Environmental Learning Center Opens Doors

Several hundred visitors came to the Mahaska County Conservation Environmental Learning Center Friday afternoon during the grand opening. Seen in the middle of the entrance is a see-through glass with a map of Mahaska County that highlights county parks and amenities. RD Keep Photo.

Mahaska Conservation Director Dave Sedivec accepts a plaque from John Hansen of Midwest Construction Consultants as board members Peggy Wright and Willie Van Weelden look on.


More than a decade in the making Mahaska County has a new conservation center. County conservation director Dave Sedivec had a broad smile Friday afternoon as hundreds of area residents, young and old, walked through the building during the grand opening.

Mahaska County Conservation Center as an idea began many years ago when the Caldwell Family donated the land to the conservation board. The area served as a small recreation area with movies shown on the big red barn that sat just west of the new building. When mammoth bones were found in rural Mahaska County the project needed to move into high gear.

Former Mahaska County Supervisor, Willie Van Weelden, who now serves on the conservation board, said funding was an issue. During the opening ceremonies Friday he said changes in how the county home was operated prompted the county to sell the property.

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