The completion of the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center at the Rock Creek Marina and Campground has been delayed, according to Clinton County Conservation Executive Director Walt Wickham.
“The Eco Center is coming along nicely, but not quite as fast as we had originally hoped,” Wickham said.
Clinton County Conservation was planning on hosting an orienteering event on Feb. 25 at the new center, but ended up using the Rock Creek Marina temporary store instead since the facility was still under construction.
“When this program was scheduled, we were originally planning on the building being nearly complete,” Wickham said.
“Because it is not, our contractor, Clinton Engineering was understandably concerned about their liability if the public were invited into the building. The best we can offer to the public right now is a peak in the windows.”
Some of the finishing items like cabinets and interior doors have been on backorder, according to Wickham.
Construction of the aquarium is taking a little longer than anticipated. The aquarium is now scheduled for a March 13 delivery date. Once installed, there will still be some finish work to do around the aquarium. The interpretive displays will not be completed until sometime this fall or winter.
“While we likely won't have an official grand opening until everything is completed this winter, we do plan on having the camp store and community hall ready by mid-April,” Wickham said. “Other portions of the facility will be opened as they are completed.”
The Clinton County Conservation events calendar features a wide variety of spring events to the public. To kick off the spring season the Bickelhaupt Arboretum will present a program on the Vernal Equinox on March 20 at 5:30 p.m. For more information call 242-4771.
The Wheatland Community Center will host the Spring Pheasant Festival on March 24 at 5 p.m. The Clinton County Chapter of Pheasants Forever is planning a family night. They will have games, door prizes, an auction and a pork dinner. Cost is $10, people need not be members to attend. Call Brad Taylor, 563-357-0465, for tickets.
On March 29, Clinton County Conservation will have a Waterfowl Watch at the Ringneck Marsh Wildlife Area. The marsh is a resting and feeding point along the spring migration route for many species of ducks and geese. The conservationists plan to have a pair of trumpeter swans to release into the wild at the marsh as well. Ringneck Marsh can be found by traveling north from Calamus on Y44 and following the signs west starting at 215th Street to 150th Avenue. They will have binoculars and spotting scopes set up for the public to use.
For more information on these events or to find more events like these visit http://www.clintoncounty-ia.gov/Page/Conservation.aspx?nt=499 or call the Clinton County Conservation office at (563) 847-7202.
Follow Natalie Conrad on Twitter @NatalieConradCH.