Winter learning at springbrook.
Why Springbrook?

"According to a national study, 100% of schools with environment-based learning had students with improved behavior, attendance and attitudes relative to traditional schools." - SEER

Our Mission:
Promoting participation in the outdoors through education and involvement with the cooperation of individuals, schools, and organizations to improve the quality of life in Iowa and insure a legacy for future generations.

Springbrook Conservation Education Center - Winter

Virtually every square foot of snow covered ground is crisscrossed with tracks, hinting that wildlife is much more active in winter than one might expect. Deer tracks abound, from those of a single doe traipsing across the yard alone to deep trails showing the thoroughfare leading to the bird feeders filled with sunflower seed. This is a time of year when those feeders are frequented by not only birds but also by any other critter who can find a way to reach the seed, even if it means standing up on hind legs to reach the meal.

At those feeders, chickadees, nuthatches and finches compete for the best spots. Three distinctly different Red-headed woodpeckers make appearances, from an adult with bright red feathers covering its head, to a younger version with a brown face peeking from a red stocking cap, to the third, still sporting juvenile plumage that includes no red feathers at all. One by one, each selects a single sunflower seed, wedges it into a notch in the feeder, and cracks open the seed.

Winter at Springbrook is not all about wildlife quietly finding food in a blanket of white. There are bigger tracks here, too. Lines of boot tracks march up and down the snow covered trails, a sign left by the young explorers who breathlessly follow some of the other tracks, hoping to discover the deer. They make use of the knee deep snow and think about what it would take to survive as they construct shelters in the woods. Ice is tested for safety, holes drilled, and fishing lines dangle into the water as faces smile just thinking about fish swimming below. Owls call along moonlit trails and campfires welcome chilly hikers.

Today is a great day to go explore! Pull on an extra layer (or two), and join us on a trail at Springbrook or find a place of your own to investigate!

Be sure to check out our upcoming camp/workshop opportunities!

Come Visit!

2473 160th Rd.
Guthrie Center, Iowa 50115

Springbrook Brochure
Education Outreach

Cartoon deer image

Contact us to reserve your dates!
641-747-8383 or

Thank you for your interest in the Springbrook Conservation Education Center! The following resources will help you plan your stay:

Welcome Letter
Visitor Rules
Reservation Information
Fee Schedule

Cafeteria Prices:
Menu for K12 School Groups
Menu for Non School Groups
Meal Reservation Form

Day Use and/or Lodging Form
Day Use and/or Lodging Form

Emergency Contact:
AJay Winter, 515-669-7201

Activities and Lesson Plans
Activity Age Group Length Spr Sum Fall Win
Aging of Trees 5th - 7th grade 1/2 - 1 hour        
Animal Adaptations 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Animal Tracks K - Adult 1/2 - 1 hour        
Aquatic Life K - Adult 45min - 1 1/2
Archery 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Atlatl (Native Americans) 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Basic Orienteering 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Bird Banding All 1 hour        
Blindfold Walk All 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Butterfly Round-Up 3rd - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Calling All Owls All 1 1/2 hours        
Canoeing 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Carmaleetas 3rd - 6th 1/2 hour        
Edible Wild Plants 5th - Adult 1 hour        
Enviroscape 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Fishing All 1  hour        
Fly Tying 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Fly Fishing 6th - Adult 1 hour        
Fungus Amoung Us 6th - Adult 1 hour        
Habitat Sunprints K - 9th 1/2 - 1 hour        
How Many Can Come to Dinner 3rd - Jr. High 1 hour        
Kayaking 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Leaf Printing K - Adult 45min - 1 hour        
Looking into the Past 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Making Cordage (Native Americans) 4th - Adult 1/2 hour        
Observation Hike All 1-3 hours        
Orienteering using
Topographical Maps
4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Owl Pellet Study 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Red Rock Course (Orienteering) 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Reptiles and Amphibians 4th - Adult 1/2 - 1 hour        
Scavenger Hunts 2nd - Adult 1 hour        
Shapes (Orienteering) 4th - Adult 15- 20 mins        
Shooting Sports 6th - Adult 1 - 2 hours        
Small Mammal Trapping 9th - Adult 1 - 3 hours        
Special Place 4th - Adult 1/2 - 1 hour        
Stream Table 3rd - Adult 1 hour        
Survival Activity 4th - Adult 1 - 1 1/2 hours        
Survival: Fire Building 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Survival: First Aid 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Survival: Shelter Building 4th - Adult 1 hour        
Tall Tales 3rd - Adult 1 hour        
Team Building K - Adult 15 min/each        
Tree Cycle and
Rotten Log Critters
K - 6th grade 1 hour        
Tree Hunt K - 6th grade 1/2 - 1 hour        
Water Quality 6th - Adult 1 hour        
Who Goes There 3rd - Adult 1/2 hour