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, November 23, 2010

Project AWARE

Exciting News!

Project Aware will be coming to Northeast Iowa next July.  Project AWARE stands for (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition) last year the group removed over 9 tons of trash from the Nishnabotna Rivers in Southwest Iowa.  Project Aware is funded by the IDNR and their are objects are to increase awareness about water quality issues, engage Iowa's citizen volunteers in a river cleanup and empower them to give something back to Iowa's watersheds.  There will be  many ways to get involved both through sponsorship and with the actual river cleanup next July. More details about the event will be presented next spring.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Outdoor Classroom

Work has begun on the Outdoor Classroom at Clayton Ridge Middle School in Garnavillo, Iowa.  The science teacher had expressed interest in starting something where the students could be outside and he could have fires. I took this as a warm invitation to get the ball rolling.  After having several consultants tour the site, we decided to seek some information from the students themselves.

The 6th grade class was spread out in the proposed classroom area and asked to write/draw what they would want the area to look like, based upon their information and other conservationists; we decided to thin the area and restore it back into native prairie.

The next step was to spray a few patches of broomegrass and locate funding sources for the seeds.  The local Clayton County Pheasants Forever chapter said they would be glad to help with seed purchase.  After the area was sprayed and browned up, Clayton County Conservation staff burned the selected patches.

Today, the 6th grade students spent an hour of their class clearing the prairire area of trees/brush.  The tree logs are being used as outdoor seating and the honeysuckle bushes were made into a brush pile for wildlife cover.  In a few weeks, the same 6th grade class will do a fall prairie seeding. This will be achieved through having the students handseed the burned area and letting the frost/snow work the seed down into the ground.  By growing prairie plants in their classrooms, the students will continue the work of this project throughout the winter.  We are all hopefull some results may come to light next year!!!