Innovative Partnerships in Motion at the Jester Park Nature Center

The Jester Park Nature Center has been a community collaboration project with a broad range of contributors among local education institutions, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and businesses that believe in both the message behind the center and the opportunities that will be brought to the community once this project is brought to fruition. Through these public and private partnerships, a lifetime of learning and outdoor experiences will be available to all who visit the Jester Park Nature Center.

These essential partnerships that have been forged have helped shape the future of the center and will continue to enhance it for generations to come. These collaborations have created partnerships that benefit not only the nature center but also Polk County residents, visitors, and the very land in which we reside.

This project wouldn't be possible without the tremendous support provided by the Great Outdoors Foundation. Acting as Polk County Conservation's fundraising arm during the final phase of this project, the Foundation believes strongly in the role natural resources and quality outdoor recreation and education provide to the community.

In addition to the Great Outdoors Foundation's ample assistance through the design and fundraising process, the Jester Park Nature Center has also received a significant amount of support from a variety of local entities.

Listed below are some of the initial public and private patrons that deserve recognition and thanks for their efforts in this endeavor:

Blank Park Zoo
Central IA Tourism
Cities of Grimes, Ankeny, Des Moines, West Des Moines, Johnston, Polk City, Granger, Pleasant Hill
Des Moines Area Community College
Des Moines Izaak Walton League
Des Moines Water Works
Drake University
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Iowa State University
Local Parent Teacher Associations
Local Boy and Girl Scout Troops
Metros Arts Allicance of Greater Des Moines
Metropolitan Planning Organization
Polk County's 10 Public School Districts, Parochial Schools and Home School Educators
Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
Numerous corporate partners
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
Polk County Board of Supervisors
Vision Iowa - Community Attractions and Tourism
Community Foundation of Great Des Moines
Robert and Patricia Jester
Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Charitable Foundation
Principal Financial Group
EMC Insurance
Casey's General Stores
Wells Fargo
Blank Children's Hospital 
The Graham Group 

We would also like to extend a thank you to the various individuals who have devoted much time and dedication in making this project a success in their community:

Campaign Leadership Team Members

Pat Boddy, Campaign Co-Chair                                                        RDG Planning & Design  
Robert E. Jester, Honorary Co-Chair                                             Jester Insurance Services

Jennifer Barp                                                                                           Kemin Industries

Robert Brownell                                                                Polk County Board of Supervisors

Joyce Chapman                                                                       Community Volunteer Leader

Joseph Corfits                                                                                         UnityPoint Health

Cindy Elsbernd                                                                                     Iowa Kidstrong, Inc.

Paul Erickson                                                                                                Bankers Trust

Allison Fleming                                                                        Community Volunteer Leader

Andrew Hubbell                                                                                   Hubbell Development

Connie Johnson                                                      Mercer Health & Benefits Administration

Mike LaMair                                                                            Community Volunteer Leader

Tom Levis                                                                                                Brick Gentry P.C.

Kurt Mumm                                                                                                   NAI Optimum

Lance Northway                                                                                    LightEdge Solutions

W. Jay Ramsey, MD, PhD                                                                                      BioCurity

Bethany Wilcoxon                                                                Greater Des Moines Partnership

Martha Willits                                                                         Community Volunteer Leader

Justin Wise                                                                                                    Think Digital

If your organization or you as an individual would like to contribute to the Jester Park Nature Center, contact Rich Leopold at or by calling (515) 323-5322. Visit for further Jester Park Nature Center details.


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