The Hurstville Interpretive Center offers visitors a chance to explore natural resources at their leisure. Step inside to better understand the story behind our natural and historic resources through the many exhibits. Explore the links between Iowa’s prairies, wetlands, the rocks beneath your feet and agriculture. Exhibits help visitors understand how Iowa’s early communities, such as Hurstville, developed around the resources that were available and were a focal point for farm families. An outdoor pollinator garden and an indoor working observation bee hive allow visitors to see pollinators at work.
Enjoy the beauty of nature as you step outside to discover the prairie and wetland. In the restored native prairie you can search out reptiles, colorful wildflowers, and a world of insects. Take your binoculars and see what you can find living or visiting the wetlands during the different seasons.
Children and adults alike will enjoy the natural playscape features that encourage outdoor play! Visitor information and friendly staff help travelers find information they are looking for about the area. A community room is available for rent to be used by families or groups for parties, meetings or other gatherings. Education staff conduct environmental related programming throughout the year for all ages, including guided prairie hikes, monarch tagging, fishing clinics, bird house workshops and bird watching excursions. The Hurstville Interpretive Center is headquarters for the Jackson County Conservation Department.
Official Great River Road Interpretive Center
The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. Learn more >
Weekdays 9:00-4:00 pm, Weekends April-October 12:00-5:00, & November-December 12:00-4:00
At the Hurstville Interpretive Center, we reduce our impact on the environment by using geothermal to heat and cool the building, thus saving energy throughout the year. The shingles on the building have a 50-year lifespan; by having to replace the shingles less often, we are using less resources and saving shingles from being land filled.
In addition to reducing our impact, many items at the Hurstville Center are reused from other places: book shelves, tables and chairs leftover from other agencies in our county have been put to use at the Center; the carpet squares in our community room were salvaged from a remodeled office building in New York; staff compost food waste and yard waste and use the compost in the gardens surrounding the building; recycling has also come into play at the Hurstville Center; carpet, shingles, deck lumber, restroom stalls and other materials used in the construction of the building are made from recycled plastic.
Staff also recycle all plastic, metal, cardboard, paper and anything else that is recyclable that goes through our building on a daily basis. The Center’s outdoor pollinator garden boasts locally grown produce, including tomatoes, peaches, squash, pumpkins, peppers and onions, which are used during programs or given to visitors during their visit. With three environmental educators on staff, we provide environmental programming to the public regularly throughout the year.
The Hurstville Interpretive Center is ADA accessible, including the interior of the building, all the entrances and the sidewalk on the exterior of the building.
Pet Friendly Notes
While only service pets are allowed inside the Hurstville Center, the outdoor area is a great place to let your dog or other pet stretch their legs and get some exercise. With a ½ mile hiking trail through the prairie and plenty of lawn space, animals are welcome while on a leash.