Your Own Backyard

The Council Bluffs Public Library has announced its inaugural One Community Reads book discussion program. This year’s theme is “Your Own Backyard,” which focuses on important and relevant topics that impact our everyday lives. The topics include:

These topics are not new challenges in our region. A lot of work has already been done or is in progress to help support pollinators, the Monarch migration, and the restoration of native prairies. Many community partners are working to educate and find solutions to these issues. We encourage you to engage with these partners, discover what’s already happening in our community, learn what small things you can do in your own backyard so that you can be a part of the solution to this community challenge!

Top Ways to Engage

1. Read the One Community Read Books

An outdoor educator and field researcher recounts her incredible journey following the annual migration of the threatened monarch butterfly by biking with them on a 10,000 mile, round-trip journey through three countries.

A young honeybee discovers facts about her species’ metamorphosis, the activities of her hive’s queen, the way honey is made and her important role in helping support the planet’s ecosystem.

Illustrations and easy-to-read text in English and Spanish follow monarch butterflies on their journey from Canada to Mexico. Includes author’s note on how to help protect monarch butterflies.

Where to get the books:

In addition to the copies you can find on the shelf and place a hold on, the Library has multiple copies of Bicycling with Butterflies and The Way of the Hive available for checkout through the Reference Desk.  Throughout our One Community Reads, copies will be available for checkout with a three-week loan period.  Please contact the Reference Desk to check on availability.

If physical copies are not available, please note that Bicycling with Butterflies is always available digitally through Hoopla, both as an e-book and as an e-audiobook.

Digital copies of The Way of the Hive can be found through Bridges/OverDrive.

2. Attend a Conservation Focused Event

Learn more about our local ecosystem, the challenges it faces, and ways to get involved by attending one of the events listed below! 

May Hitch Hike | McIntosh Pioneer Cemetery
May 17 | 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
May 19 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Namaste Goat Yoga: Wine & Cheese Event
May 20 | 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Honey Creek Creamery

Taco Ride
May 26 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Namaste Goat Yoga: Wine & Cheese Event
May 27 | 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Honey Creek Creamery

Namaste Goat Yoga
May 28 | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Honey Creek Creamery

Namaste Goat Yoga
May 28 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Honey Creek Creamery

Taco Ride
June 2 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Ones Summer Camp
June 7 - 9 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
June 9 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Seekers Summer Camp
June 14 - 16 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
June 16  | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Wanderers Summer Camp
June 21 - 23 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

June Hitch Hike | Badger Ridge
June 21 | 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
June 23 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Into the Wild Outdoor Adventure
June 28 - 30 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Arrowhead Park

Taco Ride
June 30 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Taco Ride
July 7 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Ones Summer Camp
July 12 - 14 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Arrowhead Park

Taco Ride
July 14 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Seekers Summer Camp
July 19 - 21 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Arrowhead Park 

Taco Ride
July 21 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wild Wanderers Summer Camp
July 26 - 28 | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Arrowhead Park

Taco Ride
July 28 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wildlings: Brilliant Birds
August 1 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Wildlings: Impressive Insects
August 2 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Wildlings: Awesome Amphibians
August 3 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Wildlings: Magnificent Mammals
August 4 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
August 4 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Wildlings: Rockin' Reptiles
August 5 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Hitchcock Nature Center

Taco Ride
August 11 | 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

3. Visit a Local Park or Conservation Area

Pottawattamie County is home to several beautiful conservation areas that can only be described as “picture-perfect”. Grab your water bottle, sunscreen, hiking shoes, and go check out the Loess Hills and the wildlife that call southwest Iowa their home. A visit to any of these locations will remind you of the importance of protecting our native ecosystems. 

Arrowhead Park
Crescent Wildlife Area
Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area
Hitchcock Nature Center
Honey Creek Conservation Area
Olde Town Park
Wheeler Grove Conservation Area

4. Plant Your Own Pollinator Garden!

A great way to lend a hand in this community issue is to plant native seeds and plants in your gardens. Not only is this good for pollinators, but it's also less maintenance and upkeep for you! Pottawattamie Conservation has information on ways to source native seeds and plants, as well as educational resources for gardening for biodiversity and supporting the food web. Check them out! Once you've planted your garden, share your photos with us on social media by using #UNleashCB. 

This post was originally published on February 10, 2022 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.