Get a dose of Vitamin D by getting outside

Spring has sprung! Polk County Conservation invites you to come out and discover Iowa’s outdoor wonders in central Iowa. Polk County Conservation Naturalists have a variety of outdoor discovery opportunities planned throughout the spring and summer months and our educational and fun programs are designed for all age levels.

Spring in Iowa

Get a dose of Vitamin N “Nature” and Vitamin D “sunshine” to boost your spirits after one the longest, coldest winters on record. Research has shown that getting as little as 10 minutes of sunshine a day can boost Vitamin D levels. Benefits of increased Vitamin D levels include, reduction of hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and diabetes.   Regarding Vitamin N, research has shown kids who play outside are more physically active, more creative in the their play, less aggressive and show better concentration.

Come join us for a fun, educational and healthy outdoor activity. To view a complete listing of Polk County Conservation programs go to www.leadingyououtdoors.org or www.mycountyparks.org for outdoor programming listings throughout Iowa. A sampling of spring outdoor programming opportunities are listed below: 

  1. Wild Night Hike, Thursday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. or Friday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. at Jester Park, camp area #5, 11407 NW Jester Park Drive, Granger, IA. 
    Join PCC naturalists for a campfire program about the wild night life in Jester Park. A short hike will follow as we search for some of these nocturnal animals. Afterward enjoy eating s‘mores around the campfire.  Pre-registration required. Fee $5
  2. Earthday Invasive Species Removal, Tuesday, April 22, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Easter Lake Park, 2830 Easter Lake Drive, Des Moines.  
    Join Polk County Conservation staff to celebrate Earth Day with an invasive species removal project at Easter Lake with Polk Soil and Water Conservation District.
  3. Spring Wildflower Hike, Saturday, April 26 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. at Thomas Mitchell Park. 4250 NE 108th, Mitchellville, IA.
    Enjoy a beautiful spring day as we hike through the woods to view and identify the dazzling display of spring wildflowers.

  4. May Day Hike, Thursday, May 1 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Easter Lake Park, Shelter #4, 2830 Easter Lake Drive, Des Moines, IA.
    May Day celebrates the arrival of spring. Take a short hike looking for spring wildflowers then make a May Day basket to take home.

  5. Catch-n-Croakers, Friday, May 16 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Chichaqua Longhouse, 8700 NE 126 Ave, Maxwell, IA.
    Learn to identify frogs by sight and sound before sloshing into the wetlands to catch these amazing creatures. Bring your own net and flashlight.  Wear shoes that can get wet and muddy.

Get outside and get active… Spring has sprung!

Lori Foresman-Kirpes
Naturalist, Polk County Conservation

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