For a day of family entertainment at its best, make tracks for the Oakland Mills Nature Center and Park.


  Oakland Mills Nature Center

 

Oakland Mills Nature Center

OPEN SAT/SUN 1-5 PM mid-April through mid-October OR BY APPOINTMENT

Oakland Mills Nature Center Sign

 Welcome to Oakland Mills Nature Center! For a day of family entertainment at its best, make tracks for the Oakland Mills Nature Center and Park. Our nature center is different than most. This is the place to learn what the rest of the park has to offer.

Learn about the Skunk River Valley and the varieties of plants and animals in this area. Discover how each species of wildlife interacts with its habitat, and test your knowledge of nature by experiencing the exhibits. Whether they test your sense of touch or your knowledge of the weather, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much these exhibits can teach you. View exhibits relating to the Skunk River Valley

When you feel ready to practice what was learned, step outside to experience it all first hand throughout the park. Come discover wildlife such as raccoons, deer, hawks, owls, squirrels, and many others in their natural habitat.

In addition to wildlife, you may observe or participate in various other activities on the grounds such as trailer or tent camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, admiring the spillway, or hiking the nature trails.

Hope to see you soon with your walking shoes, camera, and your sense of adventure for a full day of excitement at the Oakland Mills Nature Center and Park.


LIVE ANIMAL DISPLAY- OPEN YEAR-ROUND
Bobcat 

The Henry County Conservation Department recently lost our resident male bobcat. He was born and raised in captivity and was donated by a southeastern Iowa woman. He brought many visitors to the park and will be greatly missed.

He was sponsored by Allie’s on Jackson Street; Sharon Barton; Sam Beatty; Jan Feltes; Bruce and Bertha King; Q P & P; Eugene and June Schutte; Deborah Fisher Vroom; and Drs. Steve and Mary Wettach.

 

Iowa has three native wild cats: the bobcat, lynx, and mountain lion.

Bobcats are secretive creatures that live in a variety of habitats- anywhere from deep forests to the desert. They are known for being the most abundant wild cat in Iowa. By the early 1900’s, bobcats were scarce due to unregulated hunting, trapping, and poisoning of these animals. In the 1930’s and 40’s, Iowa residents started seeing bobcats again, and their populations have continued to rise.

Most of the early lynx sightings were probably misidentified bobcats. Nowhere in Iowa did these cats occur in large numbers. Lynx prefer coniferous forests of Canada and northern United States. The last confirmed lynx killing in Iowa was in 1882.

The mountain lion, also known as puma or cougar, is the largest of Iowa’s native cats. Once noted for having the widest distribution of any land mammal in the New World, mountain lions did not occur in large numbers in Iowa. Resident mountain lions, along with the bison and elk, disappeared from our state in the 1860’s

The conservation message of this display relied on the public to view this animal and thereby formulate a respect for bobcats as part of Iowa’s native heritage. It is through knowledge that fears will subside and an appreciation of wild cats as an important part of our natural world will continue to grow.
  Barred owls  
Oakland Mills County Park is home to six raptors with permanent wing injuries which prevent them from ever being released back into the wild. All of these birds will be available for live programs on or off-site. 

We have three barred owls, and are sponsored by Todd Brereton, John and Mary Ann Freeland, Henry County Nature Society, Hy-Vee, Inc. of Mt. Pleasant, Duane and Joni Maxwell, Lori Muntz, Real Estate by Waters, Alexandria Rowe, and Steffensmeier Surveying.
 
Red-tailed hawks 

The female red-tailed hawk is shown at the left, and the one with the attitude is our male red-tail. Both are victims of being illegally shot leaving them unreleaseable. They are sponsored by Allie's on Jackson Street, Electronic Engineering Co., Otto and Collette Groenewald, David McCoid, Dan Peterson, Q P & P, Paulette Shappell, and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Pat McCabe and Dan McCabe, Financial Advisors.

American kestrel female 

This is our female American kestrel. Kestrels are the smallest falcon in Iowa. She was hit by a car and is permanently disabled and cannot fly. She is sponsored by Allie's on Jackson Street; Friends of Conservation in Henry County; Iris Dental P.C.; Mike Prottsman;      Q P & P;  and Jared and Cole Smith.

Note: In return for sponsorships, each sponsor's name is printed in every newsletter our Department sends out (500+ postal mail and 500+ e-mail three times a year); are on signs at the display cages; and are mentioned at every program these raptors are shown at. All gift amounts are accepted. For more information, contact Cari at 319-986-5067.

Most of our raptors were obtained from S.OA.R. (Saving Our Avian Resources) in Dedham, Iowa. Go to www.soarraptors.org for more information about their organization.  

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Oakland Mills Nature Center - Fish Wall

Oakland Mills Nature Center - Fox Pup

Oakland Mills Nature Center - Scent Box

Oakland Mills Nature Center - Turkey