Now accepting nominations for the 2016 Hagie Heritage Award

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Mary Lewis (left) and Beth Lynch (center), were our 2015 Hagie Heritage Award recipients. Lewis and Lynch were recognized for their extensive conservation efforts, including the removal of garlic mustard from area parks.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation invites you, your agency, partners or friends to nominate an outstanding Iowa conservationist for the 2016 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award.

The nomination process is easy and a great way to bring deserved recognition for your nominee and for the nominating organization(s). Nominations are due Friday, August 5, 2016.

The annual Hagie Award recognizes Iowans “who have demonstrated an extraordinary personal service and commitment to improving the quality of Iowa’s natural environment and who encourage others to do the same.” The award generally goes to volunteers, but professional nominees are eligible if their efforts clearly go well beyond their job duties.

For more information on the Hagie Heritage Award and nomination process, visit the INHF website at www.inhf.org/hagie.cfm or call 515-288-1846 for a printed copy. Please send all correspondence and questions to Katie Bandurski, INHF communications intern, via e-mail at comminternkatie@inhf.org or by mail to:

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Attn: Katie Bandurski
505 Fifth Ave, Suite 444
Des Moines, IA 50309-2321

All nominations must be received by August 5, 2016.


Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award

Recognizes Iowans who devote outstanding voluntary, personal service and commitment to improving the quality of Iowa’s natural environment and who encourage others to do the same.

Winners receive $1,000 cash and a hand-carved acorn sculpture. The Hagie grandchildren inherited a farm in Henry County and income from this farm was used by Janice Hagie Shindel of Florida and Ila Jeanne Hagie Logan of Moville, Iowa, to create an endowment for this award in memory of their parents, Lawrence and Eula Hagie.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Only individuals are eligible — group nominations will not be considered.
  • Nominees must show dedication and commitment to the environment.
  • Letters of recommendation for deceased persons will not be considered.
  • Nominees do not seek recognition as motivation for their work in the environment, but simply believe in what they are doing.
  • Nominees are selected for their personal conservation/environmental accomplishments instead of (or in addition to) professional conservation/environmental accomplishments.
  • Nominees must show a long-term commitment to conservation/environmental projects (issues). Financial contributions are not sufficient basis for nomination.
  • Nominees must be Iowans, but their accomplishments need not be limited to Iowa and can be of regional or national significance.
  • Nominees’ activities and accomplishments must be in line with INHF’s mission: building partnerships and educating Iowans to protect, preserve and enhance Iowa’s natural resources for future generations.

Nomination process:

  • INHF must receive two letters of recommendation for each nominee no later than August 5, 2016.
  • Nominators should coordinate their letters so as to present a well-rounded overview of the nominee’s contributions to the environment/conservation.
  • Nominators must clearly state whom they are nominating. If they are nominating a couple, both letters of recommendation must identify both nominees by name.
  • Letters of recommendation should include the name(s), address and telephone number(s) of both the nominee and the nominator.
  • Letters of recommendation should include a resume of the nominee’s voluntary conservation/environmental accomplishments.
  • Letters of recommendation may be resubmitted in future years if the nominee is not selected.
  • INHF staff are not eligible to be nominated and may not nominate others.

Selection and announcement process overview:

  • All nominators receive a letter confirming receipt of their letters and the validity of the nomination.
  • All nominees receive a letter of congratulations announcing their nomination and the names of the people who nominated them.
  • The names of the nominators will not be revealed to the public, only to the respective nominee.
  • A three-person selection committee comprised of INHF board members and/or advisors is appointed each year by the Chairman of the Board. It is preferable that the committee includes one board member or advisor who has previously served on the selection committee, to provide experience and continuity to the selection process.
  • The committee members review the nominations and meet once to choose the winner.
  • During the informal selection discussion, the committee will remain nonpolitical and no pressure will be applied in the course of choosing the winner. The format of nomination materials should not bias the selection process, as this is a grassroots campaign.
  • The winner and their nominators are notified, and arrangements are made to present the award at a time and place that is convenient and meaningful to them. The award nominators and winner will take the lead on an event. If they do not want to take the lead in hosting, the award will be presented at an INHF Board meeting or other convenient event, such as an Iowa Association of County Conservation Board event.
  • All decisions and conversations of the selection committee are kept confidential until the selection and event plans are announced to the public.
  • INHF arranges for local and statewide publicity when announcing the winner and presenting the award.
  • Nominees who are not chosen are notified.

