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The original item was published from 6/16/2020 10:19:00 AM to 7/2/2020 2:24:51 PM.

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Conservation Department - Linn County

Posted on: June 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Linn County Conservation COVID-19 operations update - June 16

Linn County Conservation logo

In accordance with the Governor’s updated Proclamation of Disaster Emergency orders, Linn County Conservation strives to make outdoor recreation experiences and amenities available in a healthy and responsible way. Efforts will continue through this COVID-19 pandemic to provide opportunities and access for all to obtain the numerous mental, physical and quality of life benefits that nature can provide.

Facility Reservations

  • Shelters and Lodges Events and gatherings may now be held at park shelters and lodges. Park staff have implemented additional measures to help provide a safe and healthy event.  The gathering organizer must ensure the following (Per Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, signed June 10, Mass Gatherings -Section Three {A})
  • Social distancing At least 6-feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone.
  • Hygiene and public health measures The gathering organizer shall implement reasonable measures to also increase hygiene practices and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals.
  • Camping Cabins and Group Camps Online reservations are accepted.
  • Online Reservations Only Shelters, lodges, camping cabins and group camps are reserved online by visiting Click on facilities for additional details, availability, and to complete your reservation.


Campgrounds at Buffalo Creek Park, Morgan Creek Park, Pinicon Ridge Park and Squaw Creek Park continue to be open with additional sanitation and safety protocols. Non-modern (primitive) campgrounds at Matsell Bridge Natural Area (including Mt Hope) and Wakpicada Natural Area are also open.

Current camping guidelines include:

  • Social Distancing Within the campgrounds and other areas of the park, keep 6 feet between you and other patrons not within your own household and wear a mask when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Camping units Campsites are open to all camping units normally permitted under current department rules and regulations.
  • Shower house Shower houses with modern restrooms are open for registered campers. Those camping with self-contained units are encouraged to continue using their own shower and restrooms.
  • First-come, first-served The long standing policy of first-come, first-served camping continues. Reservations are only accepted for Squaw Creek Park A-Loop online at

Additional Linn County Conservation information

Linn County Conservation’s Parks, Trails, Natural Areas and Preserves are open. In addition:


  • Drinking Fountains
  • Matsell Bridge Shooting Range 
  • Observation Tower at Pinicon Ridge Park
  • Playgrounds The playgrounds at Buffalo Creek, Pinicon Ridge, Morgan Creek and Squaw Creek Parks are open, as well as the Wickiup Wandering Woods nature playscape at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center. 
  • Restrooms Pit toilets and flushable restrooms in our outdoor areas and along trails are open. Sanitizer is not available and users who choose to use these facilities should bring their own product.
  • Watercraft Concession In-park watercraft rentals are open at Pinicon Ridge Park. The canoe shuttle program is currently suspended.


  • Abbe Creek School Museum 
  • Wickiup Hill Learning Center Along with the building closure, public programs and scheduled field trips are cancelled or temporarily suspended. Limited programs are expected to be offered in July (stay tuned).
  • Various areas under construction Some areas or park facilities may be closed to the public due to construction, development, cleaning, and/or for other safety concerns.

Keep Linn County Healthy

COVID-19 is still here 

Social Distancing Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6-feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors. Have a cloth face covering or mask on hand when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Bicycle riders are encouraged to ride in single file when possible while keeping your distance. Avoid large groups.

Continue to Practice Good Hygiene Use sanitizer or soap and water after being in contact with any surfaces.

Illness If you feel sick and regardless of how mild the illness is, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.

Where will you explore next?

Linn County Conservation manages over 28 areas with a lot to see and do! Check out some of these sites at, and sign up for our ENews!

Follow us on:

Facebook at LinnCountyConservation

Twitter at @LinnCoConserv

Please visit Linn County’s website regarding awareness and recommendations to COVID-19.

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