Moonlight Seed Harvest

Come collect seeds and celebrate fall at the INHF moonlight seed harvest! We’ll help restore the native prairie by collecting a variety of seeds and then relax afterwards with a bonfire — s’mores and apple cider provided. No experience is necessary, but please dress for the weather and wear field-appropriate shoes. Participants should bring a headlamp, water bottle and a passion for the great outdoors.


Photo by Tony Webster via Flickr Creative Commons

When: Saturday, October 24, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Youth Camp Area. Click here for a map and more information about the area.

Questions? Contact Mary Runkel, INHF volunteer coordinator by email or at 515-288-1846 ext 17.

RSVP for this event with Mary or Melissa Schmeling at



The scoop on Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes at Chichaqua

Sandhill Cranes at Chichaqua

With Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) season approaching in mid-March, take the opportunity to brush up on your crane knowledge.This bird has been in Iowa since the nineteenth century, but as European settlements grew, the Sandhill Crane population decreased. At the turn of the twentieth century, even migrant cranes were rare. But in 1992, Sandhill Cranes successfully nested in Iowa again at Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area in Tama County, according to the Iowa DNR.

Now, the birds are no strangers to INHF areas and have been spotted on various properties, such as Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt and Ham Marsh.

Check out these other five facts about Sandhill Cranes: Continue reading

Trail Tuesday: Chichaqua Valley Trail

Every Tuesday, look for a new featured trail story on our blog – part of our new “Trail Tuesday” series. This will be a way for you to learn about all the different trails we have to offer on our Iowa By Trail app. If you like what you read you can download the app and go explore! For any questions on these trails, email


This week’s featured trail is Chichaqua Valley Trail.

Continue reading

Weekend Adventures

Design intern Kerri here. This last weekend, I ventured out in the field to shoot some video for our INHF library – of trails, waterways and beautiful Iowa landscapes! My adventures took me to Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt in Maxwell, IA, Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines, and Saylorville Lake and Big Creek State Park, both near Polk City. After working hard in the office all week, it’s always refreshing to get out and enjoy all that Iowa’s outdoors have to offer.

I snapped a few photos along the way:

Wetlands at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Wetlands at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

photo (2)

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Sunset at Gray’s Lake Park

See more photos on INHF’s Instagram (and Pinterest!), and be sure to follow along to see where we’re headed next!

What are some of your favorite Iowa destinations? Let us know in the comments!