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.


  Barred owls  
Oakland Mills County Park is home to several raptors that all have 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 two barred owls, Iowa's most common mid-sized owl, and they are sponsored by Todd Brereton; John and Mary Ann Freeland; Henry County Nature Society; Duane and Joni Maxwell; Lori Muntz; Real Estate by Waters; Alexandria Rowe; Ralph and Helen See; Steffensmeier Surveying; and Winfield Elementary School. The hoot of a barred owl resembles the English words: "Who cooks for you?" All three have wing injuries, and the smallest is blind in one eye.
Red-tailed Hawks 

The female red-tailed hawk on the right is a special black phase of this species, called a Harlan's. The male has more typical coloring and is sitting on the left. They are sponsored by Electronic Engineering Co.; Otto and Collette Groenewald; David McCoid; Dan Peterson; Ralph and Helen See; and Paulette Shappell. Both have partial wing amputations.

Rough-legged hawk 

Oakland Mills is now home to a rough-legged hawk. She is a beautiful girl that likes to eat! She has a partial amputation and cannot fly. Rough-legged hawks nest in the Arctic and return to Iowa for the fall and winter months. Their tails and wings are longer that those of red-tailed hawks. She is sponsored by Dick and JoAnn Corell; Friends of Conservation in Henry County;  Iris Dental P.C.; Bruce and Bertha King; Genevieve McCabe; Pat and Brenda McCabe; Jim and Doris Onorato; Mike Prottsman; Ralph and Helen See; Jared and Cole Smith; Deborah Fisher Vroom; and and Drs. Steve and Mary Wettach.

Long-eared owl 

This little guy has a serious wing and foot injury. Long-eared owls are considered to be threatened under Iowa's Threatened and Endangered Species Act. He is sponsored by Sharon Barton; Dane and Chaley Cook; Richard and Elizabeth Garrels; Bruce and Bertha King; Nadine Martin; Genevieve McCabe; Pat and Brenda McCabe; Kenny Morrison Memorial; Ralph and Helen See; and Rob, Kat, and Rhett Zeglen.

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 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