2017 Annual Report - Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

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A year of fruitful collaboration My mother grew up on a small farm near Oakville, Iowa, in the Mississippi bottomlands. It was an upbringing that gave her a lifelong dedication to hard work, along with many well-worn adages meant to encourage that same habit in her children. One of her frequent sayings came back to me in reading the content of this year’s annual report. Perhaps it’s familiar to you, too:

together on behalf of our natural resources — joining hands to harvest prairie seeds, clear away invasive species, build a trail, restore a wild woodland — not only makes work light, it makes work that lasts. Working together in 2017, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation members, staff, interns, volunteers and partners made a lasting difference on thousands of acres of land, along many miles of trails and waterways, all across the state. Working together is a natural multiplier, broadening the impact of our shared passion for the environment; our desire to preserve wildlife habitat and protect Iowa’s rivers, streams and soils; and our generosity in helping to safeguard these gifts for generations to come.

of life, public health and economic vitality. Working together benefits us all. Many hands do make light work. And when those hard-working hands are led by heads and hearts committed to a common purpose, there’s really nothing we can’t do. Thank you for all you have done this past year, working side by side with us, to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. - SUSAN SHUL L AW

Chair, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Board of Directors

“Many hands make light work.” That we can do more by working together seems obvious. It’s fundamental to farm families and, for that matter, to civilization itself. But working

This collective and sustained effort on behalf of Iowa’s natural resources has never been more important. Countless studies show the value of trails, parks and other outdoor resources to quality






16 Contributions


Private Land Protection

22 Financial Report

10 Volunteers

23 Conservation Partners

12 Public Land

Opening Thoughts

14 Interns and Stewardship Cover photo by Gary Hamer


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation


Together, we do more. Conservation in Iowa, more often than not, progresses incrementally. It happens bit by bit, fitting small puzzle pieces together to create outstanding protected places. It’s a humble process, and one that wouldn’t be possible without you. 2017 was an amazing year for land protection in Iowa. Together, we’re moving the needle of conservation ever forward. In the pages ahead, we’re proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year. Through our members and partners, spectacular wild places are created across the state. Without your work, none of this would be possible. Thank you.

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For over 30 years, INHF has helped establish some of the state’s most popular trails. 2017 was no different — from planning routes to securing corridors and meeting fundraising goals, your dollars are making Iowa a trails destination.


INHF plays a varitey of roles when developing trails in Iowa, including land acquisition for trail routes, working with railroad companies, planning and development and fundraising. Below are the trail projects INHF was involved with in 2017:


Magnetic Park, City of Cherokee

55 acres of pasture, restorable habitat and woodland will provide wildlife habitat and important water quality protection along the Little Sioux River. Pieces of trail on the property will eventually connect to make a 2-mile trail for public enjoyment. (Will be owned and managed by the city of Cherokee)

2 Clarke County

17-acre property in Osceola city limits. The area will eventually feature a trail from Osceola Elementary School to East Lake Park, the county’s most popular campground. (Will be owned and managed by the Clarke County Conservation Board)

3 Laurens Trail

This 2.2-mile former railroad corridor will extend the existing 1.9-mile Laurens Trail southeast of the city of Laurens. Both the planned and existing trail are part of the Pocahontas County Trails Plan, which seeks to connect the existing 40-mile Three Rivers Trail in Pocahontas, Humboldt and Wright counties. (Will be owned and managed by the city of Laurens)

4 Pottawattamie County, Council Bluffs

Availa Bank donated 2 acres in Council Bluffs along the Valley View Trail. The Valley View Trail is part of the Council Bluffs trails network and links Iowa Western Community College to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a 63-mile rail trail stretching from Council Bluffs to Blanchard. The property will increase habitat and enhance the experience for trail users.

5 Poweshiek County

The Knolls, L.C. donated 22 acres within Grinnell city limits. The donation will enable INHF and the City of Grinnell to establish wetlands, prairies and a recreational trail to benefit water quality, create pollinator habitat and increase outdoor recreation opportunities in the area. It will eventually be owned by the city of Grinnell.


