Eden Valley is located about two miles south of Baldwin or two miles west then five miles north of Lost Nation. Nestled in the hills and bluffs along Bear Creek, it is, without a doubt, one of our most beautiful parks. With its picturesque hiking trails, a swinging bridge, observation tower, campground, cabins and nature center to round out the park’s attractions, it is indeed a local favorite.

Over the years, the conservation board’s education staff has often lamented the need for classroom space and indoor restrooms at the Eden Valley Nature Center. Built in 1978, the nature center is packed with great educational displays but has little open space and only nearby pit toilets for restrooms. 

It has seen a lot of improvements over the years, but none as dramatic as what the Conservation Board just approved at its monthly board meeting this week.

The Conservation Board gave the go ahead on a plan that would add a 30-foot x 70-foot addition to the nature center nearly doubling it in size. About half of the space will be dedicated to restroom and shower facilities to serve the nature center and nearby cabins and campsites. The remaining space will serve as classroom space and a community rental hall. Ground breaking is set to begin in early June.

Just this week, four area Whitetails Unlimited chapters made donations to the project that totaled $20,500! The Conservation Board determined that we now have adequate funds to break ground on the project. Fundraising done in cooperation with the Clinton County Conservation Foundation will continue so as to be able to complete construction and furnish the new addition. 

Donations can be made by contacting the conservation board at 563-847-7202 or via email at conservation@clintoncounty-ia.gov. Our goal is to have the project completed by spring 2020.

In the meantime, we are still looking for Eden Valley Nature Center Hosts. The Nature Center at Eden Valley is open on Saturdays, Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Our staff cannot be there for all of the days, and we are hoping to get some folks to volunteer to open and host for us. It’s easy – just unlock the door and turn on the lights! If we can find enough volunteers, perhaps we can extend our open dates into the fall. 

Hosts will receive a certificate for one night of free camping at any of our campgrounds or $20 off a cabin rental. Call us at 563-847-7202 to sign up! Volunteers are critically needed on these dates: June 1 and 8; July 6 and 20; August 17 and 31.