Advanced Training

*Idea: You may be able to get involved in a volunteer capacity for some events. Consider contacting the organization to ask if they need any help.*

**Please check event pages listed and/or with listed contact person, in case of any schedule changes or cancellations.**

We sometimes add events mid-month. To link to a rolling google document with the most complete list of events, click here


Wed, May 1, 6-8pmNoxious Weeds and Invasive Plants Identification Workshop (Central Park Nature Center – Center Junction, IA)
This workshop will cover problem plants found in a range of habitats including backyards, forests, fields, shorelines and parks. Find out about the methods and tools used by noxious weed control specialists to effectively control these challenging weeds. This class will be helpful for anyone seeking to control these problem species and for those simply interested in learning more about noxious weeds and invasive species. More info here.

Sat, May 4, 9am-NoonPrairie States Mushroom Club Foray (Wickiup Hill Learning Center)

Marty Augustine of the Prairie State Mushroom Club will lead participants on a search for fungus at Wickiup Hill on this morning. Meet inside for a program on mushroom identification. Then we will head to the woods to see what we can find. Of course, at this time of year many folks thoughts will be on the tasty morel mushrooms – though we will see many other kinds of fungi as well. We will learn a bit more about local mushrooms and what was located at the end of the program – who knows, maybe someone will even share their favorite spots? Bring a container to collect mushrooms and dress for conditions that may include ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy. More info here.

Sat, May 4, 10am-1pmPrairie States Mushroom Club Foray (Muscatine Discovery Park – 3300 Cedar Street, Muscatine)

Dave Layton leads a foray at Discovery Park and adjacent Butler Park woods, 10 AM – 12 AM foray followed by brown bag lunch and species identification with presentation at 1PM. Dave will also treat attendees to Grifola snacks during the presentation. Meet at the Environmental Learning Center. There is no charge for this family-friendly event, but pre-registration is requested by calling (563) 264-5922 or emailing Children must be accompanied by an adult. More info here.

Thurs, May 16,6-8pmCodfish Hollow Prairie Walk near Maquoketa
More info here.

Fri, May 17,6-7pmPlant, Grow, Fly Program in Indianola(Warren County Conservation and Annett Nature Center, 15565 118th Ave)
Join Blank Park Zoo & WCCB to learn about native prairie plants, pollinators, and how you can create your own butterfly habitat.  Plant, Grow, Fly is a conservation initiative to help protect our native pollinators. You will also learn how to register your garden.  Every plant helps, so the first 20 participants registered will receive a free native prairie plant. Register by May 16 at or by calling 515-961-6169. Free event.

Thurs, May 23, 4-8pm,What Has Wandered Into Pikes Peak Field Day (McGregor, IA)
Trees Forever and park experts will point out native and invasive plants during a 1-mile walk at Pikes Peak State Park. Learn about how native plants provide more benefits for the environment than non-native plants, including better food and habitat for animals and pollinators. Then help us protect our native ecosystem by removing invasive garlic mustard. Questions? Contact Jeff Jensen at 515-320-6756. $10 registration fee covers dinner and handouts. Info and registration here.

Sat, May 25, 9am-Noon,Spring Bird Banding(Conservation Education Center – F.W. Kent Park – Oxford, IA)

Spring is a great time to observe birds, especially those migrating through! This spring, join federally certified bird banders for an opportunity to learn about and see songbirds up close. The program will demonstrate the safe practices of banding through observation of banding equipment, operations, and viewing banded birds. Participants can come and go as their schedules allow, and no registration is necessary. This is a free program; for more information, call 319-645-1011. More info here.

Sat, May 25, 8:30pmCedar Amateur Astronomers Presentation(Palisades-Dows Observatory)
Topic: TBD. More info here.

Fri, May 31st, June 1st, and 2nd, The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar/campoutwill be held at the Loess Hills Wildlife Area 178th St. and Oak Ave., rural Castana.  Field Sessions offered on a variety of topics during the day, and evening programs will be offered at Monona High School in Onawa. There are activities for kids as well. For more information, or to register, go
You can also email:




Sat, Jun 8, 1-2pmRaptor Meet and Greet (Conservation Education Center – F.W. Kent Park – Oxford, IA)
Join the folks at Raptology and meet a real live bird of prey! Stop in at the Education Center any time between 1 and 2 p.m. to get up close and personal with some of Iowa’s native raptors. No registration is necessary. More info here.

Fri, Jun 14,7amBird Watching Hike(Wickiup Hill Learning Center – Toddville, IA)
Naturalist Gail Barels and Cedar Rapids Audubon birder Jim Durbin will lead this leisurely, dawn hike along the trails at Wickiup Hill. Discoveries could include nesting birds, ducks or geese in the wetlands or a unique bird at the feeders. All ages. Cost: $2.50/adult, $1 for children 16 and under or $5 per family. Registration deadline June 12. More info here.

Jun 18-20:Cyperaceae & Juncaceae Workshop (Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt – Maxwell, IA)

June 18 | 9:30 am – 6 pm, June 19 | 8 am-6 pm, June 20 | 8 am – 2 pm. Cost: $125 (before May 18); $150 starting May 18; $50 for students.

Dr. Tom Rosburg (Drake University) and Dr. Bill Norris (Western New Mexico University) are offering a three day Cyperaceae Identification Workshop on the Carex genus and larger Cyperaceae (sedge, bulrush, spike-rush, nut sedge) and Juncaceae (rush) families. Students will engage in hands-on exercises to build understanding of descriptive botanical terminology and the ability to correctly use plant keys. Field work will address topics in Cyperaceae ecology, plant species habitats and distribution, plant adaptations and interactions, and plant collection and voucher preparation. The course is designed to accommodate beginners as well as provide an advanced curriculum for professional conservationists and avid amateurs

Pre-registration is required. Registration is available online at If you need assistance while online, call 515/323-5300. This event is sponsored by Polk County Conservation. The class will be held rain or shine. Questions? – Call Doug or Lael at 515-967-2596 or email

Sat, Jun 22,10am-2:30pmIowa Native Plant Society (INPS) Trip to Twin Oaks in Warren County

Twin Oaks is a private property located in SE Warren County. There will be more details forthcoming, including an address. More info here.

Sat, June 22, 9pmCedar Amateur Astronomers Presentation(Palisades-Dows Observatory)
Topic: TBD. More info here.

Fri, Jun 28,7amBird Watching Hike(Pinicon Ridge Park)
Meet naturalist Gail Barels and Cedar Rapids Audubon birder Jim Durbin in the boat rental parking area for a morning hike along the Wapsipinicon River and through the forested trails of Pinicon Ridge Park.  Cost: $2.50/ adult, $1.00 for children 16 and under or $5.00 per family. More info here.

Sat, Jun 29, Time TBDIowa Native Plant Society Trip to Kent Park (F.W. Kent Park)

Field trip to Kent Park, Johnson County, to examine  native and planted prairies in the park. Joint field trip with INPS and Friends of JCCB.

It will be led by JCCB restoration manager Dave Wehde, who is passionate about plants and restoration and is in charge of Kent Park. Time and more details will follow. More info here.