UPDATED April 7, 2020 - We appreciate the support and understanding of many changes that have taken place in our community and Linn County Conservation as it pertains to COVID-19 response. We continue to place a high priority on health and safety for users of our parks, trails, natural areas, preserves, and conservation education programs in consultation with our public health partners. This situation is always evolving, but want to encourage safe and healthy methods to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of connecting to nature.
Closed to the Public
- Campgrounds Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation on April 6 ordering additional closures, which includes campgrounds, to support the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. The campgrounds at Buffalo Creek Park, Morgan Creek Park, Pinicon Ridge Park and Squaw Creek Park will remain closed. Immediately closed are year-round primitive camping areas at Matsell Bridge Natural Area and Wakpicada Natural Area. This State proclamation extends to April 30. However, Linn County Conservation will continue to monitor and seek guidance from local and state public health officials in determining a future opening date for campgrounds. Other outdoor areas at these sites remain open.
- Playgrounds To reduce the spread of COVID-19 on surfaces and to diminish crowded areas, playgrounds at parks and the nature playscape are temporarily closed. These include playgrounds at Buffalo Creek Park, Pinicon Ridge Park, Morgan Creek Park, and Squaw Creek Park; as well as Wickiup Wandering Woods nature playscape at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center. The observation tower at Pinicon Ridge Park is also closed.
- Restrooms Outdoor restrooms, including pit toilets, at all Linn County Conservation areas are closed. Please plan your visit to outdoor areas appropriately with this in mind.
- Wickiup Hill Learning Center Along with the building closure, public programs and scheduled field trips are cancelled or temporarily suspended.
Reservations and Rental Cancellations
Customers are being contacted who currently have reserved shelters, lodges, cabins, group camps and the reservable campsites at Squaw Creek Park A-loop through May 15. Options offered include rescheduling the date of the initial reservation, requesting a refund, or keeping the reservation at this time if after May 1. Please be patient as staff is working through several orders with limited resources. We will contact customers of future reservations if the situation calls for additional modifications.
Parks, Trails, Natural Areas, Preserves
These areas are currently open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Safe activities may include walking, hiking, nature discovery, scavenger hunts, geocaching, fishing, and much more. A list of the 28 areas within Linn County can be found at LinnCountyParks.com Try a new open space you may not have visited before.
- Enjoy Activities RESPONSIBLY Spending time outside and connecting with nature is important for your physical and mental well-being.
- Social Distancing Keep at least 6 feet between you and others and avoid gatherings in groups of more than 10 people
- Practice Good Hygiene Use sanitizer or soap and water after being in contact with any surfaces.
New information as it pertains to the conservation program can be found at LinnCountyParks.com. Please sign up for our E-News.
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Please visit Linn County’s website, LinnCounty.org regarding awareness and recommendations to COVID-19.