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Dallas County Conservation Board
News & Events

For more information see the recent Dallas County Conservation Board Raccoon River Greenbelt Newsletter:
Spring Equinox Edition 2020   

Adel bridge Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce

Major Trail Maintenance is Taking Place Along Raccoon River Valley Trail Between Adel and Redfield Full Press Release HERE. 


Updated Impacts of COVID-19 on Dallas County Conservation Board

Sportsman Park camping 2019

Perry, Iowa (May 27, 2020) – The Dallas County Conservation Board (DCCB) has updated its facility restrictions in regards to the Covid-19 related issues and concerns. These adjustments are designed to maintain safe environments for visitors and staff. Please continue to observe the 6-foot social distancing, wash hands with soap and water or use sanitizer frequently, and if you are sick, stay home. Please be patient and work with our department as we slowly adjust to utilizing different approaches to providing recreation services to the public.

Beginning Friday, May 29, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.
Sportsman Park campground will be open for all camping unit types including tent camping. Also, Kuehn Conservation Area primitive camping sites will be open.
Camping spots are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis at this time.
In all campgrounds, only registered campers will be allowed, no visitors allowed in campsites until further notice.
Only six overnight occupants per campsite will be allowed, unless immediate family contains more than six.
Restrooms will be open at the following areas:
Sportsman Park (including shower building)
Kuehn Conservation Area
Dawson Depot
Redfield Depot

Cabins at Sportsman Park, Glissman Lodge at the Glissman Conservation Area, and the Dayton Stagecoach Inn will be open and available for rent. Contact the Dallas County Conservation Board office (515-465-3577) to reserve these facilities. Temporarily there will be no online reservations allowed for any DCCB facility until further notice.
Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.
Outdoor playgrounds will be open in all DCCB areas.

Beginning Friday, June 5, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

Forest Park Museum will be open with some restrictions weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Voas Geology Museum and GAR Building open by appointment.
Shelters and lodges will be open with some restrictions.

bike riders Waukee Raccoon River Valley Trail Major Trail Maintenance is Taking Place Along Raccoon River Valley Trail Between Adel and Redfield

A number of improvement projects are taking place this year along the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

Starting May 12, 2020, a bridge lighting project in Adel will begin. Crews will close this bridge during the day, but hope to reopen it for trail users in the evenings and on weekends. Impacts from this Adel bridge lighting project are expected from mid-May through mid-June. 

Maintenance work continues along the Raccoon River Valley Tail as contractors are conducting overlay RRVT Bridge K work 2020work and bridge repair projects between Adel and Redfield. For the safety of trail users and workers, segments of the Raccoon River Valley Trail will be closed between Adel and Redfield through mid-summer. No detour routes are available. “While we recognize this is a short-term inconvenience, the trail improvements will help us maintain this world-class trail,” said Mike Wallace, Dallas County Conservation Board Director. 

“The safety of trail users is our highest priority,” director Wallace continued. “Even with the necessary trail closures, Dallas County offers up dozens of miles of paved path along the north loop of the Raccoon River Valley Trail and High Trestle Trail.” 


Jamie Zika Hired as Natural Resources Technician

Jamie Zika

Jamie Zika joins the Dallas County Conservation Board staff as a Natural Resources Technician based in Perry. Jamie was born and raised in Adel, and he attended ADM High School. He has experience in general construction work, water & tile installation, and is a hobbyist mechanic. Previously he worked for the Dallas County Secondary Roads Department for 10 years. In his free time Jamie enjoys being with his family including wife Ashley and daughters Jaylee and Jentry. The Zika family likes traveling to Minnesota as well as camping, snowmobiling, and having a few animals on their acreage outside of Adel.


Matt Merrick Hired as Natural Resources Manager

Matt Merrick

Dallas County Conservation Board recently hired Johnston native Matt Merrick to join staff as a Natural Resources Manager based out of the Forest Park Museum/Administrative Offices in Perry. Merrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University in Forestry. His experience includes working on grounds maintenance for the State of Iowa at the State Capitol Complex, and most recently, as the City Forester for the City of Albert Lea, Minnesota.

“I’m confident in the skills Matt Merrick brings to the department,” says Conservation Board Director Mike Wallace.

For Merrick accepting a position with the Dallas County Conservation Board is an “opportunity to return to my roots in natural resources and be closer to my family." In his down time, Matt is an enthusiastic waterfowl hunter and angler.

Merrick takes over as Trails Manager from Curt Cable, who was promoted to Deputy Director/Biologist with Dallas County Conservation Board earlier in the year.

Red Buffalo - Restoring the Landscape with Fireprescribed fire

Here is an 8-minute binge watch explaining how fire fits in with the land management goals for Dallas County Conservation Board properties. 

Monarch Watch

As the world celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the butterflies remind us of the interconnectedness of the planet.

Dallas County Conservation Board recently received notification that 4 monarch butterflies tagged here in central Iowa were relocated on the wintering grounds in Mexico. Students and volunteers played an essential role in this tagging project. It is our hope and sincere belief that these efforts can benefit the conservation of monarchs. These butterfly lessons also hold meaning in the minds and hearts of people, too.

monarch tagging on noseFor over 20 years DCCB has tagged monarchs as a part of the Monarch Watch program. Over 500 students participated last fall alone. The tags recovered in Mexico were from Kuehn Conservation Area (Walnut Hills and Maple Grove students), Voas Nature Area (from a DCG field trip in the fall of 2018), and by longtime volunteer Barb Hansen at the Forest Park Museum grounds.


Botanical Magic: Skunk Cabbage Skunk Cabbage

Skunk cabbage is the ultimate solution to all of the challenges presented to early season ephemeral plants. Learn more here.

Leopold Benches & Quotes

As a part of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac" Eagle Scout Josh Nelson constructed a number of Leopold style benches. These will be available for sponsorship at the $40 level. Leopold quotes can be inscribe in the benches. A list of quotes can be found here, or you can supply your own quote conservation quote from Leopold. 

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