Public Programs/Events

Sioux County Conservation Board offers several public programs throughout the year, many times partnering with other local organizations. Most public programs are free of charge though some do require a small fee. Our public programs are designed to encourage people to get outside and provide opportunities to try new skills. Pre-registration is sometimes required so please pay close attention to the event you wish to attend. Pre-registration for events is found on mycountyparks.org.

Interested in helping out with a public program? Please see our Volunteer page for information on how you can get involved.

Upcoming Events:

100 Year Anniversary Celebration of Oak Grove Park
Saturday, June 22, 2024
All Day
Oak Grove Park, Hawarden Iowa

Let roll back the calendar 100 years ago and celebrate the founding of Oak Grove State Park!

9:00-4:00 Prairie Woods Nature Center Open with schedule programs

starting at 4:00 Cruise through campgrounds, park at river Classic Car Show and Shine

5:00-8:00 Food trucks, games, live music by “Singer Family Band”

8:30-10:30 Outdoor Movie: room for blankets and drive in

 

Sandy Hollow Fishing Clinic 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sandy Hollow, Sioux Center IA

All ages welcome! (Ages 8 and under must have an adult present). Join us at the shade shelter for a fun filled morning. Program will include fishing instruction, casting contest, fishing, lunch and giveaways. Fishing poles and bait provided or bring your own. No cost, entry fee to park waived for participants during event hours. Event is cosponsored with Sioux Center Library and Sioux County Sportsmen’s Club. Those 16 year of age and older must have a valid fishing license to actively fish.

Registration is required. Note- Online Registration closed at 11:00 the day before event. Please call 712-552-3057 for morning of registration.

Weather related cancellations will be aired on 93.9 FM.

Approximately two months prior to event you can register HERE.

Gourd Painting 2024
Saturday, June 29, 2024
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

This class is open to all skill levels.  You will learn how to create works of art with gourds while enjoying the view from the Prairie Woods Nature Center in Oak Grove Park. Instructor Dave Oppegard will provide all instructions and supplies needed, including easy-to-use templates to make a beautiful southwest style gourd bowl of your design. This year’s theme is Animal Designs of the Southwest. You will choose your own design elements, including bison, bears, birds, turtles, and many others. Beads, leather, woodburning, stones, pine needles, and other accessories will be available too.

This class is limited to 14 people ages teen through adult; the cost is $20 per person to be paid at the door. Everything you’ll need, including the gourds are supplied. If you have your own acrylic pens you are welcome to bring them along.

Please bring your own sack lunch and snacks. No red liquid allowed in the nature center.

Sign up by clicking here.

Rock Valley Family Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 29, 2024
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Rivers Bend Campground, Rock Valley IA

This morning is cosponsored with the City of Rock Valley and Bait Shop.

All ages are welcome! (Ages 8 and under must have an adult present). Fishing poles and bait will be available or bring your own lucky fishing pole along. Those 16 years of age and older must have valid Iowa fishing license to actively fish. No cost, entrance fee waived to participants during program.

Fishing pre-registration is required so please call Rivers Bend Campground at 712-476-6065. Registration numbers helps determine amounts for bait and prizes that are sometime provided by local supporters.

 

Traveling Exhibit Display: Photography by Paul Brooke
Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - Wednesday, July 31, 2024
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

The Sioux County Conservation Foundation is happy to present the photography of Dr. Paul Brooke for the month of July!

This exhibit was taken during a week-long visit to Torres del Paine National Park, where Brooke photographed 12 different pumas. Some days he spent up to 9 hours with one animal (the big male) or walked along with Blinca (female) as she hunted for her two cubs. The wind was exhausting as it often roared through the region at 50 mph. His book, Pantagruelian: Photographs of Torres del Paine, will be released in mid-January and will be for sale. It features most of these photos.

Display will be in the upstairs meeting room. No charge. Available during open Nature Center Hours!

