Bringing wildness back to Clear Lake

Pre-settlement, the Clear Lake area was a wildlife haven. Now in one of the most popular tourism spots in the state, INHF is helping to restore a measure of wildness.

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Restoration on the Pedelty property, a former golf course, will see restored wetland, prairie and savanna and will benefit the area’s many bird and non-game species. Photo by Ross Baxter, INHF

Early accounts of Clear Lake, a spring-fed lake with origins in the last glacial period, tell of its use as a favorite summer camping ground of the Sioux and Winnebago peoples. By the mid-1800s, tales of the beautiful lake with plentiful fish and wildlife had captured the attention and imagination of Euro-American settlers. In short order, what had been a wild and vast wetland-pocked prairie ecosystem, replete with a dizzying array of native plants and animals, was being domesticated. Continue reading

Try something new this winter: Ice fishing

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 4_36_59 PM 2When the winter chill sets in, it can be difficult for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy all the open-air opportunities Iowa has to offer. But the winter months don’t have to halt outdoor fun. This winter, try something new: Ice fishing is a great way to extend Iowa’s recreational season year-round and enjoy the state’s beauty with friends and family.

The expansive Clear Lake in Cerro Gordo County is the perfect location for this cold-weather activity. You’ll find an abundance of fish species, including yellow bass, walleye and muskie as well as a growing population of perch and bluegills. The lake has an ample amount of fishable areas to claim and plenty of local resources to get first-time ice fishermen — and ladies — fishing safely and successfully. Continue reading

An early Earth Day celebration

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INHF staff and volunteers collect seed at Turin Loess Hills State Preserve and Wildlife Management Area in Monona County.

According to an article in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Earth Day started in 1970 when San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots environmental demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox, March 21, 1970, and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates. Continue reading

INHF and Clear Lake Earth Days pair up for a trash pick-up

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY:

Many hands make light work! Celebrate Earth Day this year by lending a hand to help pick-up litter near the trail alongside Clear Lake.

What: Trash pick-up in Ventura Cove Woods.

Where: Along the trail through Ventura Cove Woods, near Clear Lake. Meet and park in the parking lot along Balsam Ave. (S-14), just S of Ventura and north of the fishing jetty. The meeting spot is depicted as “B” on this map.

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