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Hagie Heritage Award presented in Decorah

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On Friday, Nov. 13, INHF presented the annual Lawrence & Eula Hagie Heritage Award to Mary Lewis and Beth Lynch at Phelps Park in Decorah, Iowa.

The Hagie award recognizes Iowans who devote outstanding personal service to Iowa’s natural heritage and who encourage others to do the same. This year’s recipients showed a dedication to conservation with their efforts to remove invasive garlic mustard from Decorah-area parks.

The ceremony began at 4 p.m. with over 60 people in attendance. A reception was then held at T-Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill.

“It was a chance for people of similar passion for the environment to connect, get excited, exchange ideas,” said Mary Lewis. “It’s so good to have the work recognized and let people know it really is possible to restore our woodlands. This is a huge honor for me and Beth, and rightfully belongs also to all the people who have helped over the years in this effort.”

Lynch and Lewis are current and former Luther College biology instructors, respectively, and have dedicated their time inside and outside the classroom to many causes, including the removal of garlic mustard from Decorah parks.

“The Hagie Award often recognizes volunteers, but it can also go to conservation professionals who are going above and beyond their professional duties,” said Brian Fankhauser, INHF’s blufflands program director. “Beth and Mary are a perfect example of that. Not only do they teach students about biology, ecology and other conservation subjects, they also saw a need in the community and took it upon themselves to do something about it. And they’ve inspired others to do something as well.”

 

Gunderson Nature Park dedication

Join the City of Eldora and INHF for the dedication and celebration of the Gunderson Nature Park, Wednesday Nov. 11th at 1:00 p.m. at the entrance of the park. The park is located directly North of the Hardin County Fair Grounds (east end).

Bob and Mary Lou Gunderson have long been involved with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and conserving Iowa’s land and water. In 2012, INHF presented the Gundersons with the Hagie Heritage Award, a recognition meant to honor Iowans who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to conservation and improvement of Iowa’s natural environment while encouraging others to do the same.

The couple has committed countless hours to conservation efforts across Iowa with much of their work benefitting Hardin County and its surrounding communities. They were founders of the Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust in 1987 and have been actively involved in many other projects.

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Bob and Mary Lou Gunderson receiving the 2012 Hagie Heritage Award

Earlier this year, the Gundersons were also recognized at the Gift to Iowa’s Future Day, an event hosted by the state of Iowa. The celebration is hosted at the capitol to honor individuals, corporations and organizations that permanently protect land for parks, trails, natural areas, fish and wildlife habitat and other benefits.

The Gundersons were honored by the state because of their 12 acre land donation to Eldora, which is the site of the Gunderson Nature Park. The strategic location of Gunderson Nature Park near city streets and neighborhoods brings the park closer to Eldora residents. A trail loop, prairie and savanna reconstruction, butterfly habitat and a nature-scape play area are planned by the City of Eldora now that it has transferred to them from INHF.

“The Gundersons have not only been incredible supporters of our natural resources through their time and financial support, but they have been instrumental in promoting that mentality to those around them,” wrote John Schuller, Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust board member.

Iowa’s land and water are truly better off thanks to the Gunderson’s efforts and inspiration. INHF hopes you will join in on the celebration of two conservation champions.

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Brush of Excellence awarded to Dinsmores

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Last Thursday, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation awarded Jim and Patricia Dinsmore the Brush of Excellence for their lifetime achievements in conservation and contributions to conserving Iowa’s land and water. The ceremony was held at Big Wall Lake Wildlife Management Area in Wright County, where a gift from the Dinsmores made possible a 130-acre addition to the Big Wall Lake complex.

The award is a framed paintbrush that was once owned and used by famed cartoonist and conservation leader Jay N. “Ding” Darling (1876-1962), whose art and actions helped shape America’s conservation ethic. The brush was given by Kip Koss, Darling’s grandson, to Samuel Koltinsky, the producer of “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. Ding Darling”. Koltinsky presented the framed brush to INHF on May 19, 2015.

“Gifting of these brushes — ‘The Brush of Excellence’ — signifies extraordinary stewardship of the land and the wise use of our natural resources. It is with great honor to be able to present this brush in remembrance of both the Darling and Koss legacies,” Koltinsky said during the May ceremony. Continue reading

Decorah women win 2015 Hagie Heritage conservation award

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2015 Hagie Heritage Award winner Beth Lynch

Two residents of Decorah will receive a statewide award for their extensive conservation efforts, including the removal of garlic mustard from area parks.

