Join the Excitement...
... at Heery Woods Nature Center

Welcome to Heery Woods Nature Center

We would like to invite you to visit Heery Woods Nature Center and take part in our award-winning programs. Since 1988, we have provided environmental education and outdoor recreation opportunities for over 120,000 people.

In-class and field experiences provide a wide variety of opportunities for schools, civic, special interest, and youth groups, senior citizens and care center residents, and the general public.

If you are interested in more information to find out what Heery Woods Nature Center has to offer your group, you can contact us at (319) 278-1130.

Nature Center Hours
Nature Center Hours vary with the season. Currently hours are as follows:

Monday through Friday - Intermittent Year Around

Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. -April 14th - through November 1st

*Special times are available year around by appointment for groups.

Contacting the Nature Center
(319) 278-1130 (7:30 to 4:00 daily or leave a message)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Program Opportunities

Heery Woods Nature Center offers a variety of program services to the citizens of Butler and surrounding counties. Our professional staff presents both in-class and field trip programs to school groups from pre-kindergarten to college levels. Field trip opportunities are offered throughout the school year. For first time teachers, field trips begin with a planning session to help decide what activities best fit in with your curriculum.

Activities for field trips typically include sensory awareness, ecological concepts, or investigations of the natural world depending on the age of the group. We also offer programs in outdoor recreation such as fishing, canoeing, archery, riflery, and basic rock climbing. Heery Woods State Park has a small on-site teams course to help build self-confidence, teach cooperation, and promote reasoning and thinking skills.

We also provide a variety of on-site and field trip opportunities for youth groups, adult special interest groups, as well as to senior citizens, care center residents, and the general public.

For youth groups, programs to help meet scouting badge requirements, learn about outdoor recreation, and develop leadership skills are just a few of the programs that we can offer. In addition, programs for larger groups on wildlife, storytelling, or outdoor recreation are also available.

Through our programs for special interest groups, organizations can learn about conservation issues, wildlife topics, or experience outdoor recreation opportunities. We also offer programs that help our adult audiences better understand the role of the environmental education program in Butler County.

Senior citizens and care center groups utilize programs that educate and entertain. Programs for these groups have included specific wildlife topics, storytelling, and animal therapy.

For the general public, we offer a wide variety of family-oriented programs. Topics range from outdoor recreation to wildlife to cultural history. In the past these programs have included canoe floats, cross-country skiing, hiking, apple cider making, syrup making, owl calling programs, bird feeding, butterfly gardening, and spring wildflowers just to name a few.

Friends of Heery Woods Nature Center

"Helping to involve the youth and families of Butler and surrounding counties in conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation activities."

The Friends of Heery Woods Nature Center is a private non-profit group whose purpose is to help support the activities of the environmental education and outdoor recreation program.

The Friends have 3 main goals.

  • The first is to provide Short Term Financial Assistance through memberships, general donations, program donations, and grants.
  • The second goal is to provide a Nature Center Fund through private donations that will be used for the expansion and development of Heery Woods Nature Center.
  • The third goal of the Friends is to develop an Endowment Fund to provide secure, non-tax based funding for future programs and recreation activities.

Membership Levels

  • Student - $3.00
  • Single - $10.00
  • Family - $15.00
  • Business - $15.00
  • Organization - $15.00

Donation Levels

  • Seedling - $10 - $99
  • Maple - $100 - $249
  • Cherry - $250 - $499
  • Oak - $500 - $999
  • Walnut $1000+

The Discovery Room

Inside our Discovery Room are exhibits that display many of the native and migrant animals from Iowa. Many of the displays have interactive features that help you learn about the animals that we have.

Welcome to the Discovery Room of Heery Woods Nature Center. Here you will find a virtual tour of the room and it's exhibits. The theme for our exhibits is "This is our heritage." Enjoy learning about the Heritage of Iowa and Butler County!

The Prairie

Between 1832 and 1900, Iowa pioneers converted over 26.6 million acres of prairie to farm fields. The 1.4 million remaining acres of prairie were mostly found in the wetlands of northwest Iowa. Today, less than one-tenth of one percent of Iowa's prairie still exists. The ecosystem that provided us with our rich Iowa soil has been reduced to perhaps less than 30,000 acres.

The Wetland
In 1833, it was estimated that Iowa had 4 million acres of wetlands. Many of these wetlands were found in the northwest part of Iowa, which is a portion of the prairie pothole region. These wetlands were homes to many a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl.

Today, the prairie pothole joint venture project by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the in the prairie pothole region and Canada are working to restore some of these wetlands for wildlife.

Many of the exhibits in Heery Woods Nature Center have a hands-on component like this wetland quiz board.

The Woodland
Iowa's forests were found mostly along the state's waterways. The first pioneers that came from the east thought of the prairie, "If an area is too poor to grow trees, then it will be too poor to grow crops." Because of this many pioneers cleared the trees along the waterways for farms.

Later, when the railroads began to cross the state, many forests were cut to provide the wood needed to make railroad ties.

The Turkey Tales exhibit, along with the Hoo Knows Owl Exhibit and the Tree Trivia Board allow participants to learn about some the animals and plants of the forest.

Living Corner
Various live fish, a fox snake, and usually a salamander can be found in the living corner of Heery Woods Nature Center.

The snake and salamander are used in interpretive programs that help others better understand reptiles and amphibians.

History Exhibits
Visitors to Heery Woods Nature Center can learn about the history of Iowa's Wildlife, Native Americans, and Heery Woods State Park.

In our Iowa Wildlife; Yesterday and Today Exhibit, quizzes and interpretive signs help visitors find out when some of Iowa's wildlife species disappeared while others tell a story of successful reintroductions and natural expansion of wildlife back into their former range.

In the History of Heery Woods State Park Exhibit, visitors can learn about the original owner of the park, its development as a State Park by they Works Progress Administration, and how it became to be managed by the Butler County Conservation Board.

Native Americans were found throughout Iowa. Made from chert, basalt, and granite, the tools they manufactured had a variety of uses. The exhibit in Heery Woods Nature Center displays some of the common tools used by the Native American Indians of the area.

Thank you for taking the virtual tour of Heery Woods Nature Center. Come visit us soon!