Springbrook Education Center



Springbrook Conservation Education Center (CEC) Closing

The Springbrook Conservation Education Center (CEC) will close on March 13 and discontinue educational programming at the facility, as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) effort to streamline its state parks operations.

Springbrook State Park, adjacent to the CEC, will remain open and daytime educational programs will be offered there. CEC staff will be used to develop and coordinate these programs at the park and to further educational programming within the State Parks Bureau.

Springbrook Conservation Education Center was built in 1969 to train Iowa teachers in outdoor programming who could then offer the curriculums to their students. Over the years, the education center evolved to host more day-use programs with hands-on environmental education activities. During the last decade, school participation at the education center has declined. Today, less than half of the groups using the facility are schools. Many factors have likely played a role in the decline.

DNR staff are currently reaching out to groups with existing reservations to help fulfill their needs with other options. For questions about existing reservations and future daytime programming only, contact staff at 641-747- 8383 or anne.riordan@dnr.iowa.gov



“The decision to close the education center was a very difficult one, but ultimately we feel it is the correct one. We are confident that with the daytime activities in our state parks, the other DNR education programs, and the outstanding education outreach efforts of our county conservation boards and other conservation education partners, both public and private, we can fill the void left by this decision and meet the needs of our schools and public.“

Todd Coffelt, Iowa DNR State Parks Bureau Chief




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
hours
       
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 Among 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