Where’s Aldo?! Leopold bench scavenger hunt starts this week

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Chris Adkins, longtime environmental education coordinator and naturalist for the Dallas County Conservation Board, gives the first clue in the Where's Aldo?! Leopold Bench Scavenger Hunt. Photo courtesy DCCB

The Dallas County Conservation Board (DCCB) kicked off its “Where’s Aldo?” Leopold Bench Scavenger Hunt Tuesday with a clue on its website.

A wooden bench, bearing a plaque with a quotation by ecologist Aldo Leopold, has been placed in one of DCCB’s conservation areas. The challenge is to explore the county’s wild places in search of the bench.

Be the first to find the bench, and be rewarded with bragging rights and a one-year pass to the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

The first bench was placed by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. The scavenger-hunt process works like this:

1. Look for a clue to the location of the bench on the DCCB Facebook page or the DCCB website. The first picture clue is included above.
2. Search the DCCB conservation areas. For a list of eligible areas, visit the DCCB website.
3. Make note of the Aldo Leopold quotation on the bench, and email the quotation to conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov. Another option is to send a selfie taken at the bench location that shows the quotation.
4. The discovery will be noted on the DCCB Facebook page and the DCCB website.
5. The next clue for the next bench will be released in the same way, and the hunt starts over.

The DCCB will reveal the locations of the found benches on the DCCB website as an invitation to other adventurers to enjoy the benches, ponder the quote and take in the views.

Tag the DCCB or share your own selfie or view from the bench on the DCCB Facebook to encourage others to discover the bench’s location as well.

This activity — suitable for all ages — aims to shake off the pandemic blues, showcase the changing seasons of Dallas County and introduce the writings of Aldo Leopold for reflection.

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