

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was located in the northwestern area of the park from 1935 to 1939. The CCC were responsible for constructing the majority of the park's facilities, including: entrance portals, staff residences, the Calumet shelter, and the rustic Stone lodge. The park was once the home for the Salvation Army, Boy Scout, and Girl Scout camps.


  • 14,000 sq. feet of classroom, exhibit and office space
  • Loess Hills natural history exhibits
  • Interactive prairie, wetland & woodland exhibits
  • Live native reptile and fish exhibits
  • Picnic Tables Available
  • Bird viewing area
  • Outdoor amphitheater
  • Butterfly and wildflower gardens
  • A professional staff providing a variety of programs
  • Located within Sioux City in scenic Stone State Park
  • Meeting rooms available for rent
  • Several miles of trails leading to forest and prairie viewpoints
  • Facility is open six days a week, year-round

Operating Hours & Seasons

Regular Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday 9 am - 4:00 pm

Closed on Sundays, Mondays, New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Conservation Board headquarters located in this facility