Nature Center

The Nature Center has been made possible entirely through use of non-property tax revenues including grants, donations and fundraisers.

About the Nature Center

The Tama County Nature Center is located at beautiful Otter Creek Lake and Park in central Tama County. The 5,600 sq. ft. facility is a popular experiential center serving as the primary location for environmental education activities of the Conservation Board and provides a top quality display room to inspire visitors.

A professional Naturalist is available to help plan and host field trips, summer camps, day trips, and more at Otter Creek Lake and Park. Click here for more information on educational programming.


The display room reached completion on July 1, 2016, and provides visitors with many inspiring displays. The key component of the display room is a wrap-around diorama showcasing a riparian ecosystem with native flora and fauna. Children will enjoy our discovery wall and interacting with the exhibits, while adults will enjoy the peaceful sights and sounds of nature in an educational setting.z

The Exhibit Team members serving during planning and fabrication of the exhibits were: Chelsea- Josh Van Hamme, Dysart- David Hill, Cathy Wieck, Gladbrook- Geri Eilers, Montour- Melody Bro, Tama- George Corum, Ginny Elliott, Toledo- Dennis Appelgate, Bob Etzel, Jim Little, Denise Fletcher, and Traer- Yvette Berner, Judy Krebsbach. These individuals have graciously donated their time and talents to assure a quality display component of the Nature Center will be available to Tama County residents and guests.

Nature Center Hours

Open by appointment only

Using the Nature Center

Rental Fee: $125/day with $100 security deposit

While the facility's primary purpose is for environmental education activities, it may also be rented to serve as host site for private events such as training workshops, banquets, weddings and receptions. 

There are restrictive policies in place regarding use of the Nature Center. For further information pertaining to non-profit youth overnights at the Nature Center please contact our main office at 641-484-2231. Learn more about how to reserve the nature center, rental fees, and the policies in place: 

Nature Center Policies

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