News & Upcoming Events

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For more information see the recent newsletter:



May 2019

Nature Play Day
Saturday May 4, 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m. @ Voas Nature Area
Free, no registration required.
Ready to get wet and muddy? This nature play day is all about exploring the wetlands, catching frogs, looking for worms and making mud pies. Wear your oldest clothes, old shoes that tie, and bring a towel and change of clothes. 

Dutchman's Breeches

Spring River Paddling & Birding Float
Raccoon River: Redfield Dam to Pleasant Valley
Saturday, May 4, 1:00—5:00 p.m.
Registration is required for this program. 

Kickoff your spring paddling season with DCCB. Our floats strive to introduce you to the waters of the three Raccoon Rivers that traverse our county and to introduce you to a new contact point in the wilds of Dallas County. The wild contact will be the BIRDS as we link this float with the Big Year Birding Challenge. Our river corridors represent some of the best wild habitat remaining. These linear stretches of wildness are home to a wide array of feathered wildness. The spring migration of warblers should be at peak, mixed in with the more common local bird species. This avian diversity will make this float a wild contact for both the paddler new to ornithology and the veteran birder. Share a float and connect to the feathered wilds of our place.


Leopold Series Events
(throughout the year)

Sand County Almanac 70th Anniversary Sand Co. Almanac
The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of one of the most iconic and influential literary works in the conservation field, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. A native Iowan, Leopold is considered to be the father of the modern day science of ecology. Dallas County Conservation Board will celebrate this milestone by offering a series of programs inviting the public to come to know, or in some cases reexamine, the ideas Leopold presented in this book. 

Leopold states that the objectives of environmental education should be to teach the student to see the land, then to understand what they see, and to finally enjoy what they understand. DCCB’s 2019 programs will strive to do just this. Can we help you to see Dallas County with new eyes? Will you better understand the land you perceive with newfound vision? And can we help you to turn this sight and understanding into a new level of enjoyment of Dallas County’s wild places? Please consider inviting Leopold’s thoughts into your world by joining us in this 70th anniversary year.
We kicked off this series of programs in January with a public viewing of a documentary film The Green Fire. This Emmy award winning production examines Leopold’s life and writings and served to set the table for Dallas County learners to begin a year of Leopold.

Leopold Bench Project was also launched in January. DCCB will engage the public in the building of a set of a dozen Leopold benches, each inscribed with a Leopold quote. These benches will serve both a utilitarian function by providing seating at DCCB programming and also provide an educational service by putting Aldo’s words in the public eye. These benches will be dispersed around the county at various DCCB Conservation Areas and Raccoon River Valley Trail sites where they will inspire new vision, understanding, and joy. 

The Leopold year invites you to transfer your personal learning into the wilds of Dallas County, sharing it with a hiker, or biker, as they seek a seat for rest, and come away with a new vision of our place.

Scheduled event information listed above. 

2019 Dallas County Big Year Birding Challenge
(throughout the year)

Dallas County citizens may be surprised at the number of different bird species that exist within the area. We have diverse habitats and unique geographic features that are attractive to many varieties of birds. In an effort to educate the public, DCCB staff would like to partner with Dallas County citizens to document as many different kinds of birds within the county for the year 2019. In the birding community this is known as a Big Year.

What: A Big Year is a fun, informal competition to document the birds in Dallas County for one year.

Who: Anyone living in /visiting Dallas County including beginner or novice birders. Children welcome.
Where: Within the borders of Dallas County. Counting a bird just over the county line is poaching.
When: DCCB staff will have scheduled birding events every 3 months. We will also be documenting during non-birding events with the public like river floats. In addition we have several annual birding events like the High Trestle Hawk Watch and Christmas Bird Counts that will be included. If something out of the ordinary shows up we will have a pop-up program (sign-up to be notified).
Why: To stimulate the senses and feed the soul! Birds have beautiful coloration, euphonic songs and interesting behaviors. DCCB staff would like to create awareness in the community regarding these jewels that inhabit our landscape.

DCCB has a goal of finding 100 different bird species for 2019. We will continue to post and update our Big Year list on our website and Facebook pages. Our first field event will be March 30th at Voas Nature Area near Minburn. Some binoculars and field guides will be available. Please register for these free programs.



2019 Dallas County Big Year Birding Challenge Highlights
USFWS EABL natdiglib_7509_large
Eastern Bluebird (USFWS photo) 

Osprey have returned to Waukee/West Des Moines near Woodland Hills Elementary School.

Eastern Bluebirds are exploring nest boxes throughout the county.


2019 Big Year Species List
Dark-eyed Junco
House Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Barred Owl
Northern Cardinal
American Woodcock
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird
White-breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker
Bald Eagle
Turkey Vulture
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Eastern Meadowlark
Ring-necked Pheasant
American Crow
American Kestrel
Rusty Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Northern Flicker
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Coot
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Greater White-fronted Goose
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Fox Sparrow
American Wigeon
Red-tailed Hawk
European Starling
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Golden-crowned Kinglet




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