Iowa 4-H Center
The Iowa 4–H Center promotes life skill development by providing outdoor learning experiences for people of all ages that strengthen their sense of belonging, independence, generosity, and mastery.
What We Believe
Iowa 4–H is a youth development program with a century of experience fostering positive life skills in Iowa youth. At the Iowa 4–H Center every camper has the opportunity to participate in experiences that strengthen their sense of belonging, independence, generosity, and mastery. Iowa 4–H follows the principals of experiential learning, and draws on the knowledge base of Iowa State University and other institutions of higher education in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Iowa 4–H Center was founded in 1949 by the Iowa 4–H Foundation through the vision of a number of civic-minded individuals. By 1952 the first campers stayed overnight in Elm Village.
The Center consists of over 1100 acres of woodlands, meadows, wetlands and fields in the heart of the scenic Des Moines River Valley . The area is home to deer, wild turkey, raccoons, migratory waterfowl, and birds, making it a haven to many wild species. Richardson 's creek borders the 4–H Center property to the east and flows into the Des Moines River bordering the property on the west and south. The 4–H Center also includes several miles of hiking trails and a small pond.
Outdoor Education is an important component of the 4–H program. Faculty and staff of Iowa State University and the 4–H Youth Department develop and lead programs for youth at the Iowa 4–H Center. Many students at Iowa State University also use the Center as a working classroom.
The 4–H Center property is owned by the Iowa 4–H Foundation and leased to the 4–H youth program of Iowa State University Extension & Outreach.