3 events, 1 great weekend in the Loess Hills

There’s always a good reason to get outdoors, but this trifecta of events will make it impossible to stay inside. Join Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in western Iowa over the first weekend of June. We’re celebrating our great state’s natural areas with a combined volunteer event, the dedication of a new Bird Conservation Area and the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.  Continue reading

Apply for INHF’s summer land stewardship internship

Looking for a summer internship? Want to help restore Iowa’s natural beauty while learning about ecology, land management, and wildlife? Then apply to be an INHF Land Stewardship intern!

Check out Matt’s story here  and read the description below to get a taste of what exactly the internship entails. Applications for the 2016 summer crew are due Sunday, January 24, 2016.

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Loess Hills Prairie Seminar

The sun sets over the Loess Hills in Monona County. (Photo by Robert Buman)

The sun sets over the Loess Hills in Monona County. (Photo by Robert Buman)

“Honoring Prairie and the Hills”

Whether avid prairie enthusiast or curious nature lover, you’re invited to join INHF at the 39th Loess Hills Prairie Seminar from Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31. Events will be held at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area northeast of Onawa and in Onawa at West Monona High School.

The Northwest Area Education Agency sponsors the seminar annually and invites educators, students, park and conservation persons, community leaders, and citizens. A living memorial to found Carolyn Frerichs Benne, a Western Hills Area Education Agency environmental educator, the prairie seminar brings together 300 people of all ages every year to promote conservation, environmental and science education.

Events for families and Iowa citizens of all ages are scheduled throughout the weekend, including campfires on Friday and Saturday nights, a silent auction and breakout sessions about birds, plants, insects, photography, history, soil, geology, ecology, prairie management, journaling, Native American heritage, landscaping and more

INHF members will lead two of the breakout sessions on Saturday, May 30, at the Outdoor Seminar Site:

8:15 a.m. | Landowners’ Conservation Options
INHF Land Stewardship Director Erin Van Waus will shed light on how and why people choose permanent protection for land they own. An introduction to land donations, bequests and conservation easements will be given, as INHF serves landowners who face these decisions.
10:15 a.m. | Place, Purpose and Prairie
INHF Loess Hills Land Conservation Consultant Tim Sproul and INHF Volunteer Coordinator Mary Runkel will tell the tale of INHF using the story of Turin Prairie. They will share how and why we do what we do.

Volunteer at G.R.A.S.S. (the Great Race Against Shrubs and Shade)


Remove woody species to keep Turin Prairie beautiful.

Join INHF, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and other partners during the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar to explore and volunteer at Turin Prairie on Friday, May 29, at 9:00 a.m.

With thoughts of energy and impact, watch the land transform before your eyes at this annual event. Participants will work in teams to remove brush from the large hillside prairie, which may involve use of chainsaws, loppers and handsaws.

Questions about the prairie seminar should be directed to Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com. Questions about G.R.A.S.S. volunteer event should be directed to Mary Runkel at mrunkel@inhf.org.


Wordless Wednesday: Turin Prairie

IMG_7436This photo of Turin Prairie was taken at this past weekend’s Loess Hills Prairie Seminar. The seminar consisted of nearly 100 people who got a taste of what this 425-acre project is about. About 65 volunteers donated their time to clear out Cedar trees from a steep, prominent hill for the Great Race Against Shade (G.R.A.S.S.) to foster the health for native prairie. The volunteers included our land stewardship interns and staff, Nature Conservancy interns, the DNR trails crew, plus DNR staff and assorted volunteers including our own board member Greg Grupp.

Photo by INHF Land Stewardship Assistant Ryan Schmidt



2014 Loess Hills Prairie Seminar registration open


Spring is an exciting time at INHF. The land stewardship staff gets back out on the land, we get to tour our favorite properties on field trips and Iowa comes alive with blooms and green spaces. Spring also means it’s time for one of our favorite events—The Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.

Information about this year’s seminar was just released. It’s a time for prairie and Loess Hills enthusiasts alike to gather and work toward making the land we hold dear better through trainings, discussions and a field day. Continue reading

Save the date: INHF Spring volunteer dates

Around the INHF office, we’re gearing up for spring by planning as much time outside as possible. After a hearty winter, we can’t wait to shake the big coats and trade them for big, open spaces. Want to join us? Check out these opportunities to volunteer with us this coming spring:VolunteerSpringSTD

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Loess Hills Prairie Seminar

All Rights Reserved Carl Kurtz

Love prairies? Whether you’re a prairie aficiondo or just want to learn more about these native Iowa places, the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar (LHPS) is the place to be. The Seminar, in its 37th year, brings together dozens of facilitators and hundreds of participants of all ages, with diverse interests that relate to natural and cultural history, the Loess Hills, and prairie. It will be held from May 31 – June 2 this year.

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