Beth Lynch and Mary Lewis will receive the 2015 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award given by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF).

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2015 Hagie Heritage Award winner Mary Lewis with INHF Blufflands Director Brian Fankhauser

The Hagie Heritage Award, endowed by the family of Lawrence and Eula Hagie, is given annually by INHF, a statewide conservation organization that protects and restores Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. INHF’s work in Winneshiek County includes South Pine Creek protection, the Canoe Creek Wildlife Area and River Access, and several others. Continue reading

Nominate a deserving conservationist for the 2015 Hagie Heritage Award

Carol Kramer, our 2014 Hagie Heritage Award recipient, was recognized for her dedication for educating community members about the importance of nature and how it impacts their lives.

Carol Kramer, our 2014 Hagie Heritage Award recipient, was recognized for her dedication to educating community members about the importance of nature and how it impacts their lives.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation invites you, your agency, partners or friends to nominate an outstanding Iowa conservationist for the 2015 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award.

The nomination process is easy and a great way to bring deserved recognition for your nominee and for the nominating organization(s). Nominations are due Friday, July 17, 2015. Continue reading

Honoring Mark Ackelson at Pro H2O

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Mark Ackelson served as INHF president from 1994–2013.

Former INHF president Mark Ackelson will be recognized for his early leadership in shaping the Iowa Environmental Council on Thursday, June 11, at its second annual Pro H2O event, 6-9 p.m. at Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines. Continue reading

Gifts to Iowa’s future

There are moments in the life of each INHF project in which the staff tries to pause and reflect — maybe even celebrate a little — before moving onto the next one. It could be a formal dedication, such as the Paint Creek Valley Addition to Yellow River State Forest on May 7. Or it could simply be transferring ownership of a property from INHF to a public agency.

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Mary Lou and Bob Gunderson.

Earlier this week, INHF transferred 12 acres to the city of Eldora in Hardin County. The land had been donated by Mary Lou and Bob Gunderson, and it will be known as Gunderson Nature Park. A trail loop, prairie and savanna reconstruction, butterfly habitat and a nature-scape play area are planned by the city. The transfer was another step in permanently protecting this place’s land, water and wildlife — the ultimate goal of every INHF project.

The Gundersons have a long history of conservation work in Iowa, especially along the Iowa River Greenbelt. They were one of 18 individuals, families and organizations honored by the state of Iowa last month at Gift to Iowa’s Future Day. Twelve of this year’s honorees worked with INHF to find the right options to permanently protect their land. Dave Mackaman, INHF board 1st vice chair, took some time to reflect on the ceremony:

“Attending the Gift to Iowa’s Future recognition event at the state capital was a memorable pleasure. The selfless and forwarding thinking actions of these land and easement donors were without doubt inspirational, and to have elected and public officials, INHF representatives, family, friends, and admirers there to thank these individuals was heartwarming. 

“After the formal recognition event, members from the INHF team hosted a luncheon for those donors with whom the Foundation had the privilege of working. During the luncheon the attendees all shared personal perspective around an individual, a memory, or a place that sparked their own passion around nature and conservation.

“The stories flowed with emotion, at times eliciting laughter and beaming smiles from the group, and at other times drawing out gentle tears. In all cases, the stories united us in the room around the power of our connective passion for our state and its wild places. As I listened to the stories, I imagined a group of people gathering in the future, somewhere, sometime down the road, knowing that it could well be the people in this room that would be featured in that group’s stories of who sparked the passion for nature and conservation within them, and knowing that INHF will be there to help keep it going.”

Learn more about those honored at Gift to Iowa’s Future Day here.

Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

BanquetInvite2014 1upCalling all 2014 INHF volunteers– Come celebrate with us!

Our volunteers make our mission come alive, and we couldn’t be more grateful. All volunters are invited to our lake side gathering– we’ll tell stories, look at pictures and revel in the achievements of the volunteer program.

This is a great chance to meet and enjoy the company of like-hearted volunteers, as well as INHF board and staff. Feel free to bring a guest, as this will be a family friendly event. Plan to take home a small gift of appreciation.

Where: Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge at 2500 Grand Ave. West Des Moines, IA 50265

When: November 7th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

PLEASE RSVP! Register to Mary Runkel by November 4th at 515-288-1846 or mrunkel@inhf.org.

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