The Mahaska County Conservation Center is located at the Russell Wildlife Area. The center promotes conservation education and provides a means to reconnect people with the natural world. Inside the center you'll find live animal displays, hands-on activities, and interactive dioramas of Iowa's forest, prairie, and wetland ecosystems.
The old limestone quarries of the Russell Wildlife Area are well known for their Mississippian Age fossils and collectors from across the country have traveled here to search for remains in this ancient ocean. A display featuring the fossils of the park will help you brush up on your prehistoric ID before heading down the trails to hunt for these sea creatures turned to stone.
There are also displays depicting the archaeological finds from the Cedar Bluffs excavation, as well as the life of Iowa's forgotten conservation hero, John F. Lacey.
The conservation center is frequently used for public educational programs, as well as events for scouting groups, 4-H clubs, church groups, civic and conservation organizations.