Buchanan County, Iowa

Growing, but not outgrowing our values.


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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

OWLS (Older Wiser Livelier Souls) – Forest Hike
Monday, June 25, 2018, 5 PM
Guy Grover Timber 
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.  The program will kickoff with a great evening hike through Guy Grover Timber and Tree Plantings (2720 Nolen Ave., Independence).  The hike will be about one mile, with some moderate elevation, so come prepared to get your hike on!  Please register by clicking here.




Coyote Club -- Water
Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 5 PM
Fontana Park Nature Center
Preregistration is required; cost $5/child

Coyote Club is for kids age 6-10 who are interested in nature, animals, and outdoor fun! Participants engage with the Naturalist at Fontana Park, with programs scattered throughout the year.
The upcoming Coyote Club Program features water studies.  Water is important to everyone, so why not go out and explore the water of Otter Creek.  There will be a short talk about water quality and why it is important, and plenty of time to get into the creek and explore the water and many critters living in it.  Snack and drink are provided, and Coyote Club members receive a special Club drawstring backpack.  Please register by clicking here.




Young Families Canoe Float
Saturday, July 7th, 2018 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Knott’s Landing Access to Three Elms Park
Preregistration is required; cost $12/family

Looking for a way to get your young children on a family outdoor adventure? Join a naturalist on a short paddling trip with scavenger hunts, wading, and sandbar exploration.  This trip is designed for families with children ages 1-8, eager to explore with their kids!  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.