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Iowa County was a natural gateway to the west. Since the mid 1800's, early
pioneers traveled throughout Iowa County and into the Iowa Wilderness. Pioneers
and military wagon trains wound their way through oak groves and expanses of
tall grass prairie along the Diamond Trail. Settlers followed the Iowa River and
English River into the heart of the country, settling on farms and in small
towns. Along the way, they encountered a great diversity of landscapes from oak
hickory savannas to oxbow marshes.
Today, Interstate 80 is the main thoroughfare and Iowa County still boasts of
beautiful forests and rolling prairies, riparian river corridors and diverse
wildlife. The people of Iowa County still value the land and have set aside
natural areas with the help of the Iowa County Conservation Board.
Many of our county areas are managed as wildlife habitat and conservation areas.
They range from the Fuller Addition, 160 acre wetland along the English River
that adjoins 330 acres in neighboring counties to the 20 acre Butler Timber.
There are three preserves where hunting and trapping is not allowed but most
other outdoor activities are permitted.
Lake Iowa Park is our largest recreational area including a 97 acre lake, camp
ground and trails. Since 1962, visitors have enjoyed fishing, camping,
picnicking, hiking and swimming. Winter sports such as cross country skiing, ice
fishing and winter camping also available. Naturalist programs are offered
throughout the year. Gateway Park and Preserve, which has a 40 acre pond and
access to the Iowa River is another of our recreational areas.
Iowa County is the home of many unique natural areas located off the "I-80
trail". If you would like to visit, feel free to contact us by phone, fax, email
or just stop by Lake Iowa Park and visit with the Conservation Board staff.
Conservation Education Program
In order to encourage or 'wise use' of natural resources, the Iowa County
Conservation Board has adopted an educational program that promotes awareness
and experience through a combination of school and public programs.
The school program is a series of field day, school yard and classroom
activities for students in Pre-school to High School. Each activity presents a
hands-on approach to ecology, biology, outdoor skills and resource conservation
A variety of workshops, presentations, hikes and campground programs are also
presented for the general public. A free quarterly newsletter lists events and
highlights projects and topics related to conservation board activities and
The Iowa County Conservation Board and staff work for the people of Iowa County.
The education program is just one of the services we provide, therefore, fees
are not usually charged for our programs, however donations are always
Conservation Board Members:
Justin Parsons-Board Member
Gordon Dietze-Board Member,
Shirley Messer- Board Member,
Vic Rathje-Board Member,
Marcia Wehner- Board Member Conservation
Address of office:
2550 G Avenue
Ladora, Iowa 52251
Shelby Williams, Park Ranger
Iowa County Conservation Board Website
How is the Nature Center Coming?
by Iowa County Conservation Board
Gateway Park &