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Conservation & Parks
Conservation LogoResponsibilities & Services
The mission of Story County Conservation (SCC) is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Story County:
  • Educating citizens to be wise caretakers of our natural environment
  • Providing recreational opportunities
  • Wisely managing our natural resources

SCC manages over 3,500 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


Dakins Lake is Open! 
We are very excited to announce that Dakins Lake is open. This 103 acre park in Zearing has:

- 20 acres of water (electric motors only)
    - stocked with channel catfish, bluegill, and bass
- Boat launch and dock
- 10 sites with electricity ($12 a night)
- 17 sites with water and electricity ($17 a night)
- 12 sites with full hook-up ($24 a night)
- Two miles of trails (not for motorized vehicle or equestrian use)
- Shower house
- Playground
- Picnic shelter (available for reservation)

The original campground on the east side of the park still has 10 electric sites for $12 a night. Both tents and RVs are allowed in the primitive campground. All regular rules and regulations apply; but campers are now allowed to have an additional tent at their site for minor children. 

Thank you to all of our partners involved in this expansion project and the overwhelming community support. Though the park will be open, we will still be working on finishing some last minute touches. We appreciate your patience as we wrap things up, and hope you enjoy the new park! 

Phase 1 of the Hickory Grove Watershed project is open for bids. 
Bidding deadline is 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2. Plans can be obtained here. This project will include stream stabilization, grass buffer installation, grade stabilization, livestock exclusion, and installation of a saturated buffer. For more information about this project, click here.

We've moved to online registrations through MyCountyParks!

Now you can register for programs and events on the computer, and pay with a credit card.
Want to learn more? Click here.

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 is a proud partner of the Plant. Grow. Fly. initiative through the Blank Park Zoo.
To learn more about our involvement with this project, 
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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