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Calendar of Events Fall 2022All programs are FREE of charge unless a price is listed. Registration is required unless otherwise stated. Masks are strongly encouraged when indoors.Edna Shain Fen and Wildlife Area Grand OpeningSeptember 15th, 5:00PM - 7:00PM - 2053 54th St, Mt Auburn, IAJoin us to celebrate the grand opening of one of Benton County Conservations newest and most unique property, Edna Shain Fen and Wildlife Area. Door prizes, food for sale by Beast & Bird, and beer samples by Benton County Brewing Company, with proceeds going to Benton County Conservation Foundation. At 6:00pm there will be a fen and wetland program. No registration required. Family Fun Bike Ride on the Cedar Valley Nature TrailSeptember 24th, 10:00AM - 2:00PM - $6 per familyBenton County Naturalist Faith Henrichs and Buchanan County Naturalist Sondra Cabell are joining forces to provide the community with this family orientated bike ride on the Cedar Valley Bike Trail. Bike riders will meet at the Brandon city park (601 Lime Street, Brandon) by 10 am. Drop the bikes and family at the shelter, and have a family member drive your vehicle to Urbana. A shuttle will be available to return riders to Brandon to start the ride. This rail-to-trail ride means only very gradual climbs and descents, making the route a relatively easy 9 miles of mostly crushed limestone. Tree cover along the trail provides shade for much of the route. There are many gravel road crossings along the trail, and we will have volunteers stationed at some to offer water and assistance if needed. Upon reaching the Urbana city park, you are invited to partake in a grilled lunch provided by VFW post 8884 (free will offer) from 11:30 am - 2 pm. This ride is geared for families, but the 9 mile ride may be challenging for younger bikers not used to distance riding. Please use your discretion. To break up the ride and add some fun, participants will be involved in a scavenger hunt using their phone cameras. Dressing in layers with a small backpack to carry peeled items, water and snacks, sunscreen and insect repellant is recommended. Pre-registration is required at www.buchanancountyparks.com under the Public Events Tab. Hannen Lake Park Chili Cook-offOctober 1st, 11:30pm - 3:00pm at Hannen Lake ParkWhite Oak Shelter 1949 Benton Iowa Rd., Blairstown, IAJoin us for some Hannen Lake Park fall fun with delicious chili, live music and a Yeti cooler raffle! Chili cook-off registration is from 11:30 AM-12:00 PM, with $20 per recipe entrance (limit one per person). Judging will be held at 2:00PM. Grand prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place include: 2 weeks of camping, Hannen Lake Cedar Cabin weekend getaway, and 1 weekend of camping. Don't want to compete? Enjoy chili and live music provided by Scott, Annette & George from 12:00-3:00PM for free will donation. Win a Yeti Cooler! $10 raffle tickets available day of, cash only. Need not be present to win. Proceeds will go towards installation of hydrants and a swing set in the west campground area. Rodgers Park Fall Family FestFriday, October 14th, 6:00pm at Rodgers Park Enclosed ShelterKick off the fun fall weekend with delicious campfire desserts and a guided night hike at Rodgers Park! The fun begins at 6:00pm with campfire desserts. At 7:00pm, participants will head to the trails and do a night hike in the dark, with glow sticks and lighted pumpkins guiding the way. Registration is encouraged by calling 319-472-4942 or email info@bentoncountyparks.com Rodgers Park Fall Family FestSaturday, October 15th, 12:00pm - 6:15pm at Rodgers Park CampgroundLet the fun fall weekend continue by decorating your own scarecrow at your campsite! BCC will provide a scarecrow base while supplies last, or bring your own scarecrow! Campers can have up to three scarecrows at one site. Scarecrow stuffing will be provided, but campers should bring their own scarecrow decorating materials. Scarecrow decorating is from 12pm-3pm with judging at 3:30pm. Categories are as followed: scariest, cutest, and BCC outdoor recreation theme. The scarecrow contest is for registered campers ONLY. At 5:30, bring the kids dressed in their best costume for trick-or-treating at the campground, ending at 6:15. Everyone is welcome! From 5:00-6:15pm, park roads are closed to traffic. Save the date and follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/bentoncountyparks/ to keep up-to-date with this event! Grapevine Basket WeavingOctober 18th, 6:00PM - 7:30PM at Benton County Nature Center - $10 per basketCome learn the lost art of natural basket weaving! Participants will be able to make their own basket using wild grapevine. Limit one basket per participant. $10 per person. Limited space. Registration is required by October 11th by visiting: https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Benton/Park/Benton-County-Nature-Center/Events/21399/Grapevine-Basket-Weaving.aspx Grapevine Wreath MakingNovember 16th, 6:00PM - 7:30PM at Benton County Nature Center - $5 per wreathCome out to the Nature Center and enjoy the art of wreath making. We will be making grapevine wreaths and decorating them for the holidays. No skills necessary, just a little imagination. If you have anything you would like to use to personalize your wreath feel free to bring it. Cost is $5 per wreath. Please bring cash or check. Register November 9th by calling 319-472-4942 or emailing info@bentoncountyparks.com Woodburning Coasters & OrnamentsWednesday, December 7th, 6:00PM - 7:30PM at Benton County Nature Center; $5 per itemJoin us at the Nature Center to wood burn drink coasters and ornaments with a nature theme. This beautifully simple project is designed for all abilities. Some of the patterns might be animal tracks, mushrooms, or feathers - you decide! Cost is $5 per person (Includes one coaster or one ornament), plus $5 for each additional item made. Please register for the class by November 30th by calling 319-472-4942 or emailing info@bentoncountyparks.com Building Better Birders Workshop - Introduction to BirdingJanuary 20th, 2023 9:00AM - 3:00PM at Benton County Nature Center; $10 per personBenton County Conservation is hosting a Building Better Birders Workshop where bird watchers, "birders," will learn the basics about birding and have a chance to put their knowledge into practice. This workshop is the first of three Building Better Workshops around Benton County. To learn more about other workshops, visit: https://buildingbetterbirders.com. Registration is required by visiting: https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Benton/Park/Benton-County-Nature-Center/Events/21468/Building-Better-Birders-Workshop.aspx Come for the whole workshop, or just a portion! 9:00-9:15 Introductions9:15-10:45 Introduction to bird ID (passerings) presentation 10:45-11:00 Break and snack11:00-12:30 Birding hike (if there's 4+ inches of snow, we will snowshoe)12:30-1:15 Lunch break on own1:15-1:45 Backyard Bird Count presentation 1:45-2:45 Build your own bird feeder2:45-3:00 Wrap up and questions Building Better Birders Workshop will be conducted by Kelly McKay (BioEco Research and Monitoring Center), with assistance from Mark Roberts (Clinton County Conservation), Brian Ritter & James Wiebler (Nahant Marsh Ed. Center). Funding for this workshop was provided by the Resource Enhancement and Protection - Conservation Education Program (REAP-CEP).


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