TEAM day

Be a part of our TEAM (Trail Enhancement and Management) and help make improvements to county trail systems on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. This workday will focus on trash removal along the greenbelt in a joint effort with ISU’s Skunk River Navy. All volunteers are asked to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves and bring a water bottle. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are strongly recommended. Registration is required by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, to ensure enough refreshments and tools for everyone.

Meet at Pleasant Grove Church, 56971 170th St., Ames. To register, call 515-232-2516 or email


Story County Conservation’s O.W.L.S. (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors) programs are back after a brief summer break. O.W.L.S. programs are held each month at 11 a.m. at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park (56461 180th Street) northeast of Ames. An optional luncheon follows each program for $7.50.

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m. — Discovering Outdoor Delights: Tramp New Zealand’s Tracks with Nancy Franz and Judy Levings. Can nature study, four-star hotels, Kiwi cuisine, and tramping diverse ecosystems go together? They sure do on New Zealand’s South Island, where you can explore subalpine, rain forest, beach, forest, and other ecosystems in close proximity. Judy Levings and Nancy Franz will share their tramping experiences and savoring of nature in this special part of the world. Registration for lunch with payment is required by 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1. The planned lunch menu is taco bar and sundae bar.

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m. — Honey Bees in Iowa with Carly Raye Vannoy, 2017 Iowa Honey Queen. Learn about honeybees, honey, beekeeping and beyond. Come find out why we want to save the bees and how we can make that happen! Registration for lunch with payment is required by 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29. The planned lunch menu is pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans and apple crisp.

Registration for lunch is available at or by calling our office at 515-232-2516.

Monarch Migration Madness

Fall is the time of one of the world’s greatest animal migrations. Meet at McFarland Park (56461 180th Street, Ames) on Sunday, Sept. 10, 1:30-2:30 p.m. to witness an animal that weighs less than a paperclip on its journey south to Mexico: the amazing monarch butterfly.

Try your hand at catching monarchs in the prairie and see how you do in the Monarch Migration obstacle course! This program is family-friendly, free and no registration is needed.

Fall Fungus Foraging

Are you a mushroom enthusiast? Fall is the best time of year to find wild edible mushrooms and other interesting fungi. Hike on and off the trails at McFarland Park (56461 180th Street, Ames) and search for the fungus among us on Sunday, Sept. 10, 3-4:30 p.m. No prior mushroom hunting experience is necessary.

This program is free, but registration is required by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7. Registration is available at or by calling our office at 515-232-2516.

Wild Women of the Woods: Spots Still Available!

Wild Women of the Woods is designed to give women the opportunity to explore the outdoors, learn or improve skills, and network with women with similar interests. Participants will choose from many different workshop sessions, and can opt to camp out. The 2017 event will take place Sept. 22-24 at Hickory Grove Park (67382 250th Street, Colo 50056).

Friday night will include a program, campfire desserts and group camping (optional); Saturday is filled with a variety of sessions, including wood burning, traps and snares, wild edibles and much more! Participants can register for a half workshop (Friday-Saturday, $55) or a full workshop (Friday-Sunday, $70). Women staying for the whole workshop will enjoy dinner, entertainment, a second night of camping Saturday evening, and breakfast and an additional session on Sunday morning.

Sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and session sizes are limited. View session descriptions and schedule and download the registration form at Payment must accompany registration form; all registrations are required by 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

An event this big is not possible without the support of the community. Story County Conservation would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring this event: Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops, Wheatsfield Cooperative, Hy-Vee, Fareway, Jax Outdoor Gear, Outdoor Alliance of Story County, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Next Step Adventure, REI, Scheels, Iowa Rivers Revival, Fonziba Drums, Saltlickers, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association, Cook’s Emporium, and Blank Park Zoo. The event is also made possible by the support of volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering at the event, contact Outreach Coordinator Erica Place ( by Sept. 4.

For more information about this or other programs, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516, email or visit