Iowans get to know Turin Prairie

This is yours now, Iowa. Get outside and enjoy it.

Turin Prairie in Monona County

Turin Prairie in Monona County

More than 75 people gathered Saturday to help dedicate Turin Prairie in the Loess Hills of Monona County. A project years in the making was opened to the public on National Public Lands Day, as ownership and management of Turin Prairie was turned over from Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Continue reading

Wade Franck Memorial Bicycle Ride

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Join us in honoring Wade Franck, a central Iowa cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver last August while participating in an organized bike ride in Des Moines.

A Memorial Bicycle Ride on one of Wade’s favorite trails, the High Trestle Trail, is planned on his birthday, Saturday, August 13, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The ride is free, but raffle tickets, auctions and donations will be available to raise funds for the connector trail that will link the High Trestle Trail in Woodward to the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Perry.

There will be a drawing for a custom-fit Specialized AWOL bicycle with an estimated value of $3,700. Donate or purchase your $20 raffle tickets here.

Follow #RideForWade on Twitter and stay tuned for more information!

3 events, 1 great weekend in the Loess Hills

There’s always a good reason to get outdoors, but this trifecta of events will make it impossible to stay inside. Join Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in western Iowa over the first weekend of June. We’re celebrating our great state’s natural areas with a combined volunteer event, the dedication of a new Bird Conservation Area and the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.  Continue reading

It’s a Lark! It’s a Crane! It’s the Big Day of Birding

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Explore southern Iowa’s Lucas County on Saturday, May 21, during the Big Day of Birding! This first-time event marries bird enthusiasts and conservationists as we count as many bird species as possible in 24 hours.

Lucas County is a popular spot for our feathered friends. The area boasts critical nesting habitat for rare species such as American woodcock, whip-poor-will and wood thrush. Plus, Stephen’s State Forest is home to a large number of woodland birds, including the vibrant warbler. 238 bird species have already been identified, and we hope to grow that number on the Big Day of Birding. Continue reading

Gift to Iowa’s Future Day celebrates Iowa landowners

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On Thursday, March 24, a group of Iowa landowners were honored at the state capitol building for gifts of conservation land, land value and conservation easements made in 2015. “Gift To Iowa’s Future” day is an annual celebration of private landowners and organizations who protect their land for natural resources and recreation opportunities. 2015 gifts totaled more than $10 million and protected over 4,500 acres in 15 counties.

16 of the 23 landowners honored worked in partnership with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to protect their land.

“Private landowners are instrumental in protecting Iowa’s land, water and wildlife,” said INHF President Joe McGovern. “Gift to Iowa’s Future Day is a chance for us to celebrate the generous contributions individual Iowans make to conservation each year. It is truly humbling to see the impact of these gifts across the state.”
Continue reading

Two new nature areas for Story County

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We recently announced the opportunity to create two new nature areas in Story County. A public presentation on March 22 by INHF President Joe McGovern introduced the public to efforts to establish the new Carroll Prairie and the Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area.

“While the majority of the funding for both these new areas is expected to come from competitive public grants, private contributions will also be needed for both projects,” said McGovern.

Continue reading

Where the Wild Things Are: Greater Prairie Chickens

Welcome to “Where the Wild Things Are,” a monthly series where we feature a unique native species — and the best spots to glimpse these creatures. This month we’re featuring the eccentric Prairie Chicken.

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Large, feathered, and noisy, the prairie chicken isn’t all that different from a typical fowl. However, a few distinct qualities set the birds apart. Male prairie chickens feature orange feathers above their eyes and a pair of inflatable neck sacs. These sacs are also bright orange and puff up during the bird’s notable mating practice. Continue reading

Indulge your sweet tooth at Iowa maple syrup festivals

Maple Tree TappingSmooth, sticky and the perfect pour over a stack of flapjacks, maple syrup is one of nature’s sweetest gifts. Sap is harvested from maple trees by tapping into the trunks. The collected liquid is heated, water evaporates, and a thick syrup is left behind.

Sap collection takes place in early spring, and numerous festivals have popped up to celebrate the harvest. We’ve compiled a guide to maple syrup events across Iowa. Sweet! Continue reading

Winter volunteer day at Razor Prairie

looking-SE-1024x768Al and Mary Razor loved their land. The 24-acre partial woodland, oak savanna and prairie parcel was their everything. And in 2001, with their health on the decline, the Razors decided to permanently protect their land and donate it to INHF.

Help us honor Al and Mary’s legacy with a brush clear at Razor Prairie in Jasper County. Continue reading

Join INHF at the Iowa Prairie Network’s winter meeting

IPN3-logoOn Saturday, Jan. 30, join INHF and fellow nature enthusiasts at the Iowa Prairie Network’s winter meeting!

This year’s event will be held at Ames High School from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come early to participate in a winter prairie hike at the Pohl State Preserve, and stay for speaker presentations, displays and a silent auction.

The proceeds from this year’s auction will benefit INHF’s Sellberg Property in Story County. The 49-acre pasture is home to several prairie remnants and a portion of West Indian Creek. INHF currently owns the property and is working with Story County Conservation Board to raise funds so the project can one day be open to the public.

For more information about the meeting, check out Iowa Prairie Network’s Facebook event or contact Trish Patrick at tpatrick5350@gmail.com. The event is free and open to the public. See you there!

The Iowa Prairie Network is an all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of prairie heritage in Iowa. Since 1990, IPN has been a network of advocacy for Iowa’s natural heritage, using its funding to support land acquisition and restoration practices.

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