2015 Intern Recap: Blufflands Land Stewardship

M.o.S crew

The second summer of the INHF Blufflands Stewardship intern crew was a success! Our Blufflands crew worked a total of 44 days on 14 sites around northeast Iowa, making a lasting impact on several properties and projects. The internship wrapped up on Aug. 13.

The first few weeks of the summer were spent at INHF’s Heritage Valley property in Allamakee Co. weeding the prairies and woodlands of things like garlic mustard, wild parsnip, queen annes lace, sweet clover, and thistles. The next few weeks involved a lot of chainsaw work both at Heritage Valley and around the driftless region, removing cedar trees from bluff prairies and combating honeysuckle and buckthorn. Interns were also able to participate in several seed harvests and volunteer events.

Interns were able to work with other conservation professionals, working with partner land stewardship organizations and volunteers either on partner properties or INHF properties. The highlight week for the interns was at Raleigh Buckmasters’, an INHF conservation easement in Allamakee Co., where they were able to see timber rattlesnakes. Interns also enjoyed their time at Indiangrass Hills in Iowa Co., along with the Iowa Prairie Conference at UNI.

Thank you, interns, for your hard work for Iowa’s land, water and wildlife!

Learn more about INHF’s Blufflands land stewardship internship.

Heritage Valley: The little things in life

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An Iowa DNR member presents on a plant species to an attentive volunteer. (Photo by Jessica Rilling)

As I reflect back on our summer seed harvest on July 9 up and around Heritage Valley in northeast Iowa, I think to myself “What a great day!” But I think that I say that a lot—so this time I’ll do my best to answer WHY it was so great. Continue reading

The prairie calls…for volunteers!

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The sun shines on downy painted cup at Heritage Valley, an INHF property.

Looking for a fun and relaxed volunteer opportunity? You’re in luck! Join INHF and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the a seed harvest in northeast Iowa on Thursday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to noon at Heritage Valley and Solitaire Ridge. Continue reading

Into the Wild & Out with the Mustard

Volunteers remove invasive garlic mustard from Heritage Valley.

Volunteers remove invasive garlic mustard from Heritage Valley.

Join INHF to combat invasive garlic mustard (via hand-pull) at our third annual “Into the Wild & Out with the Mustard!” volunteer event.

When: Saturday, May 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Heritage Valley, an INHF-owned property 20 miles northeast of Decorah

Why: Garlic mustard, a highly-invasive, non-native plant, can seriously degrade woodlands when left unchecked. Having been described as the “most fun invasive species pull in the state,” this event is a chance to meet others passionate about Iowa’s resources, enjoy the spring outdoors and hear the “cowboy poetry” of Jon Steege during lunch. But more importantly, removing these plants helps preserve the northeastern woodlands of Iowa.

Plus! Lunch and other refreshments–including morning coffee–will be provided. Those working the second shift are welcome to come early for lunch, which will be served at noon.

How: To register, contact INHF Volunteer Coordinator Mary Runkel by May 13 at mrunkel@inhf.org or 515-288-1846.

Though those of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend the mustard pull, volunteers should note that the terrain can be steep and uneven. Participants are asked to bring work gloves and a portable water bottle.

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Volunteer with INHF to Remove Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard Pamphlet

* Due to poor weather conditions, the Mustard removal event has been postponed to Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

INHF is hosting its first volunteer event on May 4th at Heritage Valley, our beautiful property near Decorah! We need 50 volunteers to help us remove garlic mustard by hand at various locations around the property. Garlic mustard is an invasive species that can seriously degrade a healthy, diverse woodland.

Continue reading