 

Amie Adams "The Observer" 3 Visiting Opportunities
Saturday, July 6, 2024
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Prairie Woods Nature Center is excited to host Amie Adams, an Iowa Master Naturalist and author of The Observer to learn about a little-known Iowa naturalist named Olaf Wolden. Born in Emmet County in northwest Iowa in 1886, Olaf lived through a time when the Iowa landscape was changing rapidly. Throughout his lifetime, Olaf studied plants, birds, and the landscape of his home. We will be offering 3 different visit opportunities with Amie Adams, attend one or attend all, its up to you! You do not need to have read her book to attend.Preregistration is strongly encouraged and appreciated. Day is Co-sponsored by the Orange City Library.

Morning Session (Adult discussion) 10:00-11:30am

  • This session will include a short lesson about naturalists from Iowa’s past, a book talk and Q&A about The Observer, and a nature walk (feel free to bring your favorite field guide or your binoculars). This session is geared toward adults of all ages.

Lunch Chat 11:45-12:24pm

  • This is your opportunity to bring your lunch and picnic with the author.
Afternoon Session (Family Discussion) 1:30-3:00
  • This session will include a short lesson about naturalists from Iowa’s past, a few stories from The Observer, and an interactive nature walk where we think about how to tell our own stories about our favorite places (feel free to bring your favorite field guide or your binoculars). This session is geared toward families.
Reminder you do not have to read her book before attending! Here is a Book Blurb.
The Observer: The Life and Writings of Bernt Olaf Wolden by Amie Adams
Olaf Wolden was one of those rare people who knew his home place with an intimacy most of us can only aspire to, and he shared a bond with all the beings he lived among, a bond that is difficult to find in our modern age. A naturalist in every sense of the word, Olaf had a personal devotion to tracking bird migrations and flower bloomings, a scientific drive to catalogue mosses and lichens with exacting precision, and a desire to share his passion for the natural world with others. From 1930-1968, he contributed a column titled Nature Notes to The Estherville Daily News where he shared musings and observations about the natural world. Olaf’s story reaches back to the early 19th century, a time when northwest Iowa was a wilder place than the one we have today. This book tells the story of Olaf’s childhood in Island Grove and his development as a naturalist and botanist. Readers will experience Olaf’s love of nature in his own words through a curated selection of 100 of his Nature Notes and an accompanying biography.
SELF: Good Earth Field Trip
Tuesday, July 16, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

This month SELF program will be a pre-registered field trip for registered SELFies. For more information on cost, timeline, please call 712-552-3057. 

There will be NO regular SELF session today.

Sandy Hollow Outdoor Concert: Erickson Brothers Band (EBB)
Saturday, July 20, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sandy Hollow, Sioux Center IA

The Erickson Brothers Band (EBB) consist of Eric on percussion and vocals and Lucas on guitar and vocals. Eric is a Senior at Unity Christian and Lucas is a Junior. The boys started performing with their family around 9 years ago and decided to start performing on their own as an acoustic duo after seeing buskers or street musicians performing in Omaha’s Old Market 7 years ago. Eric is playing a Latin percussion instrument called a Cajon (K-uh Hone), outfitted with some special accessories. For full-band performances, Eric either plays an electric drum kit or his favorite DW Collectors Acoustic Drum Kit…but for acoustic duo performances, the cajon has a great sound and he can sit on it while he plays it!

Rain Date July 27

Ringneck Rendezvous 2024
Saturday, August 3, 2024
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rock Valley Gun Club, Rock Valley IA

Archery, live animals, outdoor obstacle races, tossing games, water guns, bb guns, trapping, dog training, LOTS OF PRIZES and more can be found at this annual event in Rock Valley. We are welcoming a live raptor demonstration, “Regalia International Birds of Prey” from Oklahoma to the event. Door prizes sponsored by local businesses will be given away after program. All items are purchased with the intent to be an item that will help a youth get outdoors!

A $10 registration fee for all youth and adults attending. First 400 kids will be accepted. Those of 5-8 years must have an adult present. All adults welcome. Pre-registration guarantees merchandise and chance at door prizes. Pre-registration opens approximately two months before event, and closes two weeks prior.   If registration is closed, you will have the option to WALK IN and register at the door until event is filled. Registration CLOSES at 4:45pm the day of event for all preregistered and walk in participants. Click here to register.

Event cosponsored by Sioux County Conservation Board, Sioux Prairie Pheasants Forever and Rock Valley Gun Club, Iowa DNR, and many local business and individual sponsors.