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2017 HIGHLIGHTS • Engineering and design began on the Red Rock Prairie Trail, a trail that will eventually connect Mitchellville to Monroe. The trail includes a connection to Prairie City and the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. INHF secured and transferred the land for the trail in 2016. • INHF contributed to trail visioning and planning work for a trail network in Wright and Pocahontas counties. • Through a partnership with the National Park Service, INHF contributed to regional trail network planning for Jasper, Warren and Marion counties. • Work continued on the Connector trail, which will eventually link the popular High Trestle Trail and Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas County. When completed, the 9-mile connection will create multiple 100-mile routes for Iowa trail users and connect the north portion of the Central Iowa Trails Network. • The Chichaqua Valley Trail celebrated its 30th anniversary. INHF helped secure the land to create the trail in the 1980s. • Two INHF interns compiled an Iowa Trails Guide to help cities start the process of planning and visioning community trails. The guide will be published later in 2018. • In partnership with the Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization, Austin Dunn, INHF’s 2017 trails intern, rode the Data Bike on central Iowa trails to track trail conditions and add routes to Google Maps. Read more about Austin’s intern experience on page 15. • INHF secured land to connect Farragut to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in southwest Iowa.

“Trails connect us to nature. They’re linear parks. For families, bikers, hikers, everyone — trails can be the easiest way to get outdoors and just enjoy the natural world around you.” – ANDREA BOULTON, INHF trails and greenways director

BELOW: Former Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman cuts the ribbon on the city’s new community trail. The trail runs 3.3 miles through the city, providing residents with a free recreation space and a safe way for children to travel to school.

A trail dream realized For the past 13 years, Carlisle has been working to create a trail connecting the city of Carlisle to the Des Moines metro area. Recently, a new piece of the puzzle fell into place with the unveiling of a new, 3.3-mile multi-use trail through the city. The trail encompasses some of the most picturesque landscapes Carlisle has to offer, including rolling hills, woodland and a view of the North River valley. The trail passes through Lindhart Park and Scotch Ridge Nature Park. “We believe we are adding to the quality of life for our citizens and visitors, which encourages community vitality and growth,” said former Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman. “We are especially excited about the opportunities for our children to experience the outdoors and that connection to nature that is so beneficial to physical and mental health.” The Carlisle Nature Trail connects to the Summerset Trail from Indianola. The ultimate goal is to connect both trails to the Ackelson Trail around Easter Lake and onward to the Des Moines Riverwalk. “Trails like the Carlisle Nature Trail give people the opportunity to have fun outside,” said Lisa Hein, INHF senior director for conservation programs. “Iowans work hard and play hard, and trails provide the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy the outdoors.” inhf.o r g




PRIVATE LAND PROTECTION. Private landowners know the value of protecting Iowa’s soil, wildlife and natural resources. INHF works with individuals to ensure their land stays the way they remember and love it.

Conservation easements allow private landowners to permanently protect their land, preserving its natural resources into the future. Conservation entities like INHF hold the easements and monitor them annually. Below is a listing of conservation easements completed with INHF in 2017:


Clayton County

30 acres of wooded land on a high ridge near a stretch of the Turkey River that includes the 98-mile Turkey River Water Trail, and offers diverse habitat in an area of Clayton County with little permanently protected land. Donated by Floyd and Sharon Sandford.

2 Dallas County

The Brenton Arboretum features over 2,000 trees and shrubs, as well as perennial flowers, prairie plantings and wetlands. The Brenton Arboretum donated a 139-acre conservation easement to ensure permanent protection of the land and to enhance water quality in the North Raccoon River watershed.

3 Dallas County

112 acres adjacent to the Raccoon River one mile from the Des Moines metro. Protection of the land preserves floodprone woodland, supports a variety of wildflowers and increases water quality in the watershed. Completed by Raccoon River Land Co., LLC.

