Habitat is the most critical component in maintaining wildlife populations. A Wildlife Area Manager is employed to plant and manage high quality wildlife habitat on our diverse wildlife areas, and to maintain these areas for public use. If you have questions, suggestions, or comments about our wildlife areas, please contact our office at 641-423-5309.

Haugen Wildlife Area
22151 Apple Avenue [map] This area is a 75-acre mix of wetland, oak timber and native prairie. Funds for its purchase in 1980 came from hunters and trappers participating in Iowa’s Habitat Stamp Program.

Mallard Marsh
2500 325th Street [map] Three man-made ponds and wooded hills make up 227 acres of diverse wildlife habitat. A high prairie hill on the north gives an uninterrupted view of the entire marsh.

Kuhn Wildlife Area
1873 310th Street [map] A gravel quarry site that offers 80 acres of upland wildlife habitat.

Winter Garden Park
1220 N 16th Street W [map] A thick layer of peat moss shows this 70-acre area was once a glacial lake-bed, deep beneath the waters of Clear Lake.

Zirbel Slough
8447 200th Street [map] This 330-acre example of the prairie marshes that once dotted the country provides habitat for a tremendous variety of waterfowl, wading birds, and other wildlife.

Stille Wildlife Area
4821 Jonquil Avenue [map] This five-acre wildlife area along a railroad right-of-way is divided by a small winding stream.

Mike Zack Wildlife Area
16638 230th Street [map] Fin and Feather Lake and Clark Lake are found on this 153-acre wildlife habitat area that was named after a member of the first county conservation board. This area was donated by Holnam and Northwestern States Portland Cement Companies.

Averydale Access
South of Hwy 122 on Birch Drive [map] Six acres of fishing and canoe access on the Winnebago River.

King Fisher Hollow
10250 Wheelerwood Drive [map] This 14-acre area provides access to the Winnebago River for fishing and canoeing.

White Wildlife Area
22038 Vine Avenue [map] This natural area on the Shellrock River packs a great deal of wildlife in its 34 acres. A boardwalk trail loops through open marsh, wooded swamp, restored prairie and streamside timber.

Claybanks Forest
West of Zinnia Ave on 225th Street [map] A locally rare stand of maple/basswood timber, this 56-acre forest has an outstanding variety of native wildflowers and it is listed as a state geological preserve because of a concentration of diverse, well preserved fossils known as the Hackberry Fauna located on the site.

Blue Wing Marsh
3748 220th Street [map] A 34-acre marsh that typifies what much of the local land resembled pre-settlement. The site features some native and restored prairies and prairie potholes.

Grover’s Meadow
15580 Zinnia Avenue [map] A 120-acre area with cropland, uplands, wetland basins and woody vegetation providing excellent habitat diversity.

Walch Wildlife Area
10811 190th Street [map] This large 303-acre tract features numerous prairie pothole marshes, vast upland nesting sites, and excellent fishing stream. This area was purchased through the cooperative funding efforts of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and the Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board (CGCCB).

Blazingstar Prairie
16747 180th Street [map] This rare 10.5 acre remnant of native prairie is a reminder of Iowa’s past. Many species of unique plants are found here, providing beauty throughout the growing season. The purchase of this area was funded entirely by the Resource and Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP).

Lon Whitney Wildlife Sanctuary
Junction of Lee & Bayside, Clear Lake
This unique woodlot was donated by the estate of Lon Whitney and is managed as an urban wildlife area.

Blair Meadows Preserve
West of junction of Eisenhower & 12 Street NW (north side), Mason City [map] Donated by the Blair family in 1994, this picturesque spot is a great area to relax, bird watch, and fish.

Winnebago Oxbow
3100 320th Street [map] This 80-acre area includes the Winnebago River, an oxbow lake, riparian woodland, and a restored prairie.

Limestone Prairie Preserve
24928 225th Street [map] This old 10-acre gravel pit is a good area to search for fossils, prairie plants, waterfowl and other aquatic life.

Willow Creek Preserve
West of junction of Eisenhower & 12 Street NW (south side), Mason City [map] Willow Creek bisects this 10-acre site, a prime area for nature walks and wildlife watching activities. Donated by local physicians in 1988.

Prairie Pothole Wildlife Area
[map] This 70-acre permanent “Wetland Reserve Program” land tract was purchased in 2001 through a cooperative effort of Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Iowa Wild Turkey Federation and Cerro Gordo County Conservation “REAP” account funding. The area includes 13.5 acres of restored wetlands and 56.5 acres of native prairie restoration and oak/hardwood timber. Located just north of county road B-14 (330th Street) and east of Apple Avenue.

Bluebill Wildlife Area
[map] A 62-acre parcel purchased from the Iowa Department of  Transportation in 2002, this area features a 40-acre “borrow” lake stocked for fishing. Acquisition was financed by a private contribution (Rita and Al Goranson), a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources”Fish Habitat Stamp program” (35% of total cost) and Cerro Gordo County Conservation “REAP” and land acquisition account funds. Located on the east side of Indigo Avenue, southeast of Clear Lake.

Donna Walker Nature Area
8103 – 315th Street [map] This area was donated to the Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board by Charles Walker. This 25-acre area includes native and restored prairie, wet meadows, shrub and tree plantings, designed to improve wildlife habitat, and has a small stream running through it. Located on 315th Street, West of Hickory Avenue.

Ring-Neck Wildlife Area
5891 – 125th Street, Thornton [map] This 148 acre wildlife area was purchased in 2015. The area is part of the “Wetland Reserve Program”. The area includes 11 restored wetlands covering 16 acres, 129 acres of restored prairie grasses and wildflowers and 3 acres of shelterbelts. The area was purchased with assistance from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Pheasants Forever, an Iowa Wildlife Habitat Stamp grant and a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. The area is located 1 mile west of Thornton on 125th St (B65).

Technical assistance is available to the private land owner. Equipment needed for these plantings is also available, please contact our office at (641)423-5309.