This spring has been slow to show up but will be quite a welcome season after the winter we just experienced. Warm weather makes a person want to get outside, and Jasper County has so many great places to explore.
Woodland wildflowers are quick to appear when the sun begins to warm the soil. Ashton Wildwood Park, located just west of Baxter, is a fantastic place to see them. The woodland at Ashton is beautiful, hiking trails are ready for curious feet upon them, and the campground has opened it sleepy eyes and is prepared for overnight visitors. Also, don’t forget to attend a free program at Ashton Observatory, led by the members of the Des Moines Astronomical Society. Programs began April 6 and continue at 8 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 26.
Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve, located just off of exit 179 of Interstate 80, is a favorite place for families to picnic, fish, kayak, learn and hike. Through a very generous donation from the Krumm Family and a grant from the Jasper Community Foundation, Jasper County Conservation staff recently constructed a Sugar Shack to make Maple Syrup, which is located at the main entrance of the park. Watch for upcoming programming.
Just seven miles north of Newton you will find Mariposa Recreation Area. This favorite camping park has seen significant changes as it is nearing the end of its lake restoration project. The conservation’s favorite part of this park improvement could be the new boat and canoe/kayak access and fishing jetties. The park will reopen later this summer.
If camping is not your preferred summer activity, no need to worry, the very talented (and incredibly busy) Jasper County Conservation staff has planned an entire summer full of family events, environmental education classes and outdoor adventures sure to awaken your senses. There is something for everybody scheduled nearly every week of the summer, whether you are looking for ways to get your kids outside, searching for a family outing, or thinking of learning a new outdoor recreation skill. Take the time to enjoy our beautiful county and stay tuned for even more fun coming your way.
Be sure to follow the conservation’s Facebook page and get your name on the mailing list for the quarterly newsletter, The Jasper County Jewel.
Contact Jasper County Conservation at 641-792-9780 for more information about local parks.