The Clinton County Conservation Foundation Fundraising Banquet is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the foundation on Saturday, Nov. 4, a news release says.

This event provides an opportunity to enjoy good food and support the environmental education programs and facilities of Clinton County Conservation.

The dinner, live auction and raffles will be held in Haring Hall at the Rock Creek Eco Tourism Center, Camanche. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The ticket price for this limited-seating fundraiser is $30.

Banquet tickets are available at the Rock Creek Marina and Campground Store, and through Venmo: @ClintonCounty-ConservationFoun.

The foundation mission is to support the programs and facilities of the Clinton County Conservation Board with an emphasis on promoting environmental education through community outreach to school children and adults. The all-volunteer board is comprised of community leaders, conservation staff, and Conservation Board members.

Foundation historical highlights

  • The foundation board was instrumental in raising over $2 million through donations, grants and fundraisers to build the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center located at Rock Creek Marina and Campground. Subsequent fundraising efforts added an educational Turtle Island area with live animal displays, interactive nature experiences, and murals celebrating the diversity of Iowa’s natural environment.
  • A busing scholarship program, which began in 2009, continues to cover transportation costs to make it possible for school field trips to travel to parks and nature centers for day-long, outdoor environmental education experiences.
  • In 2002, the foundation was instrumental in raising funds to purchase the Blue Heron Eco Cruise pontoon boat. The 24-passenger boat continues to offer free cruises to the public on a weekly basis during the cruise season. Exploring the Mississippi backwaters and main channel, special cruises include bird watching, history of the river through music, and sunset and fall foliage. All cruises are led by a CCC naturalist who provides a narrative of wildlife and river features.

Recent foundation highlights

  • The foundation engaged in a fundraising effort to build an addition to the Eden Valley Nature Center. The multi-purpose room provides meeting space and much-needed indoor classroom space for school field trips in bad weather.
  • The foundation is raising money to remodel the original Eden Valley Nature Center display area to make it a more effective environmental education learning space for school groups and visitors to the park.