INHF Prescribed Burn

Last week, our Land Stewardship staff members conducted a prescribed burn at INHF’s Snyder Heritage Farm property. The team burned 10 acres of the property in an attempt to refresh the native prairie and woodland species and eradicate non-natives, like Multiflora Rose and Prickly ash. Check out some of their pictures below:

photo1 photo2 Continue reading

Nature Walk: A Snipe in the Grass

Snipe one—Snipe two—Snipe three.  If that sounds like a game, it is what often happens when you are walking in a wet grassy meadow and flush a Wilson’s snipe.  They are commonly found in small groups of half a dozen or more birds and may flush all at once or one at a time flying just a short distance, then dropping like a rock out of sight into dense vegetation.  Watch for them probing the muddy shorelines of lake and stream edges with their long pencil-like bill for insect larvae or earthworms.

Snipe one—Snipe two—Snipe three. If that sounds like a game, it is what often happens when you are walking in a wet grassy meadow and flush a Wilson’s snipe. They are commonly found in small groups of half a dozen or more birds and may flush all at once or one at a time flying just a short distance, then dropping like a rock out of sight into dense vegetation. Watch for them probing the muddy shorelines of lake and stream edges with their long pencil-like bill for insect larvae or earthworms.

What birds have you been spotting in the water so far this year? Continue reading

Razor’s Prairie Before & After

One of the most rewarding parts of conservation is seeing the direct impact a day’s work has on a natural area. The spring season is in full force, which means our Land Stewardship staff is out burning and clearing areas on INHF properties, restoring the land for the beautiful summer ahead.

Last week, our Land Stewardship staff was out at our Razor’s Prairie property in Jasper County (with the help of CCI) clearing cedars and invasive species. They sent us back some pictures of their progress. Check them out:

Before

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Nature Walk: In Flight

The opportunity to watch ducks in flight is always exciting for the observer, but may pose more questions than answers.  First and foremost what species are they?  Where did they spend the winter and where are they going to spend the summer raising a family?  Lesser scaups, sometimes called bluebills, and ring-neck ducks flying together in this image are very similar in appearance and on the wing difficult to separate.  See if you can tell them apart. There are 3 Lesser scaups and 5 ring-necks.

The opportunity to watch ducks in flight is always exciting for the observer, but may pose more questions than answers. First and foremost, what species are they? Where did they spend the winter and where are they going to spend the summer raising a family? Lesser scaups, sometimes called bluebills, and ring-neck ducks flying together in this image are very similar in appearance and on the wing difficult to separate. See if you can tell them apart. There are 3 Lesser scaups and 5 ring-necks.

Can you spot the different species in the photo? What other species have you seen migrating this year? Continue reading

INHF and Clear Lake Earth Days pair up for a trash pick-up

Clear Lake Trash Pick up (1) 2

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY:

Many hands make light work! Celebrate Earth Day this year by lending a hand to help pick-up litter near the trail alongside Clear Lake.

What: Trash pick-up in Ventura Cove Woods.

Where: Along the trail through Ventura Cove Woods, near Clear Lake. Meet and park in the parking lot along Balsam Ave. (S-14), just S of Ventura and north of the fishing jetty. The meeting spot is depicted as “B” on this map.

Continue reading

Apply Now: Natural Resources Technician (Temporary)

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In partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), INHF is hiring four temporary Natural Resources Technicians to assist the USFWS with monitoring of the Federally Endangered Iowa Pleistocene Snail (Discus macclintocki). This is a unique opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and remote natural lands in the Driftless Region of Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois while helping to conserve a Federally Endangered species.

Applications for the four positions are due by Monday, April 14. Continue reading

The Secret to Training for RAGBRAI

photo by Channone Arif

photo by Channone Arif

It’s one of Iowa’s favorite weeks of the year—RAGBRAI. For one week in late July, thousands of people from all over the world flock to Iowa to bike across the state.

Sounds pretty simple, but don’t be fooled. RAGBRAI riders go through months of training and preparation to ensure success on the week-long ride. David Ertl, Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team coach, shared his expertise on training for RAGBRAI on their blog yesterday:

“I am going to reveal to you a well kept secret for bicycle training for RAGBRAI.  I will share it with you if you promise not to tell anyone else.  OK?  Here goes.  The secret to training for riding RAGBRAI is to ride your bike - a lot.   That’s it.  Aren’t you glad you didn’t pay for this bit of advice?   But it’s very truthful.  Continue reading

2014 Loess Hills Prairie Seminar registration open

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Spring is an exciting time at INHF. The land stewardship staff gets back out on the land, we get to tour our favorite properties on field trips and Iowa comes alive with blooms and green spaces. Spring also means it’s time for one of our favorite events—The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.

Information about this year’s seminar was just released. It’s a time for prairie and Loess Hills enthusiasts alike to gather and work toward making the land we hold dear better through trainings, discussions and a field day. Continue reading

Kid’s Summer Nature Camps

Anglers Bay dedication '08 for INHF 27

This summer, get your kids outdoors with fun, educational experiences at nature camps around Iowa. Nature camps provide a great way to get kids thinking about their natural surroundings, while enjoying public lands and beautiful Iowa places older generations have loved for decades!

Below is a list of camps and resources to find the perfect opportunity for your area. Many camps begin registration in March and April, so grab those spots while they’re still available! If you know of a camp not included on this list, let me know at designintern@inhf.org and I’ll add it to the list!

Polk County Conservation Youth Camps

Science Center of Iowa Summer Camps Continue reading