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Admission into Jester Park
& the Nature Center is FREE

The Art of Jester Park

“Public art has the power to energize our public spaces, arouse our thinking, and transform the places where we live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction. Beyond its enriching personal benefits, public art is a true symbol of societal maturity. Public art helps green space thrive, enhances roadsides, pedestrian corridors , and community gateways; it demonstrates unquestionable civic pride.” "Wood Is Art”, Public art Benefits of Public Art []

Explore local art as you adventure throughout Jester Park

Over the last decade, Polk County Conservation has expanded public art throughout our park system. Today, park visitors can experience a myriad of art that educates, inspires, informs and arouses their curiosity about our natural world. This link shows you our current public art and where to find it!

The Galleries at the Jester Park Nature Center

The Galleries at Jester Park Nature Center offers the opportunity for local art to be displayed and made available for sale to park visitors. 

Visit the Jester Park Nature Center to view the newest art exhibition on display, Artists in Action: Plein Air! "Plein Air" art finds its origins in the French expression "in the open air “and was a movement of artists from their studios to the outdoors. This exhibition highlights 6 local artists: Gary Hoff, Mary Johnson, Megan Hammer,  John Evans. Pam Cates, and Rob Sunderman. Artists from the plein air event will have works on display in The Galleries at Jester Park Nature Center September 25 – December 26, 2021 during Jester Park Nature Center hours. For additional information, please contact Missy Smith at 515-323-5317. 
Prairie Sculpture Trail - Coming Soon!

The Jester Park Sculpture Trail will feature 5 unique nature-inspired public works of art. Each sculpture will be located along a beautiful nature trail beginning at the front entrance of the Jester Park Nature Center. Take a hike and discover each art piece as the trail leads you around the pond, over the creek, through the woods, and eventually back to the nature center. During the hike, you will discover sculptures meant to educate, inform, and nurture our fascination and curiosity about the natural world. About half of the sculptures have been fabricated and are already installed with a few more yet to come. All the sculptures are anticipated to be completed and installed by the fall of 2022. The newest sculpture, "Horai" was recently added. This full size bull elk, made from barbed wire and 16 gage welded scrap metal, is on loan to us from artist, Jeff Best, of Devil's Rope Studio. Hoari means a portion of time or season and with this piece, Hoari is referring to the elk's fall bugling season when he competes for breeding rights.. Check out this video for a talk with the artist about his piece. 

Public Art Throughout Our Parks

Don't stop your art exploration at Jester Park. You can find public art throughout our park system. 


Easter Lake

Butterfly, 2015

Medium: Willow and Terracotta

Size: 4' x 8'

Artists: Pam Dennis and Ryk Weiss

Great Western Trail

River Chuck Stop, 2018

Medium: Steel, Repurposed Bicycle

Size: 12' tall

Artists: Barney Feezell and Steve Haefner

Thomas Mitchell Park

Morel Mushroom, 2005

Medium: Wood Carving (oak)

Size: 7.5 'x 5'

Artists: Mike Sibley and Jim Swearengin