Grimes Farm gears up for live entertainment and butterfly tagging

T-R FILE PHOTO Grimes Farm and Conservation Center is gearing up to host several events this month. The 3rd annual Monarchs and Milkweed for the Marshalltown Area butterfly event will take place on Sept. 15 from 1-3 p.m. at the Grimes Farm shelter area. The free program will offer family crafts, an interactive presentation on pollinators by the Blank Park Zoo, and refreshments. Capture and tag live monarchs in the field before they leave on their journey to Mexico. Pictured are participants from last year’s event, Yvette Meyer, and her children, Ethan and Natalie.

Grimes Farm and Conservation Center offers year-round indoor and outdoor programming to ensure people stay engaged with the natural world.

The facility, located at 2349 233rd St., has developed ways in which to utilize the recently constructed outdoor Leonard Grimes Memorial Amphitheater, including hosting biweekly Live and Local free concerts, with the next installment slated for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, featuring Billy Wilson on the Bodhran drum, Irish whistle and signature Irish jokes.


Holding yoga sessions there has also been a popular activity. Summer’s End Yoga will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 5, co-hosted by Grimes Farm and the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA, and led by YogaFit certified instructor Heidi Draisey.

“We’ve had several yoga sessions out there and they’ve been really popular,” naturalist Emily Herring said. “It’s a way to enjoy the fall season. We will also have another yoga session on Oct. 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will host them as long as the weather allows.”

Aimed at adults, the classes offer beginner-friendly to intermediate level.

Registration is $5 per participant 16 years of age and up. Youth 16 and under are free, but must be accompanied by an adult. Some mats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preregistration is required.

Brown Bag Bunch

Herring said she is excited for the next installment in the free Brown Bag Bunch educational learning program, which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 10. She will show participants how to prepare an appetizer, main course and dessert using a Dutch oven, with the goodies available to sample.

“There’s a lot you can do with them, but many people don’t know how to use them,” she said. “It’s a really fun way to get creative and cook and bake on the campground – you can really branch out.”

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited.

Monarchs and Milkweed

The third annual Monarchs and Milkweed for the Marshalltown Area will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Grimes Farm shelter area. Sponsored by the Marshall County Conservation Board, Marshalltown Parks and Rec. and the Marshalltown Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), it is free and open to the public. The program will spotlight the various pollinators found in Iowa, especially the monarch butterfly. The event will kick off with a presentation by the Blank Park Zoo, followed by family-friendly crafts and monarch tagging. Refreshments will be served.

“This year’s third annual monarchs and milkweed event is just another important way to provide educational programming for area residents and visitors on Iowa pollinators and the plight of the Monarch butterfly. We all need to do our part to keep them thriving,” CVB Executive Director Val Ruff said.

Families will be sent home with packets of milkweed and nectar plants, while supplies last, to encourage building your own pollinator habitats.

“The best part is trying to catch a monarch at Grimes Farm and then tagging it to see if it makes it all the way to Mexico,” Ruff added. “It is a wonderful day for families with kids to come out and enjoy Grimes Farm Nature Center and all the amenities available. It’s one of our top attractions in the community. We hope for another year of great attendance and fun.”

For more information, call the Marshall County Conservation Board at 641-752-5490 or Marshalltown CVB at 641-753-6645.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or