Call of the wild trivia

Nature knowledge trivia will help fund conservation projects in Webster County

Questions like “What is the only mammal that can fly?” will be asked during the Call of the Wild — Friends of Webster County Conservation annual fundraiser on Saturday.

The answer to that question is a bat — but don’t expect too many other freebies during the nature knowledge trivia night, which will be held at the Opera House on the grounds of Fort Museum and Frontier Village.

A meal catered from Hy-Vee, trivia, silent auction and raffles are included with the purchase of a $25 ticket.

Funds from the event will be used to support various projects for Webster County Conservation.

“They (Friends of Webster County Conservation) are our nonprofit partner that helps us with volunteers and fundraising specific projects,” Matt Cosgrove, Webster County Conservation director, said. “They have helped us with improvements at Camp WaNoKi and the playscape at Kennedy Park and a variety of projects over the years.”

Camp WaNoKi, which includes a lodge and other camping amenities, is located one mile east of Coalville in the Holiday Creek Valley.

The playscape at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park includes a tree house, rock climbing wall and sandbox.

The organization, Friends of Webster County Conversation, was established in 2004.

“They are like what their name says — friends,” Cosgrove said. “We don’t have enough hands to do all of the things we do and they are the ones we rely on for volunteers and help us add funds to projects we have going throughout the system.”

Trivia was added to the fundraiser last year.

“We thought that would be a nice twist,” Cosgrove said. “Testing your nature knowledge.”

Cosgrove said there won’t be any requirements for the number of people on a team.

“Last year was teams of six,” he said. “This year we don’t think we will limit the team size. It will probably be by table or however people arrange themselves.”

Various outdoor products will be on display for the silent auction.

“Bird houses,” Cosgrove said. “Crafts.”

The three main items for the raffle include: a Traeger grill, a kayak, and $100 Hy-Vee gift card.

Raffle tickets will be $10 for one or $20 for three.

There will also be a small program where planned improvements to Camp WaNoKi will be discussed, according to KC Coleman, president of the Friends of Webster County Conservation board.

Coleman said last year a lodge was added at the camp.

“It’s a beautiful lodge that is out there now and can be rented out for a number of events,” he said. “It has a full bathroom and facilities.”

Future improvements at the camp will be infrastructure-related.

“We will be adding some camping locations and permanent campsites as well as water access to the river,” Coleman said. “With the dams coming out now, it will be great to have that water access out at Camp WaNoKi.”

Ropes courses and obstacles will be another amenity the board is looking to add.

“It will include a series of different obstacles and an opportunity to get people outdoors and do some team building,” Coleman said. “It would be an opportunity for local businesses to go on some retreats and do some team building exercises.”

Coleman said once the weather warms up the conservation group won’t waste any time in improving the camp.

“At this point we are wanting on weather, snow to clear out and getting to add some of those various features,” he said.

Coleman said the Friends of Webster County Conservation work to help with projects or additional items not funded through the county.

“With the Camp WaNoKi lodge build we did, the board provided some of the fixtures,” he said. “There’s an antler chandelier and an elk mount above the door. Some of the amenities are things that weren’t necessarily thought of in the initial budget.”

Coleman emphasized that 100 percent of the funds go to county conservation.

“None of our board members are paid,” he said. “We are all volunteer and that money goes straight to those projects.”

Cosgrove said it’s a good time of year to have the fundraiser.

“This just kind of fits the need for the time of year when weather might not be the greatest this time of year in February,” he said. “But people are looking for things to do just because you are tired of being stuck in the house and we thought this would be a good opportunity to get people thinking about the outdoors as we start to transition into spring here hopefully.”

He’s projecting for a strong crowd this year.

“Last year we had about 100 people on a snowstorm night, so it would be nice to double that number,” he said.

If you go

What: Nature knowledge trivia night

When: Saturday, Feb. 23

Where: Fort Dodge Opera House at Fort Museum and Frontier Village

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $25

To reserve a ticket call 576-4258