This Year's Project:
The Woodbury County Conservation Board (WCCB) and Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center have been offering quality educational programs since 1988. In 1995 a nature center was constructed by the WCCB as a multi-use educational facility. The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is located in the northwest corner of Sioux City in Stone State Park. Surrounded by over 1,000 acres of woodlands and loess hill prairies, it is the perfect setting for outdoor learning. Several miles of trails are available for hiking to enhance the experience. More than 55,000 people visit the Nature Center annually. The educational displays and hands-on exhibits help tell the story of the unique Loess Hills landform and the plants and animals found within this region. Exhibits are funded and enhanced by grants and private donations. A Raptor House exhibits two birds of prey that are permanently injured. There is currently a Barred Owl and a Red-tailed Hawk in the outdoor facility and an American Kestrel indoors. The birds are used for educational programs to teach others about raptor biology and adaptations. The Discovery Forest Nature Playscape is located in the forest and designed for exploring nature through play. It features a treehouse, climbing area, building area, music area, nature art area, slides and digging area. The Loess Falls Water Feature is located adjacent to the Nature Center and was designed for animal habitat and water exploration. Since the original Playscape was constructed there have been several new enhancements added. The most recent includes handicap-accessible sidewalks leading to the Playscape and limestone terraces for climbing and bank stabilization. The Nature Center’s professional staff is committed to providing positive outdoor activities to engage students in new and exciting discoveries. The programs are designed to compliment local schools’ curriculum and provide quality experiences to encourage life-long interest and appreciation of our environment. An extensive Summer Day Camp program reaches more than 400 youth. Educational programs are conducted year round. More than 150 volunteers give their time and talents to maintain trails, teach programs, help with special events, care for live animals and more. They play an important role at the Nature Center and are recognized annually.