The Dickinson County Nature Center is a center for environmental learning! It is open year round! The Dickinson County Nature Center can by found a Kenue Park, a 70-acre park, located at 2279 170th St., Okoboji, that includes three different native Iowa habitats — a restored tallgrass prairie, a wetland and an oak savanna — with plenty to see and do. Take a walk along mowed trails encompassed by big bluestem, compass plant and pale purple coneflowers. While you’re there, pull out your GPS-enabled smartphone and try to find the four Ranger Rick geocaches hidden amidst natural surroundings. Continue past the 55-foot telephone pole that is topped with a large box, where osprey make their home April-September. From the observation tower on the other side of the wetland, you can get a good look at the entire east side of the park, including the two rehabilitated trumpeter swans swimming in the wetland. For an even closer look at those majestic birds, you can also take the trail right down amidst the reeds to a floating dock. In the summer, Pollinator Paradise is open with its exhibits on butterflies, bees and plantings. Explore the gardens outside to see native plants in bloom and get an idea about which ones would work in your own yard. In 2016, the Dickinson County Conservation Board will be working on the nature playscape located just west of the nature center in Kenue Park. This outdoor playground features stumps and logs for climbing, an underground tunnel and a teepee, with even more fun to be added. Just past Pollinator Paradise is the glacial kame, a hill made of sediment left behind when the glaciers receded in the area. At the top, take in the scenic view of Kenue Park, Brooks National Golf Club and the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course. The 18-hole professional level disc golf course has both amateur- and professional-level tees and is open to the public year round. If you’re looking for a place to bring a picnic lunch, take a seat at the picnic tables at the west end of Kenue Park and then relax in the porch swing overlooking the area.
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