Iowa trails receive grant approval

10514477_10152588904165815_3295462834243684462_nOn Tuesday, October 14th the Iowa Transportation Commission released news that the High Trestle Trail has received another piece of funding. The $782,500 grant will extend the trail 6 more miles from Ankeny to north Des Moines. INHF is working in conjunction with Polk County Conservation to complete the extension. Continue reading

Trail Tuesday: Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Every Tuesday, look for a new featured trail story on our blog – part of our new “Trail Tuesday” series. This will be a way for you to learn about all the different trails we have to offer on our Iowa By Trail app. If you like what you read you can download the app and go explore! For any questions on these trails, email ibt@inhf.org.

WABASH

This week’s featured trail is Wabash Trace Nature Trail. Continue reading

Nature Walk: Nashville Warblers

Nashville Warblers

“Most warblers, which feed primarily on insects, have migrated south from the northern states by mid-October. The Orange-crowned Nashville, pictured here and the Yellow-rumped Nashvilles are exceptions. This bird was part of a small band foraging for insects in a prairie field border that contained seed heads of rigid goldenrod. You may also see kinglets and bluebirds in sheltered areas on raw windy days as they move south just ahead of cold fronts.” -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!

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Iowa Outdoors – Fall 2014

In this episode of Iowa Outdoors, Kellie and Scott take a look back at their previous seasons and highlight some adventurous ways to explore the state of Iowa. They will take you to Lake Rathbun where you can see kiteboarders of Iowa, Winneshiek County where you can explore Coldwater Cave (the longest cave in the upper Midwest), fly over Madison County to catch the bird’s-eye view of a paraglider and get an ariel tour of Iowa’s first full-line zipline course in Dubuque.

Iowa Outdoors is produced in partnership with the Iowa DNR, and is made possible by REAP funds for environmental education.

To find information on how to subscribe to receive the Iowa Outdoors Magazine visit their website or call 1-800-361-8072.

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Iowa By Trail app receives $40,000 Wellmark Foundation challenge grant

trails-info-2The Iowa By Trail app, a project of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), has received a $40,000 challenge grant from The Wellmark Foundation for projects that promote community and individual health.

“We’re ecstatic to be partnering with Wellmark to help complete the first portion of our Iowa By Trail app project,” said Hannah Inman, INHF Communications Director. “Iowa By Trail is the first app of its kind in the nation allowing Iowans to explore 1,800 miles of multi-use trails around the state using their smartphone. It’s a platform to showcase and brand Iowa’s premier trail system, allowing people to more easily access and use Iowa’s extensive trail system as well as the communities along it. The app helps users find trails closest to them, discover interesting stops along the way—restaurants, state parks, restrooms—and keeps users updated on trail closures and events.” Continue reading

Trail Tuesday: Trout Run Trail

Every Tuesday, look for a new featured trail story on our blog – part of our new “Trail Tuesday” series. This will be a way for you to learn about all the different trails we have to offer on our Iowa By Trail app. If you like what you read you can download the app and go explore! For any questions on these trails, email ibt@inhf.org.

Trout-run

This week’s featured trail is Trout Run Trail.

This 12-mile asphalt trail circles through historic and picturesque parts of Decorah (along dikes, abandoned rail beds and roadbeds and private farmlands). In addition to biking, walking, running and cross-country skiing opportunities, the trail provides safe, non-motorized access to trout streams, the Upper Iowa River and local parks, campgrounds and businesses.

This trail passes through the following cities:

  • Decorah

The trail offers views of forested limestone bluffs, rare algific talus slopes and the beautiful Oneota Valley and Upper Iowa River. There are Sculptures and mosaics located along the trail to add to its beauty. It is free and open to the public all year round from sunrise to sunset.

Fast Five (Points of Interest):

  • Decorah Fish Hatchery: One of only three trout hatcheries in Iowa.
  • Siewer Springs: The second largest natural spring in Iowa.
  • Trout Run Park: This park offers several sports fields for use.
  • Vesterheim: The most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world and is a national center for folk-art classes.
  • Upper Iowa River: Popular spot for paddlers, tubers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

 

photo courtesy of homemadeiowalife.blogspot.com

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Nature Walk: Autumn Color

Autumn Color

“Autumn color in a tree such as this black maple often begins at the top of a tree or on a branch that extends out beyond the canopy. These areas receive the most sunlight as opposed to partially shaded branches. We know leaves are green because of chlorophyll, which uses sunlight to produce sugars and feed the plant. Chlorophyll masks cartotenoids that produce the yellow, orange and brown, while anthocyanins give us reds. Fall colors appear when an abscission layer forms at the base of the leaf stopping the production of chlorophyll.” -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!

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Mason City Principal Volunteer Day

Principal - IMG_1857Thursday September 11, INHF Volunteer Coordinator Mary Runkel and Land Stewardship Assistant Melanie Louis went to Mason City to help lead a volunteer day with nine Mason City Principal employees and one board member, Mike Daughtery. Work was done on Jan Lovell’s conservation easment on the sore of Clear Lake. They worked on removing invasive shrubs from the understory of an oak woodland. Leopard Frogs were everywhere! Continue reading