A Great Place Made Better

How much can 15 people accomplish on 175 acres in under two hours?

A lot, it turns out.

I was amazed at the giant oak and maple and sycamore trees!

I was amazed at the giant oak, maple and sycamore trees!

On Tuesday evening, April 26, volunteers from Kohls, Outdoor Alliance of Story County and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation joined Story County Conservation to improve a site just south of Ames that’s destined to become the Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area.

So this was our chance to experience the natural land where the Skunk River used to flow.

It’s not open to the public yet: INHF will transfer it to Story County after funds are raised to cover its purchase and restoration.

Some of us cut invasive plant species: mostly honeysuckle and multi-flora rose. Compared to many Iowa woodlands, there wasn’t much to cut. It felt good knowing we were keeping them from spreading and shading out the wildflowers – like the Sweet William that was in bloom all around us.

Here’s how we looked: before, during, and after attacking the multi-flora rose:


Meanwhile, volunteers were removing the tires and scrap metal that dotted the area – many of which had been left behind by floodwaters over time or illegally dumped.

Jordan - heavy metal crew

Jordan - tire crew

In just two hours, Team Heavy Metal and Team Burnt Rubber hauled out a full truck of tires and a full trailer of metal – nearly all the clean-up that’s needed here!



As darkness headed our way, we enjoyed a Victory Photo and went home dirtier, stronger and refreshed by our time in nature.

Jordan - crew after

UntitledI’m looking forward to my next visit – to walk where the river used to run.


Want to help the effort?

Learn more about Jordan Family Wildlife Area

Donate now to the project

Learn more about volunteering with INHF


2 thoughts on “A Great Place Made Better

  1. Good work. I am looking forward to visiting this new wildlife area so close to us. Iowa needs all the natural habitat and public wild space we can help secure.

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