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 manages 41 properties, and features an award-winning Environmental Education Program.  The Conservation Board's mission is to "improve quality of life through programs of conservation and education."

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 31st 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

Perfecting Your Nature Photography
Saturday, April 13, 10 am
Fontana Nature Center
Click here to register for Perfecting Your Nature Photography
 Cost: $8/person or $12/family

Improve your nature photography skills with reliable tips and tricks presented by Kip Ladage.  Session will begin with a classroom presentation, and then you will have the opportunity to get out and try some of the techniques learned.  Animals at Fontana will be available as subjects and whatever spring has sprung.  Following lunch on your own, we will do some individual and group critiquing and finish with a brief overview of editing. Participants will need to bring a camera and a laptop or editing device if possible.

OWLS - Signs of Spring Tour
Monday, April 15, 10 am
Start at Ham Marsh
Click here to register for OWLS - Signs of Spring Tour
 Cost: Free

OWLS is a program specifically designed for adults to learn and explore nature in and around Buchanan County.  The group will go to Ham Marsh, Three Elms, and end at Boies Bend.  Participants will search for signs of spring, likely including waterfowl, meadowlarks, bluebirds, robins, vultures, bloodroot, bluebells, frogs, and more!  Most walks will be short distances, however there will be a stop that is a little longer.  Trails may be uneven and wet.  A carpool will leave Fontana Park at 9:45 a.m.  Limited seating is available in the Conservation Board van. Please note when registering if you would like a ride.  

Geocaching Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 20, 10 am
Fontana Nature Center
Event is full
 Cost: $5 children age 3-14

Your family will love this new way of searching for eggs.  Learn how to use a GPS unit, then go search in Fontana Park for hidden treasures and treats.  Keep your eyes open for the golden egg, earning you a special prize!  Space is limited!  Family size is unlimited, but there will be one GPS per family group.  Families that are planning to bring eight or more individuals may wish to register as two groups. 

Fontana Nature Center Anniversary Banquet
Monday, April 22, 5 pm
Heartland Acres, Independence 
Click here to register for the Fontana Nature Center Anniversary Banquet

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Fontana Interpretive Nature Center.  Enjoy a fantastic meal, followed by a keynote presentation by Historical Re-enactor Tom Milligan as the famous conservationist Ding Darling (see cover article).  The presentation is provided through a grant from Humanities Iowa, a private, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa brings humanities programs into the heart of Iowa communities.  

The banquet is for anyone wishing to show support for the nature center, education programs, school field trips, live animal displays, and other programs and projects associated with Fontana Park.  All proceeds help fund these efforts through the nonprofit Friends of Fontana Park.

Each Couples Package will include: two meals and one raffle package (includes 50 raffle tickets and a 6" x 9" bamboo cutting board)

 If you have any questions please call 319-636-2617

Nature Kids - Frogs
Monday May 13, 10 am
Fontana Nature Center
Click here to register for Nature Kids
  Cost: Free

Bring a child to the Fontana 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).  Children must be accompanied by an adult and the program is geared for children age 3-5.  


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.  

Our office is located in Hazleton at 1883 125th St.
Phone:  (319)-636-2617
Fax:  (319)-636-2624
Email: bccbscheduling@gmail.com