Rathbun Lake turns golden at sunset


Honey Creek Resort, which opened its doors in 2008, is designed to minimize its environmental footprint and serve as a place where people can explore, learn about, and enjoy nature in the heart of Iowa's Honey Creek State Park.

Honey Creek Resort was recently recognized by Green Key Global, an international environmental certification body, with a "4 Green Keys" eco-rating for our accomplishments in environmental management and corporate social responsibility. View more details here.

We are grateful for our guests' support of our efforts to provide a greener way to stay and conserve our precious natural resources. We are also grateful for the support of the Chris Desjardins Memorial Fund.

Electric Car Charging Stations

New for 2018, Honey Creek Resort is proud to now feature several Tesla charging stations for electric vehicles.

Our Sustainability Leadership

As a leader in sustainable practices, we are proud to meet high environmental standards:

  • Honey Creek Resort is one of Iowa's only hotels to receive LEED® certification
  • The Preserve is an Audubon-certified golf course
  • The Activities Building is designed to be a net-zero energy facility

Nature Programs and Outdoor Recreation

In addition to numerous strategies for efficiency and environmental stewardship, Honey Creek Resort is focused on nature education. We offer a variety of engaging, educational programs led by our on-site naturalists and interpretive staff. And with 16,000 acres of preserved forests, prairies, and peninsulas, the resort offers ample opportunities for outdoor exploration that nurtures a rich understanding of an respect for our natural resources.

Activities Building

Our Activities Building was designed by Iowa State University students to be a net-zero energy facility. It uses solar heating, wind energy, and highly efficient appliances. The Activities Building is the home of our engaging nature programs and activities.

Eco-Friendly Golf Course

The Preserve, the resort's 18-hole Audubon-certified championship golf course, is committed to eco-friendly golf course management:

Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf certification logo

  • Environmentally friendly chemicals and fertilizers are used as often as possible
  • Light sensors and electric carts are used to reduce energy consumption
  • Golf tees are biodegradable
  • Computerized watering systems and supplemental use of rain water help conserve water
  • The golf course design incorporates native prairie grasses and respect for wildlife habitat

Reduced Consumption

We encourage our guests to participate in sustainable practices during their visit, including:

  • Recycling in lodge rooms and cottages
  • Reusing linens when possible
  • Eco-friendly bath amenities
  • Reduced water use through low-flow shower heads and single or double flushing options on public toilets
  • Bike rentals and trails to encourage walking and healthy lifestyles
  • Special parking for guests who drive energy-efficient vehicles
  • A drinking water request program in the restaurant
  • Electronic receipts and check-in materials to reduce paper use
  • A small conservation fee supports the resort's leadership in environmental stewardship

Building Design & Energy Efficiency

Some examples of sustainable design include:

  • Geothermal heating and cooling in lodge public areas, convention center and cabins
  • Energy-efficient air source heat pumps in lodge rooms for customizable heating and cooling
  • A wind turbine provides electricity to the resort
  • Solar thermal panels on the lodge provide hot water
  • Solar electricity panels on five cabins
  • Computer-adjusted temperatures for maximum performance
  • Energy Star® appliances in the lodge and restaurant, including flat-screen TVs in each room with EcoSmart® technology
  • Furnishings from companies committed to green strategies like recycled content, reduced packaging and sustainable forestry practices
  • No CFC-based refrigerants in air conditioning and refrigeration systems
  • All paints, adhesives and carpeting made from non-toxic and low-emitting materials to preserve indoor air quality
  • The playground is built from recycled materials, with tiles from recycled tires allowing water to permeate

Lighting Efficiency

Several lighting strategies throughout the resort reduce electricity consumption:

  • Natural daylight in at least 75 percent of the lodge's open spaces reduces daytime use of electricity
  • Occupancy sensors in lodge rooms and motion sensors in public restrooms and offices conserve energy when vacant
  • Compact-fourescent lighting in all public areas
  • Exterior and parking lot lighting minimize light pollution
  • Solar-powered LED lighting around outdoor pavilion

Outdoor Landscaping & Storm Management

The resort's green initiatives extend to the outdoors, where a conservation ethic is part of the landscape. Some strategies include:

  • Prairie restoration near the park entrance and around the golf course, planted with the native Iowa prairie grasses, reducing irrigation and promoting biodiversity
  • Rain barrels outside the lodge main entrance collect water for irrigation
  • "Low-grow, no-mow" fescue grass around the lodge dramatically reduces the need for mowing
  • Bio-retention basins around the parking lot and green space islands filter and slow storm water runoff
  • Cabin piers minimizes the impact of invasive clearing and grading on the site, allowing plant species to quickly recover after construction
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