52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


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Fontana Interpretive Nature Center


Fontana Park and Interpretive Nature Center, just 9 miles north of Independence on Hwy 150, were developed around a 19th-century mill site. A shelter house was built on the old mill foundation, and the millstones are on display. Fontana Park offers fishing, hiking trails, camping, and a playground.

The Fontana Interpretive Nature Center was built with conservation in mind, making use of local resources and energy-efficient technology. Exhibits in the nature center help visitors understand how we can "make our home in a living environment." As visitors use the nature center they see and touch natural objects, play games, and find answers to questions.

In addition to the nature center, visitors to Fontana Park can enjoy the live wildlife display that features animals native to Iowa. Animals in the display include orphaned, injured, or human-raised wildlife that can no longer live in the wild. Without human care, they would perish. It is the belief of center supporters that the animals displayed here serve a valuable purpose to educate the public about Iowa's native wildlife and the need to protect and respect them. Daily care is given by a dedicated staff that provides the best possible environment for the residents of the display. The display is licensed and regularly inspected by federal inspectors of the Animal Protection Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. An attending veterinarian serves its veterinary needs.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Fontana Interpretive Nature Center

Fontana Park Interpretive Nature Center was built on a 19th century mill site. A shelter house was built on the old mill foundation, and the mill stones are on display.

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  • Fontana Interpretive Nature Center
  • Hazleton
  • (319) 636-2617