Who We Are

For decades Indian Creek Nature Center has led the area in sustainable building and operations practices. In 1993, the first net-metered solar panel system in Iowa was installed on the maple sugar house.  Relocated to the barn a few years later, these panels have consistently produced 25% of our electricity.

The purpose of the Nature Center is to promote a sustainable future by:
  • Nurturing individuals through environmental education
  • Providing leadership in land protection and restoration
  • Encouraging responsible interactions with nature

This innovative history of sustainability will continue at the Nature Center into the future.  As we embark on our future we have committed to a new certification program called the Living Building Challenge (LBC).  LBC is a super charged LEED program that focuses on true sustainability.

Our Vision

At Indian Creek Nature Center, we create champions of nature. What does this mean? We connect people to nature as early and as frequently as possible to breed understanding and passion for the natural world. We believe that connecting children to nature is especially important because people who are passionate about nature as children will grow into adults who work to protect it. They will become the next generation of environmental stewards. 

In a world plagued by Nature Deficit Disorder, the opportunities that we provide for learning, growth and unstructured play in the outdoors are absolutely essential for people of all ages. The future of our natural environment lies in the hands of people who care deeply about nature. Indian Creek Nature Center fosters that connection.

Our History

Our Beginnings

In 1849, two farms were established on land that would later become Indian Creek Nature Center. Nestled near the confluence of Indian Creek and the Cedar River, this land changed hands several times before Milo Wolfe purchased what is known today as the Bena Farm. The farm remained in the Wolfe family until 1899, when William Christle purchased it. For twenty years the Christle family owned the property, then sold it to Wencil and Carrie Bena on March 1, 1920. Carrie was William Christle’s daughter. The farm remained in the Bena family until it was sold to Indian Creek Nature Center in 1994.