Seventeen Principal Financial Group employees, alongside 13 others, volunteered with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) on Friday Sept. 18 in Lone Tree Point to cut honeysuckle to restore an oak savanna.
“This was the second year Principal employees have helped at Lone Tree Point,” said Mary Runkel, INHF volunteer coordinator. “We got to see where the group worked last year and the progress we’ve made” on clearing honeysuckle.
While clearing the invasives, one volunteer discovered an oak tree sapling. “All of the sudden we saw this little baby oak and everyone was determined to clear around it. I hope we come back next year and see its growth,” said Runkel.
Jan Lovell, INHF Board of Directors Chair, owns the Lone Tree Point Nature Area. The 101-acre woods are located on the south shore of Clear Lake and are protected by a conservation easement.
“The area and adjoining restored prairie help improve Clear Lake’s water quality as well as provide scarce wildlife habitat for bald eagles, herons and deer,” Lovell said. The land has been under her family’s protection for over two decades.
The Lovell family also helped Principal volunteers remove honeysuckle that day. “It was definitely a partnership day,” Runkel said.
The Lone Tree Point clearing volunteer event is Principal’s fourth workday with INHF and their second in Mason City.
If you or your organization is interested in volunteer opportunities through INHF, contact Mary Runkel at 515-288-1846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.