May Environmental Education UpdateFrom field trips to summer camp! As field trip season wraps up we are shifting gears as June arrives. We have public programs, open nature center hours, and summer camp on the horizon.
Marcus Nack, Environmental Education Manager
During the month of May, Environmental Education (EE) staff finished off another great field trip season. A variety of schools visited Starr’s Cave including Danville, West Burlington School District, Burlington School District, La Harpe, and Mediapolis to name a few. Naturalist Jacklyn executed these programs smoothly, and EE Manager Marcus helped where needed.
The afterschool program has ended for the season. We have been working with PIECES through the spring season and delivered programs 2-3 times per week. We had a great program period and look forward to the fall.
Starr’s Cave Nature Center is open on the weekends! Saturdays and Sundays from noon until four o’clock Starr’s Cave Nature Center is open to the public. Whether someone is seeking trail information, an exploration of our second-floor exhibits, or even a restroom stop, Starr’s Cave is available! Starr’s Cave is also available to groups by appointment during the week.
Guano collection has begun. In prior years DMCC has participated in a bat monitoring program with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This means that once per week for four weeks, DMCC staff will be entering Starr’s Cave, with the proper PPE, to collect samples of bat droppings (Guano). The samples collected will be analyzed by the DNR to monitor the health of local Starr’s Cave bats. Starr’s Cave was closed years ago due to White Nose Syndrome, which has been known to kill bats and is easily spread by people.
Hook n’ Paddle is an event that DMCC is putting on to teach folks how to fish, and how to paddle. This event is on June 24th from 9:00am-12:00 at Big Hollow. Big Hollow Lake is one of many sites participating in the “Hook N’ Paddle Passport”. This program promotes the usage of lakes and streams in Iowa and fishing. Participants can participate for free, and receive points for participating in events, paddling waterways, and fishing. This statewide program is free, and prizes include water bottles, hats, dry bags, Zebco fishing gear, and entrance to grand prize sweepstakes for a major package!
Next month we have plenty of things going on! The Outdoor Youth Jamboree is on June 3rd from 9:00am-2:00pm. This is an annual event, where families have the opportunity to try different recreational activities for FREE, and lunch is on us. Registration is required and can be done today online or at the registration table on the day of the event.
Additionally, June is the kickoff for our summer camp programs. From ages 5-9, Starr’s Cave will be hosting 3-hour summer camps to explore, discover, and play in the outdoors. Some activities include bug hunts, creek stomps, nature hikes, owl hooting, and animal tracking. Only 7 spaces are left for camp Firefly 2, so don’t miss out!
published Wednesday, May 24, 2023