Buchanan County Conservation

The Conservation Board offices are located at Fontana Park Interpretive Nature Center.  Buchanan County Conservation Board provides parks, prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and river accesses for both people and wildlife. The Conservation Board manages 41 properties, and features an award-winning Environmental Education Program.  The Conservation Board's mission is to "improve quality of life through programs of conservation and education."

Enjoy Buchanan County rivers

Nature Center display floor hours are:
Monday - Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Weekends April 1st - October 3 1st 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Weekends November 1st - April 1st 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Nature Center can open by appointment by calling (319) 636-2617
Winter: Nature Center may be closed if travel conditions are "Not Advised," please call in advance (319) 636-2617.

Start off the New Year by reserving a cabin. Cabins normally are priced at $85 per night, but now until January 21, January 1 - March 31 rentals are reduced by 20%, which is only $68 per night. To make reservations click here: 

Winter Cabin

Upcoming Public Programs

Moonlit Snowshoe
Saturday, January 19, 5:30 PM
Cortright Wildlife Area 
Preregistration is required $5/person of $15/family

Strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the beauty of a winter evening at Cortright Wildlife Area northwest of Independence.  Participants will meet in the  middle parking lot on River Road Blvd.  If the sky is clear, the moon will light our way.  No prior snowshoeing experience is necessary, snowshoes provided.  All ages are welcome. Click here to get preregistered.

Sandhill Crane and Prairie Chicken Motor Coach Trip

Sunday, March 24 to Tuesday, March 26; Registration deadline February 22 
Only a few spots remain, register ASAP (must mail in deposit & info from brochure)
Click here to get Registration Brochure



MONARCHS MONARCHS MONARCHS Click here to learn about plants for Monarchs

Friends of Fontana Park

The Friends of Fontana Park (FFP) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help fund the Buchanan County Conservation Board's environmental education programs.  The FFP provides most of the material costs for the wildlife display, nature center exhibits, quarterly newsletters, and some of the many educational programs and exhibits offered at Fontana and other Buchanan County parks. For more information on Friends of Fontana Park and how you can contribute to this 501c3 organization, click here.

Roughly half of Iowa’s rivers, lakes, and streams fail to meet water quality standards
Less than 10 percent of Iowa’s wetlands – natural spaces that help prevent flooding and provide habitat for wildlife – remain, amounting to a loss of 5 million acres of wetlands
• Over the last two decades, Iowa has lost more than 1.6 million acres of habitat suitable for pheasants and other small game
• Iowa loses an average of 5 tons per acre of soil, our major economic engine, each year to erosion
Click here to learn about Fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund

Find us on:

 Would you like to find out more about wildlife, county programs, Iowa fishing reports and more? Please email dcohen@co.buchanan.ia.us to be placed on the Conservation List serve. You will receive approximately 2-3 emails a week about conservation programs in Iowa.