About Winneshiek County

Winneshiek County first achieved Bird Friendly County status in 2020.
The Winneshiek County Conservation Board provides the public with wide-ranging opportunities for quality outdoor recreation while wisely managing natural resources and encouraging land stewardship through natural history and environmental education programming. This county has over 20 public areas available for uses such as: bird watching, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, etc. The Winneshiek County park system consists of 750 acres, Decorah City Park system manages 664 acres of land, and Iowa DNR maintains 8,155 acres as public wildlife management areas. There are 48 bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need found in Winneshiek County, and 38 of those have been documented on county-owned properties. Winneshiek County Conservation promotes native habitat development and invasive plant control on private land, primarily through its education programs. Park lawns are not sprayed with pesticides for broadleaf weed control. Winneshiek County Conservation Board environmental education staff address threats to birds such as domestic cats, window collisions, and lead ammunition in their programming and in press releases. A most important piece of environmental education, geared towards reducing threats to birds, has been a poster (part of the County Conservation Board’s fair booth) and informational pamphlets on the impact of lead shot and sinkers on bald eagles. The Raptor Resource Project, based in Decorah, is known globally for its Decorah Eagle Nest web-cam, educating tens of thousands of people each year about raptors. Winneshiek County staff coordinate local Audubon Christmas Bird Counts and direct participation in citizen science projects like the Great Backyard Bird Count and Project FeederWatch.