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With quirky auction items and quality craft beer, Nature Calls raises funds for conservation education
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With quirky auction items and quality craft beer, Nature Calls raises funds for conservation education

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How much would you pay for a rib bone of an edmontosaurus dinosaur bone or a festive wreath made out of deer antlers?

Wait, are we playing “The Price Is Right?” Sort of, since both of these items will be up for bid at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center’s Nature Calls fundraiser, taking place, Sept. 18, at the Sioux City Convention Center, 801 Fourth St.

“We try to include auction items a person couldn’t get anywhere else,” Dawn Snyder, the Nature Center’s education program director, explained.

Artworks made of bone certainly qualify as offbeat gift ideas. Got any more?

The auction will also have prints by the late wildlife artist Terry Redlin (pretty but conventional); a handcrafted cutting board made of black cherry and purple heart wood (uh-huh, you’re getting warmer); or individual paintings that were created by Riley-Rex and Clarabell, the Nature Center’s resident three-toed box turtles and Oz and Mona, the Nature Center’s ornate box turtles.

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner with turtle art!

All right, you can certainly bid on less exciting stuff like hotel stays, fine jewelry and more than 70 other live or silent auctions. Plus you can see the handiwork of area artisans and nature-theme vendors who will be showcase their best stuff.

But we know many annual Nature Calls attendees enjoy the quirkier items. And the beer, of course.

“Our guests will be able to sample more than 60 craft beers, including some from local brewers,” Snyder said. “In addition, there will be IPAs, ciders, lagers, select wines, nonalcoholic beverages and food items available throughout the evening.”

In fact, the “blue jeans casual” dress code of Nature Calls sets it apart from other nonprofit fundraisers.

“There’s nothing stuffy about Nature Calls,” Snyder said. “It’s just an evening of fun.”

Unfortunately, that was in short supply last year, when Nature Calls was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We are happy to be back after a brief pause due to COVID,” Snyder said. “It is (the Nature Center’s) only fundraising event and it is vital to funding our programs.”

Indeed, Nature Calls has helped provide finding for such special programming as the Nature Center’s indoor exhibits, the raptor house and the popular Discovery Forest Nature Playscape.

This year, only advance tickets will be available.

They may be purchased at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, 4500 Sioux River Road, online at woodburyparks.org or by calling 712-258-0838.

“I know people look forward to the event because of the relaxed atmosphere and unique combination of artists, beer and auction items,” Snyder said. “They especially like that our goal is to raise funds for conservation education programs and exhibits.”

After all, where else can you sample some quality craft brew while picking up your very own dinosaur bone?

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