Natural History Museum

The Calkins Nature Center is home to a nearly 2,000 square foot Native American and Natural History Museum that explores the story of Hardin County's ecological and cultural past. 

A question that one may ask is "why would a nature center have exhibits about human history?" It is because humans are, and have always been a part of nature. Human activities over the past 13,000 years have had a tremendous impact on the processes that shape our natural environments.

Expanded Museum Space

Our museum space was expanded in 2015 and was recently furnished with new displays designed and built four our center. Now complete, the museum has one room primarily dedicated to displaying Native American artifacts ranging from stone tools of the Clovis people (the first inhabitants of North America which are approximately 13,000 years old) all the way up to bone, leather and beaded artifacts from the era of written history which started at the time of European settlement.

Dedication of the Second Room

The second room in the museum is dedicated to telling the story of Iowa's ecological past. A primary focus of this room is on the period of time starting with end of the last ice age, and ending with modern conservation and ecology. It will focus on:

  • Fire ecology
  • Forest ecosystems
  • The Iowa River ecosystem
  • Native wildlife
  • Prairie ecosystems
  • Wetland ecosystems

Several of the displays that may be toured at Calkins Nature Area 7 days per week from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Would you or an organization that you may be associated with like a tour of the Calkins Nature Area Natural History Museum? Give us a call at 641-648-9878 or send us an email.