Summer Activities 2020

Due to COVID 19 the Lime Creek Nature Center’s summer camps have been canceled. However, we are still planning summer activities for youth to enjoy with their families/guardians. There will be five activity themes spaced over five weeks. This will ensure that we don’t have any larger groups gathered together. We encourage you to take lots of photos during your activities. Some of these will be posted on Facebook so that participants can enjoy seeing each other’s activities. We will have equipment available for check out that will be sanitized between uses. There is no charge for these activities, but all participants must register for a day and time during each week to pick up equipment and complete the activity (registration required - call 423-5309). Participants can register for as many of the activities as they wish. Suggested grade levels are listed but younger children may still participate with help from an adult. All photos of activities can be sent to:

Press Release: Lime Creek Nature Center Open with Restrictions:

The Lime Creek Nature Center will open to visitors on July 6, 2020.  There will be new rules for visiting the Nature Center.  Masks must be worn by visitors, you will need to furnish your own mask, sanitize your hands after using any interactive display, sanitizing stations provided.  The Nature Center will only be open on Weekdays from 8:00 – 4:00.

Address & Phone:

3501 Lime Creek Rd, Mason City, IA 50401                                    Phone 641-423-5309, Fax 641-423-1566

The Facility

Nestled atop a limestone bluff above the Winnebago River, the Lime Creek Nature Center is the place to learn about North Iowa’s diverse natural resources. Visitors will enjoy an impressive variety of mounted animals on display in the center, along with several aquarium displays of reptiles, amphibians, and fish.  There are numerous natural resource displays and “hands-on” learning opportunities for all ages. The center also includes an auditorium, a natural resource library (with books and periodicals), and Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board staff offices.  A backyard wildlife area with a flowing water habitat and  bird-feeding station provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.  A picnic area and open-air shelter are also available for public use. The Lime Creek Nature Center opened in 1984 and was funded exclusively by donations from private citizens, businesses, organizations, and foundations.  The unique building was designed to blend with the natural environment and make use of energy conservation concepts.

The Site

Surrounding the Lime Creek Nature Center are 450 acres of mixed species floodplain forest, ponds, and grasslands that comprise the Lime Creek Conservation Area.  The Winnebago River flows gently through this diverse area, which is listed as a prime wildlife watching site in Iowa's Wildlife Viewing Guide.  Nearly nine miles of trails, arranged in a series of loops, wind through various habitats on the site, allowing trail users ample opportunity to enjoy the area's scenery and wildlife. Trail uses include hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, and horseback riding. A unique concrete Easy Access Trail (handicapped accessible) allows physically challenged individuals the opportunity to enjoy a woodland hike.  The Lime Creek Conservation Area also has two walk-in primitive camping areas, and the historic ruins of the Lime Creek Brewery.


The Lime Creek Nature Center provides a wide variety of environmental education opportunities. 

Public Programs 

Public nature programs and outings are held throughout the year for all age groups, providing educational and recreational opportunities for area citizens.  See "Events" for a listing of upcoming programs.

School programs and Field Trips 

The nature center provides programs and field trips for school students to help acquaint them with their natural world.  By exploring a pond, looking eye to eye with a fox snake, or making discoveries on a nature hike, our youth can learn to appreciate and respect the environment. To schedule a program or field trip, email Todd Von Ehwegen at Email, or call 641-423-5309.

Community Programs 

Nature and conservation programs are also provided to civic and community organizations, youth groups, and special needs groups. To schedule a program contact Todd Von Ehwegen at Email, or call 641-423-5309.


The Lime Creek Nature Center’s environmental education efforts are not tax-supported, but instead are funded by donations and memberships. Our programming reaches thousands of people each year, and the center provides passive educational and recreational opportunities to thousands more. The rewards of these activities are immense, as they improve quality of life and provide Iowans with the knowledge they need to preserve our natural world now and for future generations. By becoming a member of the Lime Creek Nature Center, you will help us continue these important efforts.

Your membership dues will fund:

· Activities, programs, public nature outings, and events for people of all ages.

· Programming for special populations such as handicapped, elderly, and at-risk youth.

· Educational materials.

· Naturalist internships.

· Informational newsletters for LCNC members and teachers.

· Nature center displays.

Membership benefits include:

· Free quarterly newsletter.

· 10% gift shop discount.

· Program discounts and privileges.

· Qualification as a voting member (at the annual meeting of members).

· Satisfaction of contributing to the education and quality of life of thousands of people.


Volunteers play a special role at the Lime Creek Nature Center. Whether you are interested in volunteering once a week, once a month, or occasionally for a special event, the opportunities are endless. Please call us at (641)-423-5309 for more information.