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Conservation & Parks
Conservation LogoResponsibilities & Services
Story County Conservation's mission:
Connecting people with nature and improving natural resources -- making Story County a great place to live, work, and recreate.  

SCC manages over 3,000 acres of parks and natural areas for outdoor recreation and takes an active role in developing and managing wildlife habitat throughout the county, including assistance to private landowners. SCC also oversees the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program.

Rules & Regulations

SCCB approved a second reading of revisions to the 2018 Rules and Regulations.
They can be found here and will be effective April 1, 2018. 


Hickory Grove Lake Restoration 

A public meeting was held at Hickory Grove Park's Oriole Ridge Lodge (67466 250th Street, Colo) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 to discuss plans for improving water quality and recreational opportunities at Hickory Grove Lake in Story County. A recording of that meeting can be found here: 

Construction planned will include in-park watershed improvements to stabilize areas that are actively eroding within the park and rehabilitate existing sediment catch basins to prevent nutrient and sediment pollution from entering the lake. Planned in-lake restoration work includes the removal of excess sediment from arms of the lake, shoreline stabilization fish habitat improvements, and updating the lake’s outlet infrastructure. Work is slated to begin this fall and will likely be completed in the next 2-4 years. 

Hickory Grove Lake is currently listed on the State’s list of Impaired Waters due to high levels of indicator bacteria (E.coli) and algae. The overall goal of this restoration project is to improve water quality and recreational opportunities at the lake and remove the lake from the Impaired Waters List. 

If you are interested in receiving quarterly updates on this project, please send us an email at , and we'll subscribe you to blog postings. Updates will include photos, maps, updated fishery information, and more specific details on hat, where, and why the work in happening. 

Sensitive Natural Areas Inventory

We are working towards an updated inventory of the natural areas throughout the county. Click here to learn more and view a map.

PARK IN PROGRESS: Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor


Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor:

The master plan describes a unique community space located in the latest phase of the ISU Research Park's expansion, showcasing conservation techniques, sustainable technologies, environmental education, water quality awareness, and trail connectivity. This 37-acre park brings county, city, university, and state partners together to illustrate synergies between commercial development, quality of life improvements, and natural resource conservation. 

The corridor focuses on progressive approaches that demonstrate management of the urban-rural interact for both urban growth and resource protection. The corridor demonstrates a collaborative approach to commercial development that will improve Story County's economy, environment, and quality of life. 


Phase I focuses on stream restoration and bank stabilization. Select areas of forested riparian zone were removed to re-establish the historic plant community - tallgrass prairie with scattered trees. The stream was reshaped and stabilized to prevent erosion and slow the movement of water, allowing for nutrient filtration, sediment deposition, and reconnection of the stream with its historic floodplain. Phase 1 will wrap up in spring 2018. 
Phase II will then begin - elements include trails, gathering areas, educational elements, prairie reconstruction, and wetland restoration and boardwalk. SCC received a statewide REAP grant to assist in construction. Site amenities, paved and secondary trails, and key site features are being developed to showcase this unique site and maximize opportunities for environmental learning interpretation. Phase II work is scheduled to last until winter 2018. 
Phase III is the final phase, beginning in spring 2019, and focuses on a trail connector to county highway R-38. This piece of the project is vital to continue connectivity between the urban and rural communities of Story County. 

Stay tuned for updates. For more information, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday) or email us at .

Emerald Ash Borer
In an effort to reduce the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB) and protect our natural resources, the Story County Conservation Board prohibits the importation of firewood from outside the county into Story County Conservation parks and natural areas. To learn more about EAB and SCCB's firewood resolution,
click here.

Story County Conservation Center
56461 180th St.
Ames, IA 50010

Ph: (515) 232-2516
Fax: (515) 232-6989

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

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