Buchanan County Conservation

The Conservation Board offices are located at Fontana Park Interpretive Nature Center.  Buchanan County Conservation Board provides parks, prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and river accesses for both people and wildlife. The Conservation Board cares for 40 properties, and features an award-winning Environmental Education Program.  The Conservation Board's mission is to "improve quality .

Enjoy Buchanan County rivers

Nature Center display floor hours are:
Monday - Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Weekends April 1st - October 3 1st 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Weekends November 1st - April 1st 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Nature Center can open by appointment by calling (319) 636-2617
Winter: Nature Center may be closed if travel conditions are "Not Advised," please call in advance (319) 636-2617.

Upcoming Public Programs

Monarch Tagging

Saturday, September 22, 1 PM register here
Location to be determined
Preregistration is required; cost $3/person $10/family

Monarch population numbers continue to be below the 20 year average.  Tagging research and results are an important tool in measuring migration numbers.  Register to participate in one or both of our fall migration events (at locations to be determined by nectaring flowers attractive to monarchs), to catch, tag and release these tiny travelers.  This citizen science activity continues to be important as research continues through the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch program.  Nets and tags will be provided.   Those registered will be contacted with the tagging location.  

Nature Kids - Spiders
Tuesday, October 9, 10 AM
Fontana Nature Center 
Preregistration is required 

Bring a child age 3-5 to the park to learn about and experience different Iowa animals each month.  The program will start with a story, include an up-close encounter with a live animal, and end with time spent outside exploring (dress for the weather).  This month the animal that will be featured is the spiders.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Click here to get preregistered.

OWLS (Older Wiser Livelier Souls) - Geocaching
Monday, October 15, 5 PM
Crumbacher Wildlife Area
Preregistration is required 

Are you an adult and have you been looking to experience nature, make new friends, and get outdoors?  Join a naturalist and enjoy some of Buchanan County's hidden gems.  OWLS is a program specifically design for adults to learn and explore nature in and around Buchanan County.  Crumbacher Wildlife Area is a great area to explore from the prairies to the woodlands to the wetlands.  What better way to explore than by getting out and going Geocaching.  Geocaching is the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a web site.  Geocaching is a great activity you could do with kids so be sure to come and learn how to get started.  Geocaching can be done on a phone or on a GPS unit (will be provided).  Be sure to dress for the weather and there may be times when the group goes off the trail to get to a cache.   Click here to get preregistered.


MONARCHS MONARCHS MONARCHS Click here to learn about plants for Monarchs

Friends of Fontana Park

The Friends of Fontana Park (FFP) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help fund the Buchanan County Conservation Board's environmental education programs.  The FFP provides most of the material costs for the wildlife display, nature center exhibits, quarterly newsletters, and some of the many educational programs and exhibits offered at Fontana and other Buchanan County parks. For more information on Friends of Fontana Park and how you can contribute to this 501c3 organization, click here.

Roughly half of Iowa’s rivers, lakes, and streams fail to meet water quality standards
Less than 10 percent of Iowa’s wetlands – natural spaces that help prevent flooding and provide habitat for wildlife – remain, amounting to a loss of 5 million acres of wetlands
• Over the last two decades, Iowa has lost more than 1.6 million acres of habitat suitable for pheasants and other small game
• Iowa loses an average of 5 tons per acre of soil, our major economic engine, each year to erosion
Click here to learn about Fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund

Find us on:

 Would you like to find out more about wildlife, county programs, Iowa fishing reports and more? Please email dcohen@co.buchanan.ia.us to be placed on the Conservation List serve. You will receive approximately 2-3 emails a week about conservation programs in Iowa.