Come to compete...or just to eat! Whether you’re a newcomer or have been Dutch oven cooking for most of your life, we hope you’ll join us for our upcoming Dutch Oven Cook-Off on Saturday, June 4th at Jefferson County Park! The goal of this event is to have fun, demonstrate Dutch oven cooking skills, and to amaze the public with the great food that comes out of cast iron.
Competing: Once again we are having both novice and “well seasoned” divisions. Novices (those individuals or teams with limited experience) will be judged separately and will compete for 1st and 2nd place prize money ($75 and $50 respectively) in two categories: side dish (rice, potato, pasta or vegetable) and dessert. “Well-seasoned” cooks will compete for 1st through 3rd place ($100, $75 and $50) in three categories: dessert, main dish and a new category this year, appetizer.
Eating: The public is invited to come watch and visit with the cooks. Individuals can pay a small fee ($5.00 for 13 year olds to adult; $2.00 for 7 to 12 year olds; $1 for kids under 6) that will allow them to sample the food after the initial judging is done. Proceeds from the taste testing will benefit the Cedar Creek Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
Birding the Grasslands. Friday, May 13th, 7:30 a.m.
Naturalist Therese Cummiskey and writer/birder Diane Porter will lead participants along a tract of the Lake Seguma Wildlife Management Area, which provides important nesting habitat for declining grassland birds such as northern bobwhites, bobolinks, northern harrier and the state threatened Henslow’s sparrow (photo above). Wildlife Management Biologist Jeff Glaw will give participants an introduction to the area. Meet in the north boat ramp parking lot of Lake Sugema. Directions: Drive through Lacey Keosauqua State Park following the park signs directing you toward Lake Seguma. Once you hit the four way stop as you are leaving the park you’ll want to turn right onto 240th Street. At the next intersection turn right onto 235th. 235th will take you to the north end of Lake Seguma. At Iowa Oak Grove Ave turn right and a short distance north there will be a parking lot to your left. This area is also known as Tug Fork Creek. You can also reach it heading West on J40 (Franklin Street) by the Van Buren County Hospital. Follow J40 across the river, past Pittsburgh, until you reach Iowa Oak Grove Ave. Head south until you reach the parking lot located past the DNR field office.
Wild Edibles Hike. Sunday, May 15th, 1:00 p.m.
Forage in the forest along the trails at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park! Join Naturalist, Kathy Dice (above right) for a leisurely hike as she points out wild edibles, how to identify them, prepare them and explain a few with medicinal values. Participants should meet at the Beach at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event cosponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, please call (641)-472-4421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Moon Float. Saturday, May 21st, 9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Paddle under the light of the Full Moon! Participants will head out on the water to hear the stories of the night sky come alive. Naturalist Brittney Tiller will be interpreting the various constellations and objects of the night sky from the calm waters of the lake. Participants should meet at the Boat Ramp at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event cosponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. Pre-registration is required and participation is limited. If you do not have your own canoe or kayak, some are available for loan. The trip is open to all but children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register by calling (641)-472-4421 or emailing email@example.com.
Forgotten Towns of the River. Friday, May 27th, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Paddle into the past as we hear the stories of former towns come to life through the voice of local historian Mike Miller. We'll put in at the Keosauqua boat ramp and take out in Bentonsport. This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event cosponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. Pre-registration is required and participation is limited. If you do not have your own canoe or kayak, some are available for loan. The trip is open to all but children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register by calling (641)-472-4421 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Night Tracking. Saturday, May 28: 9:00 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what animals roam the park while we are sleeping? By using glow-in-the-dark powder and black lights, we will be following the tracks left behind by these animals. All ages welcome but youth must be accompanied by an adult. Come prepared for a short hike. No fee. Meet naturalist Brittney Tiller at the nature center.
Need more info? Call Therese at 472-4421, or e-mail to email@example.com
Enjoy Your County Parks This Summer! Did you know that every county in Iowa (99) has a county conservation board? The Iowa County Conservation system was established in 1955. Since that time, over 1,832 county conservation areas, encompassing over 193,624 acres have been established. 24 million park users spending 851.5 million dollars visit Iowa’s county parks each year.