OPEN SAT/SUN 1-5 PM mid-April through mid-October OR BY APPOINTMENT
||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
|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
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
LIVE ANIMAL DISPLAY- OPEN
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
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
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
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
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.
|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
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,
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.
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.