Environmental Education

The Jackson County Conservation environmental education staff are here to help you and your students, group, business, or organization learn more about Iowa's natural resources. Whether it be a program about a specific topic or a trip to a park, we are here to help you experience the outdoors and learn more about our natural world!

See bottom of page for education related documents (pdf)

Contact our Environmental Education Staff!

Offices at the Hurstville Interpretive Center, (563) 652-3783

Jessica Wagner, Environmental Education Coordinator, email

Jennifer Meyer, Naturalist, email
Anthony Vorwald, Naturalist email

Summer 2020 Weekly Nature Activities

Due to the covid-19 pandemic we have cancelled our summer day camps. However we want to encourage everyone to get outside this summer and experience nature! Beginning June 8, 2020, we will post an activity here each week on Monday (by 9:00 am) that you can do with your family. Activities are geared for kids but all ages can participate. You are welcome to gather your own supplies for the activities or pick up an activity kit we have prepared. Activity kits will be available in the outdoor classroom on the south side of the Hurstville Interpretive Center on Monday mornings beginning at 9 am and are available while supplies last.

Week 1, June 8: Toad Houses
Week 2, June 15: Fallen Log
Week 3, June 22: Exploring Soil
Week 4, June 29: Animal Tracks and Scat
Week 5, July 6: Sink or Float
Week 6, July 13: Rearing Caterpillars
Week 7, July 20: Fossils
Week 8, July 27: Pond Study

Field Trips

Our staff can provide your students or group with a field trip that will allow them to explore woodlands, prairies, wetlands, the history of our uses of natural resources, and our place in the natural world today. We welcome groups to the Hurstville Interpretive Center, Maquoketa Caves State Park, Prairie Creek Recreation AreaMillrock One-Room School, Hurstville Lime Kilns, or any other park/site in Jackson County.

Outreach Programs

Our outreach programs bring the opportunity to investigate our relationship to the natural world without the hassle of scheduling a bus. We come to your classroom, center or other facility. We have programs about owls, swans, bats, endangered species, groundwater, animal adaptations and more. Outreach programs are provided for school, civic organizations, senior homes and youth organizations in Jackson County. A list of our in-school programs can be found at the bottom of this page. If you are looking for something not on this list, please ask!

Public Programs
Public programs at the Hurstville Interpretive Center and other county sites offer residents and visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn new outdoor skills, marvel at and gain a better understanding of the natural world, and hear speakers with special knowledge in their field. Visit our Calendar of Events page to see what we have scheduled.

Iowa Junior Naturalist Program
The Iowa Junior Naturalist Program promotes awareness of natural and cultural resources of Iowa through a variety of programs aimed at children ages 6-12. See bottom of page for brochure and form to participate. 

Youth Groups

Boy scouts, girl scouts, 4-H, church, and other youth groups are invited out to the Hurstville Interpretive Center or other sites in Jackson County to learn more about our natural world. We can help you work towards merit badges, patches, and other projects. Let us know how our educators can help!

Civic Groups
Our staff members are available to speak to your group at the Hurstville Center or other site in the county. Give us a call to see how we can help your group. Our programs can be adapted for any age level. 

Our Environmental Education Staff are here to assist Jackson County residents and visitors in learning more about our environment. To schedule a program, special event, project or field trip, contact us at (563) 652-3783 or email