Woodbury County News

Help us welcome our new Barred Owl, Harlan!

We received this owl on April 18, 2017.  We believe it is a male but do not know its age.  Harlan is permanently injured and unable to sustain flight, thus he cannot hunt for food.  He was hit by a car and found near a city park in Harlan, Iowa.  A compound fracture damaged the elbow and shoulder.

Thanks to Kay Neumann and Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) for their assistance with this owl and with our other raptors.

Stop out to the Nature Center and meet Harlan!

County Parks Opening and Camping Kickoff Dates Set


Campgrounds, cabins, restrooms and shelters at Woodbury County’s parks will open Monday for public use.  Parks opening that day will include Snyder Bend Park and Brown’s Lake-Bigelow Park near Salix, Southwood Conservation Area and Fowler Forest Preserve near Smithland, and Little Sioux Park near Correctionville.

To greet the camping season, the Woodbury County Conservation Department will hold a “Camping Kickoff Weekend” event May 5 through 7 at Southwood Conservation Area, Little Sioux Park, and Snyder Bend Park and Brown’s Lake-Bigelow Park.

On a first-come, first-served basis, campers will register and pay fees for each night of camping and will receive promotional items including a coupon for one night free camping later during the 2017 season at any of the county’s four campgrounds. Cabins at Little Sioux Park, Southwood and Snyder Bend Park are not included in the promotion. 

 Swimming beaches at Brown’s Lake and Little Sioux Park will open at 11:00 a.m. on May 27. Those beaches are not staffed by lifeguards.

Cabin facilities are available to rent at Snyder Bend Park, Little Sioux Park and Southwood Conservation Area. Reservations for cabins and enclosed shelters can be made year-round online at www.woodburyparks.org.   

The Conservation Board encourages everyone to visit their local county parks this year for some great outdoor fun close to home. In addition to the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, the Board manages sixteen areas comprising nearly 5,700 acres providing a large variety of outdoor activities.  For more information regarding county parks, contact the conservation board office at 712/258-0838 or online at www.woodburyparks.org.

Farewell, Olaf…

With great sadness, we announce that Olaf, our resident educational Barred Owl of nearly four years, passed away on March 28, 2017.  We believe it was from old age and definitely of natural causes.  He was at least 10 years of age but could have been much older.  Since coming to the Nature Center, Olaf has attended 170 educational programs and helped teach over 10,000 people about owls and raptors.  All will sorely miss him.  Thank you to all of our sponsors and caring individuals for your support.


2017 Summer Day Camps

The 2017 Summer Day Camp session dates have been set and are available here.  Full-detail flyers will be out soon!

Registration for Woodbury County Conservation Foundation members begins April 5th at 9:00 a.m.
Non-member registration begins April 12th at 9:00 a.m.

Click here for more information.  If you have any questions, please call the Nature Center at 258-0838 or email camps@woodburycountyiowa.gov.

M. L. “Stub” Gray Shooting Range To Close

The Stub Gray Shooting Range at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa, will be closed on Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. The Range will close for the season on January 1, 2017 and reopen on March 1, 2017.  Users are reminded that the range is open daily March 1 through December 31 each year, weather and site conditions permitting, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and days listed above.


A daily or annual use permit is required to use the range.  Daily $10 permits can be purchased at the site and $50 Individual or Family Annual Permits can be purchased online through the Conservation Board website at www.woodburyparks.com.  Shooters are also required to register at the check-in station. Annual permits for 2017 can be renewed online beginning December 15, 2016.

M.L. “Stub” Gray Shooting Range to Close for Event on October 2nd

Woodbury County Pheasants Forever Chapter will host their annual Youth Day event on Sunday, October 2, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Little Sioux Park.  Various shooting events along with other educational programs will be offered to youth participants.  Parents are urged to register their children ahead of the event by calling Scott Rustwick at 712-277-2263.  Lunch will be provided.
As part of the event, the Handgun/Pistol range at the Stub Gray Shooting Range will be closed to public shooting during the Youth Day event for safety reasons.  The public is asked to please plan accordingly.

Nature Calls–Beer Tasting Event & More

Sample craft beers, bid on unique auction items, and visit with artists about their work at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center’s “Nature Calls” fundraiser Saturday, September 10 from 6-10 p.m. at the Sioux City Convention Center.

The “blue jeans casual” evening includes nature art, beer tasting, food, raffles, silent auctions, and a live auction. Guests can sample more than 40 brews and craft beers including Oktoberfests, IPAs, ciders, lagers and beer alternatives. In addition there will be some select wines to sample at the event. Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and delicious food will also be available throughout the evening.

“This event is extremely popular. People look forward to it every year because of the relaxed atmosphere and unique combination of artists, beers, and auction items,” said Dawn Snyder, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center Programs Director. “Our goal is to raise funds for conservation and education programs,” continued Snyder.

The Nature Calls event attributes its success to numerous sponsors and local donors, and has become a fun and profitable evening for the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center’s special projects such as the Nature Center indoor exhibits, the Raptor House, and the very popular Discovery Forest Nature Playscape.

Eight area artisans and nature-themed vendors will exhibit their items available for purchase at the September 10 event. Items include fused glass, bowls from reclaimed wood, natural soaps, honey, cutting bMonarch More White Designoards, natural-edge slab furniture, graphite wildlife drawings and even salsa. Artists include Julia Licht from Artery of Sioux City; Tori Engelhardt from Wild Hill Honey of Sioux City; J. Mark Lary from Second Chance Woods of Sioux City; Vanessa Wodtke of Bloom Wild from Hinton; Lynn Jarvis of Snowflake Woodcrafts from Hornick; Susan McCulley from Sioux City; and Doug Johnson from Johnson’s Mill of Sioux City.

A highlight of the event is the Live Auction which includes Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints football tickets; fine jewelry; custom made knife; original artwork; overnight cabin stays; Xpedition Compound Bow and much more. In addition, more than 60 Silent Auction Items have been donated for the event.

Several cash raffles will be featured with proceeds to go toward Summer Youth Programs. There are two gun raffles this year featuring a 2016 Ruger .22 Semi-Automatic Pistol and 2016 Ruger 10/22 Rifle in Mossy Oak.

Advance tickets for “Nature Calls” are available for $30 each by calling the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center at 712-258-0838 or online at http://www.woodburyparks.org.

On September 9 and at the door the tickets increase to $35 each.

For more information on contact Dawn Snyder at 712-258-0838. View more auction items, sponsors, artists, and beers featured at the event at http://www.woodburyparks.org.