Seeking public input on future plans and improvements for Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) State Parks Bureau will host an open house Monday, Sept. 9 from 4-7 p.m. at the Mary Barnett Memorial Library at 400 Grand St. in Guthrie Center.
The 920-acre state park includes a 17-acre spring-fed lake and timber-covered rolling hills along the Middle Raccoon River. Many of the park’s facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The Springbrook Conservation Education Center (CEC), adjacent to the park, was built in 1969 to train Iowa teachers in outdoor programming so they could in turn offer the instruction to their students. Over the years, the education center evolved to host more day-use programs with hands-on environmental education activities.
School participation at the education center steadily declined after about 2005, and the DNR closed the Springbrook CEC in March 2017 and discontinued its educational programs after 48 years of serving Iowa’s science educators.
“The decision to close the education center was a very difficult one,” Iowa DNR State Parks Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt said at the time of the closure, “but ultimately we feel it is the correct one. We are confident that with the daytime activities in our state parks, the other DNR education programs and the outstanding education outreach efforts of our county conservation boards and other conservation education partners, both public and private, we can fill the void left by this decision and meet the needs of our schools and public.“
For more information about the Sept. 9 open house in Guthrie Center, contact the Springbrook State Park office at 641-747-3591.