Weather related cancellations will be aired on 93.9 FM and Facebook.

 

Hunter Safety Classroom Course
Tuesday, August 13, 2024
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

All ages 11 and over are invited to join us for our annual Hunter Safety Education Course, at the Prairie Woods Nature Center from 9am-7pm. Must register at www.gooutdoorsiowa.com. During registration you will receive a link with the review questions to complete and bring to class. Class will cover firearm safety, hunting ethics, first aid, hunting laws, and more. We will also shoot shotgun and rifle. Students need a sack lunch and snacks, supper provided. https://license.gooutdoorsiowa.com/Event/Events.aspx

Registration will be open approximately two months prior to the event.

Book Discussion "The Seed Keeper" by Dian Wilson
Thursday, August 15, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

On a winter’s day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband’s farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron—women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.

Co-sponsored by Hawarden Library. Do not have to read book to participate, but encouraged to do so. The Hawarden Library will have copies available for check out.

Pre-registration appreciated. 

SELF: Grasses
Tuesday, August 20, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Independent Seniors! Are you looking for a great place to gather with friends? Come enjoy coffee, treats, fellowship and a short nature presentation.

Each month we will explore and learn about a different topic chosen by the SELFies. 

Morning session:10:00am
Afternoon sessions: 12:30pm & 2:30pm

SELF is held every third Tuesday of the month. Please Call to register, 712-552-3057 extension 2!

Dutch Oven Class at Sandy Hollow
Wednesday, August 28, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sandy Hollow, Sioux Center IA

This is an intro to Dutch Oven class that includes preparing dishes and as a reward, eating them! Cost is $15 a person, class size is limited.

Cosponsored by Sioux Center Library. Please look for sign up on their website as we get closer.

Please click here for registration. 

Dutch Oven Gathering
Saturday, September 14, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Turkey Ridge Campground Oak Grove Park, Hawarden IA

Calling all area Dutch Oven Cookers and curious onlookers! We will be hosting a Dutch Oven Gathering at Oak Grove Park. New format this year for judging and public interaction!

Cookers

  • Dishes categories include: breads, appetizers, main dishes and desserts.
  • NEW JUDGEING method this year!
  • You must preregister by calling 712/552-3057 to sign up as a cooker. First 10 cookers will receive a free campsite at Turkey Ridge for Saturday night.

Public

  • Help cook a dish, or just ask questions, at the Naturalist Camp site starting at 3:30.
  • Join us for the judging and meal at 6! Bring a side dish to share!
  • Pre-registration is appreciated
SELF: Truth Behind Wives Tales
Tuesday, September 17, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Independent Seniors! Are you looking for a great place to gather with friends? Come enjoy coffee, treats, fellowship and a short nature presentation.

Each month we will explore and learn about a different topic chosen by the SELFies. 

Morning session:10:00am
Afternoon sessions: 12:30pm & 2:30pm

SELF is held every third Tuesday of the month. Please Call to register, 712-552-3057 extension 2!

SELF: Squirrels and Friends
Tuesday, October 15, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Independent Seniors! Are you looking for a great place to gather with friends? Come enjoy coffee, treats, fellowship and a short nature presentation.

Each month we will explore and learn about a different topic chosen by the SELFies. 

Morning session:10:00am
Afternoon sessions: 12:30pm & 2:30pm

SELF is held every third Tuesday of the month. Please Call to register, 712-552-3057 extension 2!

SELF: Foraging Feast
Tuesday, November 19, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Independent Seniors! Are you looking for a great place to gather with friends? Come enjoy coffee, treats, fellowship and a short nature presentation.

Each month we will explore and learn about a different topic chosen by the SELFies. 

Morning session:10:00am
Afternoon sessions: 12:30pm & 2:30pm

SELF is held every third Tuesday of the month. Please Call to register, 712-552-3057 extension 2!

SELF Game Day
Tuesday, December 3, 2024
All Day
Prairie Woods Nature Center, Hawarden IA

Independent Seniors! Lets spend this month revisiting our favorite facts from this year of learning!

All questions are multiple choice or true false. Work in groups. No time limit!

Morning session:10:00am
Afternoon session: 12:30pm

Please Call to register, 712-552-3057 extension 2!