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Leopold Bench Scavenger Hunt attracts adventurers

Submitted by Dallas County Conservation Board
Chris Adkins, Dallas County Conservation Board naturalist, showcases a Leopold Bench in front of the Kuehn Conservation area sign. This photo was part of a clue for participants in the “Where’s Aldo?” Leopold Bench scavenger hunt.

Dallas County Conservation Board (DCCB) is hosting the “Where’s Aldo?” Leopold Bench Scavenger Hunt for the public in various conservation areas in Dallas County. The hunt is an active way to shake off the pandemic blues, get into the wilds of Dallas County and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

To initiate the search for a particular bench, a clue is posted on DCCB’s Facebook page and emailed to weekly eNews subscribers. People then search the various conservation areas in Dallas County, guided by the clue.

“When an adventurer locates a bench, they should take note of the quote and shoot a selfie with the bench. They should then email the quote the bench bears and the selfie to us," Naturalist Chris Adkins said.

An adventurer shared this photo of their “first-to-find” card and the wooden Leopold Bench that is the object of Dallas County Conservation Board’s scavenger hunt.

Emails should be sent to conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov. Each first-to-find discovery will be recognized on the DCCB Facebook page. To sweeten the deal, DCCB will award the finder with a one-year permit for the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

The benches were built by Josh Nelson (Troop 115-Earlham) as his Eagle Scout project. Financial sponsors chose a quote from Aldo Leopold, a native Iowan, father of modern-day ecology and author of A Sandy County Almanac. The benches serve as a resting spot for weary adventurers to enjoy the wilderness views and provide food for thought as they reflect on the Leopold quote meaning.

To stay informed on the scavenger hunt clues, find Dallas County Conservation Board on Facebook or watch your email. To subscribe to the weekly eNews, or if you have questions about the hunt, contact Chris Adkins at conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov or call 515-465-3577.