About Us

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Hardin County Conservation Board to:

  • Provide safe and healthful recreational opportunities
  • Protect and enhance county natural resources
  • Offer opportunities for our residents to participate in conservation education


The first meeting of the Hardin County Conservation Board was held on July 8, 1958. On August 12, 1958, the first parcel of property was given to Hardin County Conservation Board and is now known as Bigelow Park.

Homer Calkins was hired as the first executive director on October 5, 1960. Over the years, the Hardin County Conservation Board had acquired 63 areas and manages over 2,798 acres of:

  • Calkins Nature Area
  • Campgrounds
  • Parks
  • Prairie
  • Timber
  • Wetlands

Community History

Hardin County has a rich history in many aspects. The Iowa River Greenbelt has been an attraction for people since prehistoric times. One reason for this is the three geological surfaces found in Hardin County, consisting of the Iowan Erosion Surface east of the Iowa River, the Des Moines Lobe west of the Iowa River and the Southern Iowa Drift Plain in the southern part of the county.