Wordless Wednesday – RAGBRAI XLII

Our INHF staff has enjoyed talking about Iowa’s nature and trails with thousands of people while on RAGBRAI this year! Here are some pictures capturing their experience. Check out their journey by liking Iowa by Trail (IBT) on Facebook and be sure to visit their booth in Mason City, Waverly and Independence to learn more about the IBT app. Don’t forget to pick up some IBT swag while you are there! Continue reading

Nature Walk: Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus Clouds

“Cumulonimbus clouds have been called the Godfather of clouds. They inspire both awe and fear depending on whether they are going away from you or coming at you and possibly spawning high winds, hail and tornadoes. Often we see an anvil-like shape on the leading or trailing edge. In this case a collection of thunderheads congealed to form a supercell or multicell cloud. You can see the evidence of this at its base. This particular cloud appeared to be at least 100 miles wide and likely eight to 10 miles high. Note the moon at the far right.” -Carl Kurtz Note: Five separate images were put together to get this photo.

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!


Visit our staff on RAGBRAI

This year during RAGBRAI, a few INHF staff members will be riding the whole RAGBRAI route, making media visits and holding events along the way to promote the Iowa by Trail app launch that will take place at the RAGBRAI Expo. In each overnight town, INHF staffers will hold app demonstrations, provide limited edition Iowa By Trail memorabilia for purchase and be available for any trail-related discussions!

Meet the staff that you will have the opportunity to meet July 20th through the 26th to learn how to use the app, help us spread the word, and learn all the great spots to explore after RAGBRAI is over! Continue reading

Simon Estes on RAGBRAI

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Photo from the Simon Estes Foundation

This year, during the 2014 RAGBRAI tour, the Simon Estes Foundation and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) are partnering to make an impact both locally and internationally by selling Simon Estes’ CD, “Save The Children, Save Their Lives.”

Simon Estes is an internationally-acclaimed bass-baritone born in Centerville, Iowa. He has performed at the world’s major opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Los Angeles Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Vienna State Opera. Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – The Smooth Green Snake


Our Land Stewardship Interns discovered a smooth green snake at Indiangrass Hills last week. This nonvenomous snake is distinctive from other species due to its vibrant green color. They are found in native prairies and grassy meadows. However, they are considered a species of special concern. Keep an eye out for these little guys!


Iowa by Trail on RAGBRAI

IBT_4COLORMark your calendars for July 19th, and join INHF at the statewide launch of Iowa by Trail at the RAGBRAI Expo!

After 30 years of helping to establish Iowa as the World Capital of Trails, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce “Iowa by Trail,” the all-Iowa multiuse trail app. INHF partnered with Shift Interactive, an Iowa-based company, to create the app for all iOS devices.

The app was first released on May 1, 2014 for Central Iowa trails. This was a beta test for the statewide app. From this test, we already have 3,500 downloads. Continue reading

Nature Walk: The Halloween Pennant

The Halloween Pennant

“Dragonflies are insectivorous, catching their prey such as mosquitoes in the air. They also defend a hunting territory from other dragonfly intruders and may return to a home perch over and over again. The Halloween Pennant is a marsh species commonly seen hunting over open water. Where winter temperatures are moderate in the gulf coastal states, they may be active year around.” – Carl Kurtz

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!



Periodical Cicadas

17 year cicada

INHF President Joe McGovern with Alex and Henry, 2014 land stewardship interns, at Snyder Heritage Farm. Henry is holding one of the 17-year cicadas as Joe explains their life cycle.

This summer marks the emergence of the 17-year-cycle Brood cicadas III, Magicicada spp, in Iowa and  northwestern parts of Illinois. There are three species of 17-year-cycle cicadas, and they can be found in the northern part of the United States. Most of them emerge during the months of May and June. Continue reading

Stay Healthy This Summer!

Stay Healthy This SummerIn 2010, Iowa was ranked the 19th healthiest state by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. This ranking led to the Healthiest State Initiative. By 2016, Iowa wants to be the healthiest state in terms of physical and emotional health. Continue reading