December 09, 2021

Jasper County Conservation plans winter activities

To help beat the wintertime blues, Jasper County Conservation has planned several upcoming events this month. Whether its a movie showing, skiing or moon gazing, there will be an activity for all ages.

OWLS

The Older Wiser Livelier Seniors program (OWLS) will meet at 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday for a Cabin Fever Movie: “Fly Away Home.” Naturalist Katie Cantu said the OWLS program has hosted events for the past 10 years on the second Wednesday of the month, and the January movie time is one of its regular events.

“The program has really grown recently,” Cantu said. “We are really excited — we have around 25 to 30 attendees and it’s not always the same people.”

Cantu said when the program started, the conservation was reaching out to build an educational program for the older generation

“We felt that this generation wasn’t always attending our other events and maybe they don’t have kids to bring with them to other programs,” Cantu said. “This monthly meeting helps them stay active.”

The OWLS program meets at 1030 W. Second St. S. in Newton.

Cross-country ski and snowshoe

The Ski and Snowshoe event is slated for four Saturdays this winter, including, Jan. 13 and 20 and Feb. 3 and 10 at Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve. To participate it’s $5 per person or $20 for a family.

“This event really depends on snow cover,” Cantu said. “We usually try to do this event with multiple middle schools in the county and last year we weren’t able to do any.”

Cantu said when the event is canceled, it’s normally not rescheduled. The best way to find out if the event is canceled is to check the Jasper County Conservation’s Facebook page or call the conservation office the day before.

“We have been doing this event for at least 17 years, and it has been made possible through a Warren County grant, and we also got a personal donation of skis and snowshoes,” Cantu said.

All ages and levels of expertise are welcome to attend, according to Cantu.

Supermoon Trilogy

Following high attendance at the solar eclipse viewing party in August, Jasper County Conservation will continue educating the community about astronomy. The conservation will hold a free program at 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 27 presented by the Des Moines Astronomical Society at Ashton Observatory.

“The solar eclipse was such a big event, we wanted to show people what’s coming up at the end of January,” Cantu said.

The presentation will prepare attendees to spot a rare occurrence which will happen on Jan. 31. Cantu said a second full moon of the month is expected, and since a blue moon can be spotted, it is considered a Supermoon.

Since it will be very close to Earth and early in the morning, there will be the opportunity to see a lunar eclipse (Earth moves in-between the sun and the moon).

If there is snow, there will have snowshoes available for rent for an optional snowshoe hike under the bright moon. Treats will also be provided.

Pre-registration is required for this event by calling the conservation office at 641-792-9780 or emailing conservation@co.jasper.ia.us by Jan. 19.

Contact Kayla Singletary
at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or ksingletary@newtondailynews.com