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

INHF, DNR to dedicate the James and Patricia Dinsmore tract at Big Wall Lake

You’re invited! Help dedicate a new 130-acre addition to the Big Wall Lake Wildlife Management Area made possible by James and Patricia Dinsmore’s gift to INHF. The dedication will take place at the site at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. A reception will follow.DSC_0428

James Dinsmore is a published author (A Country So Full of Game) and former Iowa State animal ecology professor. He and his wife sought to make a gift that matched their interest in wildlife and would also protect some of the Iowa landscape James studied for years. The couple found what they were looking for at Big Wall Lake.

dinsmore dedication mapBig Wall is a shallow, 978-acre lake along a major flyway for migrating waterfowl. The lake was in danger for many years, but  underwent a major restoration in 2006 to remove carp and increase outflow so in-lake plants could grow. In 2012, the lake was removed from the state’s list of impaired waters.

The added acres will eventually transfer to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and become part of a public complex. The next step is to transfer a 341-acre property on the northwest corner of Big Wall. The Dinsmores also contributed to that project, and INHF is currently working to raise the remaining funds.

Event Details:

When: Thursday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m. Reception to follow.

Where: 2551 300th St., Clarion Iowa

RSVP to Erin Griffin, INHF Events Coordinator, at or 515-288-1846, ext. 11