INHF at the Iowa Bike Expo

LOGOtransparentShift gears this Saturday and start thinking about spring. Join INHF at one of the Midwest’s largest bike shows, the Iowa Bike Expo!

Exhibitors from all over the country will be on hand to answer questions about equipment, destinations and gear. And educational seminars will provide insight on all things cycling.

Be sure to stop by the INHF booth — we’ll be talking about trails, exhibiting the Iowa by Trail app and selling merchandise. You can even enter to win a High Trestle Trail bike jersey!

The expo will be held on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center. Admission is free. For more information, visit iowabikeexpo.com.

This New Year’s Day, get outdoors with Iowa’s “First Day Hikes”

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Photo by Tim Wilson via Flickr Creative Commons

Start the new year on the right foot: Iowa State Parks is sponsoring free, guided hikes in 19 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.

First Day Hikes is a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family. Not to mention, Iowa’s state parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation. Hiking is the perfect opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. Continue reading

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.”

 

REAP In Your Region: High Trestle Trail, Gray’s Lake, Chichaqua Bottoms and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 11
Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Marion, Polk, Story, Warren

REAP Assembly – Bondurant
Nov. 5, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Bondurant Public Library (104 2nd St. NE, Bondurant, IA 50035)

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FEATURED PROJECT

Chichaqua Bottoms

Located just east of Ankeny, the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt has been expanded and protected for decades. It is home to various types of wildlife, including migrating waterfowl and several rare and declining species. Straddling Polk and Jasper counties along the Skunk River, the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt now contains more than 9,100 acres of wetlands and associated uplands. The wetlands slowly filter out runoff and remove contaminants, producing clean and clear water. Truly, Chichaqua’s benefits to Iowa’s land and water go beyond outdoor recreation.

REAP funding for this project: $104,875


Region 11
Region REAP Support (total): $32,142,517

LegendBooneDallasJasperMarionPolkStoryWarren

REAP In Your Region: Hitchcock Nature Area, Loess Hills and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 17
Pottawattamie, Harrison, Shelby, Cass

REAP Assembly – Council Bluffs
Nov. 4, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Breezy Lodge (39357 310th Street, Neola, IA 51559)

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FEATURED PROJECT

Hitchcock Nature Area

From hiking trails to the Missouri River floodplain, the Hitchcock Nature Area offers a variety of landscapes that many migrating species call home. Located 15 miles outside of Council Bluffs, the park has grown to 830 acres of trails, campgrounds, educational programs, and much more. The preserve is one of the best areas to view hawks and other raptors during the migrating season. Many Iowans come to enjoy the view from the lodge’s porch and walk the boardwalk. The Hitchcock Nature Area is only a success because of the constant stewardship and care Iowans put into the land.

REAP funding for this project: $770,800


Region 17
Region REAP Support (total): $17,797,659

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REAP In Your Region: Keg Creek Watershed, Viking Lake State Park and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 13
Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page

REAP Assembly – Clarinda
Nov. 3, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Lied Center (1140 E Main St, Clarinda, IA 51632)

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FEATURED PROJECT

Keg Creek Watershed Projects

Located two miles southwest of the Pacific Junction sits Keg Creek Lake, a special project zone for Mills County. Over the years, watersheds improvements have been built to stabilize the stream bank and prevent sediments and pollutants from entering the streams and lake. More than 120 miles of terraces, 19 water and sediment control basins, and three stream bank stabilization projects were installed since 1999 to not only protect road structures, but also to reduce flooding into the City of Glenwood. Today, the lake is protected and stocked with channel catfish, but fishers can also catch bluegills and largemouth bass.

REAP funding for this project: $22,208


Region 13
Region REAP Support (total): $5,969,186

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REAP In Your Region: Clear Lake State Park, Elk Creek Marsh and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 2
Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth

REAP Assembly – Ventura
Oct. 29, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Ventura Community Center (4 North Weimer Street, Ventura, IA 50482)

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FEATURED PROJECT

Clear Lake State Park

From hiking the trails to boating in the sunshine, Clear Lake is a recreational hotspot for Iowans. Located at the heart of the Great Lakes region, Clear Lake offers a great fishing experience, which would not be possible without watershed and shoreline protection. Walleyes, muskie, northern pike, bullheads, catfish, yellow bass, crappies and other panfish can all be found within the lake. The park also offers bird watching, an abundance of trails and modern campgrounds perfect for any family outing.

REAP funding for this project: $2,545,287

Region 10
Region REAP Support (total): $10,811,336

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REAP In Your Region: Trout Run Trail, Yellow River State Forest and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 1
Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, Winneshiek

REAP Assembly – Decorah
Oct. 28, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Luther College – Olin Building, Room 102 (700 College Dr., Decorah, IA 52101)             Park in library lot.

Yellow River State Forest

FEATURED PROJECT

Yellow River State Forest

In the far northeast corner of Iowa lies the Yellow River State Forest, a haven for many different types of flora, fauna and landscapes. Located within the Effigy Mountains National Monument, the Yellow River State Forest is near the confluence of the Yellow River and the Mississippi. Because of the running water, many animals flock to the area. Deer, ducks, game fish, beavers, mink, hawks and even bald eagles may be seen at any time. The birds make their homes in the rich, dense forest among the maple, oak and ash trees. Several state-endangered species have been found in the Yellow River State Forest, making the land uniquely worthy of protection. The Heritage Addition, a 1,045-acre plot, connects the forest to the Effigy Mountains National Monument. Together, the Yellow River State Forest Unit, Heritage Addition and Effigy Mounds National Monument protect 7.8 miles of this river, along with critical migratory bird habitat along the Upper Mississippi River flyway.

REAP funding for this project: $1,374,003

Region 1
Region REAP Support (total): $17,875,013

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REAP In Your Region: Lake Shore Park, Riverside Trail and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 7
Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Grundy

REAP Assembly – Cedar Falls
Oct. 27, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Hartman Reserve Nature Center (657 Reserve Drive, Cedar Falls, IA 50613)

Cedar Rock State Park

Cedar Rock State Park

FEATURED PROJECT

Cedar Rock State Park

Cedar Rock State Park in Buchanan County is home to one of the most complete examples of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. The Lowell and Agnes Walter estate incorporates Wright’s vision in nearly every aspect of the house—including furniture, drapery and carpet choices. REAP funding has contributed to Cedar Rock boat house maintenance, roofing system updates and park additions.

REAP funding for this project: $95,905

Region 7
Region REAP Support (total): $15,437,118

LegendBlack HawkBremerBuchananButlerChickasawGrundy

REAP In Your Region: Three Mile Lake, Nine Eagles State Park, Stephens State Forest and more

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 14
Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor, Union

REAP Assembly – Afton
Oct. 22, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Three Mile Lake Lodge (Campground Road, Afton, IA 50830)

Afton

Photo by Iowa DNR via Flickr

FEATURED PROJECT

Three Mile Lake Recreation Area

Union County’s largest recreational facility, Three Mile Lake offers something for everybody. From fishing to camping, the park boasts a variety of year-round activities. Several species of wildlife call the area home, including whitetail deer, wild turkey, quail and Canada Geese. The lake and surrounding area is even a Canada Goose Refuge Site. Through REAP funding, the park has upgraded its campsites, added tracts and conserved the lake’s watershed.

REAP funding for this project: $1,253,590


Region 14
Region REAP Support (total): $14,033,175

LegendAdairAdamsClarkeDecaturMadisonRinggoldTaylorUnion