On behalf of the Clayton County Conservation Board and animals at the Osborne Nature Center, we welcome you to our new innovative blog. On this site you can find information regarding the facilities of Osborne and a Google Calendar showing the public events being held here. Videos and slideshows are also located on the bottom of the page. Subscribe to our blog or check back often to view new happenings at Osborne and within Clayton County Conservation. We hope you find this blog to be enjoyable and informative-Remember to play outside.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Native Trout in Iowa

Most people laugh when I tell them we have one species of Native Trout in Iowa: the Brook Trout.  This trout was orginally found in spring-fed streams of Northeast Iowa.  Early settlers of Iowa refered to this species as the "stream trout" or "mountain trout" with few descriptions of its physical characteristics.  Today, the trout can be found in several streams in Northeast Iowa, native reproduction still occurs in three of Iowa's 100  fishable trout streams in Northeast Iowa. In these three trout steams, the Brook Trout has enough consistent natural reproduction to maintain a viable population without any stocking.


We are currently looking for available binoculars or funding sources to help with the purchase of binoculars. Currently, the naturalists present over 350 classroom programs a year to local clayton county students, and facilitate nearly 50 field trips a year. The binoculars would be used often in these two settings to provide students with life and observation skills and give each student the enjoyment of seeing wildlife upclose. If you or anyone you know could help, please contact the Osborne Nature Center.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Iowa Water and Land Legacy

On November 2, you will have a chance to give something back to Natural Resoruces in Iowa.

Question 1. on the ballet will ask you to vote on Iowa's Water and Land Legacy.  Iowa's Water and Land Legacy is an "outdoor recreation trust fund, created with the purpose of protecting and enhancing water quality, natural areas in the state including parks, trails, fish and wildlife habitat, and conserving agricultural soils in the state."  This is NOT a tax increase, the revenue from this fund will come from allocating 3/8 of a one cent from sales tax revenue the next time Iowa Legislature approves a sales tax.

 "53% of Iowa’s waters rate “poor.” In addition, while agriculture is the backbone of Iowa’s economy, Iowa loses an average of 5 tons of soil per acre each year due to erosion. Currently, Iowa ranks 47th out of 50 states in conservation spending, Iowa ranks 48th out of 50 states in public hunting/fishing property" quoted from from Iowa Water and Land Legacy
For more information please visit:  http://www.iowaswaterandlandlegacy.org 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall colors update

Just got back from picking up several brilliant sugar maple leaves-each one brought a different feeling to me. 

The fall colors in Northeast Iowa are nearing peak-most of the early trees (cottonwoods, walnuts basswoods, maples, ash, hickory) are showing of their finest colors of the year.  Some trees have been affected by a fungus called Anthracnose-which makes parts of the leaves dead or blotched. Anthracnose varies on the impact it has on hardwood trees, typically white oaks and walnuts are effected the most. 

Popular places to get outside and view the leaves in Northeast Iowa are Osborne Nature Center, Pikes Peak State Park, Backbone State Park, Yellow River State Forest.  Three of my hidden gems are Brush Creek Canyon State Preserve, Mossy Glenn State Preserve and White Pine Hollow State Preserve. None of  these 3 have designated trails, but they do have some of the most spectacular trees and scenes in the midwest.

If you can not get out and hike (I know you can!) tour the Great River Road or any hilly back country gravel road this next week to see the fall colors in their prime. 

Share some pictures/experiences!