Buchanan County, Iowa

Growing, but not outgrowing our values.


Home » Services » Conservation

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

Wild Edibles
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9:00AM-1:00PM
Fontana Nature Center Classroom
Cost: $12 per person

Discover flavors of the forest with Mitchell County Conservation Board Naturalist Chelsea Ewen Rowcliffe and Buchanan County Conservation Board Naturalist Michael Maas. This program focuses on identification and characteristics of plants available for harvest during the spring season and sampling of the forest delicacies. Flowers, greens, roots, and shoots are just a few of the items on the menu. All supplies will be provided.  There will be a leisurely walk to observe and collect wild foods. Participants should dress for the weather, and may want to bring insect repellent, close-toed shoes, and a water bottle. Notebooks and a camera are also great for taking notes. Children are welcome to attend with an adult.  Please register by clicking here.

Nature Kids
Monday, May 14, 2018, 10:00-11:00 AM
Fontana Nature Center Classroom
Cost: Free


Bring a child 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 toad.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  . Please register by clicking here.



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.