Parks & Facilities

View all facilities

Conservation Education Center

Subfacility of Marr Park


Conservation Education Center


  1. Conservation Board Office
  2. Dallmeyer Laboratory
  3. Federation Bank Observation Deck
  4. Nicola Library
  5. River Products Company Outdoor Classroom
  6. Steinbeck Conference Hall
  7. Tinnes Exhibit Hall


Tinnes Exhibit Hall:

Climb up the tree or crawl into the ant hill. Interactive tables for all ages and turtles swimming in our 180-gallon tank, be sure to stop by while you’re out and about in the park. With new exhibits installed in 2019, there is much to explore!

Steinbeck Conference Hall:

This large meeting space with panoramic views of the park and a cathedral style ceiling is the perfect spot for family reunions, graduation parties, and much more! This rental space includes a full kitchen easy for providing your own meal or having it catered in. Tables and chairs included, with seating for 120 people. Email the conservation center to reserve.

Nicola Library:

Children's books, field guides, and more, the Nicola Library has plenty of resources for all your nature needs. While we don’t allow the books to be checked out, we have a large handcrafted oak table for you to sit at. This space is available to rent for smaller meetings.  

Dallmeyer Laboratory:

Used for educational programs, the lab provides space for water study and craft activities.

Federation Bank Observation Deck:

Take a break and enjoy the relaxing view overlooking Thomas Marr Lake.

River Products Company Outdoor Classroom:

Watch for butterflies and birds in this native landscape of prairie and trees. Gather ideas to create your own backyard habitat.

Conservation Board Office:

In this centralized location, you will find the majority of Conservation staff to answer any questions. You can also call the Conservation Center at 319-657-2400.

Rental Policy

Reservations are taken for the calendar year beginning October 1 of the previous year. The fees are as follows:

  • Steinbeck Conference Hall and Kitchen: $200
  • Steinbeck Conference Hall and Kitchen on Holidays: $75/hr with 3 hour minimum
  • Nicola Library: $40
  • Hall and Library: $215

For each of these categories, the returnable deposit is equal to the rental fee.

The following policy applies:

  • Without exception, full price shall be paid by any group on weekends, holidays, or any events where fees are charged.
  • Other Washington County government entities shall be allowed to use Marr Park facilities free on unscheduled weekdays.
  • Washington County-based nonprofit groups, service groups, and conservation agencies will be allowed 1 free use per year.
  • Church groups and nonprofit groups not based in Washington County will be allowed 1 free use per year.

The center is an alcohol and smoke free environment. During scheduled open hours, the building itself, except for rented rooms, will remain open to the public. Get more information about Marr Park.