4 Dubuque County

162-acre conservation easement near Dubuque. The family farm includes woodland, grassland and working lands. Several streams and ponds on the property drain north to the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, where they meet Catfish Creek and the Mississippi River. Permanent protection ensures enduring wildlife habitat, open space and future viability as a mixed-use farm. Donated by Jim and Paulette Lynn.

5 Guthrie County

21-acre Judson Prairie is a remnant prairie with a wooded stream corridor and provides quality wildlife habitat supporting many pollinators, insects, birds and mammals, and is an excellent native prairie seed source. Donated by Jon Judson and Kay Neumann.



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Agricultural land


6 Guthrie County

87 acres of restored and remnant prairies, oak savannas and reconstructed prairies near Coon Rapids buffering Whiterock Conservancy. The property provides pristine wildlife habitat, scenic beauty and water quality benefits to the nearby Middle Raccoon River. Donated by Beth Henning.


Guthrie County

39-acre Tuel Prairie is made up of high quality remnant and reconstructed prairie and provides quality wildlife habitat supporting many pollinators, insects, birds and mammals. It is also an excellent native prairie seed source. Donated by Jon Judson and Kay Neumann.

8 Jasper County

127 acres adjacent to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge outside of Prairie City. Protection of the property ensures preservation of agricultural land and open space as development pressure in the region increases. Completed by Cliff and Rosalie Curry.

9 Jasper County

146 acres adjacent to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge outside of Prairie City. Protection of the property ensures preservation of agricultural land and open space as development pressure in the region increases. Completed by Scott and Angela Curry and Brent and Nancy Curry.

10 Jefferson County

28-acre conservation easement within the city limits of Fairfield. The landowners have worked tirelessly to restore its oak savanna, grassland and tree plantings. The property provides excellent wildlife habitat and positively impacts water quality in the watershed. Donated by Larry and Laura Miller.

11 Linn County

145-acre family farm near Mount Vernon. The property includes mature woodland, thousands of planted trees, prairie and working lands, providing a variety of wildlife habitat and water quality benefits to the nearby Cedar River. It is near several state parks, preserves and natural areas, and expands protected land in Linn County. Donated by Larry and Susan Koehrsen, Greg and Terri Grupp, and Craig Koehersen and Lisa Clarke-Koehrsen.

12 Madison County

93 acres of restored and reconstructed oak savanna, prairie and wetlands. The property now boasts an impressive mix of habitat, including one of the best sedge meadows in southern Iowa. Donated by John and Shari Paule.

13 Marion County

Brothers Mike and Dan DeCook and Dan’s wife, Angela, donated a 242-acre conservation easement on part of their land. Since 2011, the DeCook Family, which also includes Mike and Dan’s parents, Mark and Kay DeCook, have worked to re-wild their land, restoring its prairie remnants, grasslands and oak savannas. Together, they have permanently protected 2,700 acres in Marion, Monroe and Lucas counties.

14 Marshall County

10 acres of wooded property providing excellent wildlife habitat and water quality benefits to the Iowa River. The land adjoins three permanently protected properties, creating a complex of nearly 500 acres of protected wildlife habitat in the area. Donated by Nile and Laura Oldham, Donald and Diana Jacobusee, Ryan Bagley and Shawna Bagley.

15 Marshall County

40 acres adjacent to a 409-acre conservation easement donated in 1996. The land adjoins three permanently protected properties, creating a complex of nearly 500 acres of permanently protected wildlife habitat along the Iowa River. Donated by Timberland, Inc.

16 Marshall County

33 acres of wooded land adjoins three permanently protected properties — one which was also protected with a conservation easement donated to INHF this year — creating a complex of nearly 500 acres of protected wildlife habitat in the area. Donated by Greg Twedt and Zoraida Gutierrez Araya.

17 Monroe County

38 acres of woodland in Monroe County featuring a mature oak-hickory woodland, perennial grasses, wildflowers, a stream and a pond, providing excellent wildlife habitat. Donated by Robert Chisman.

18 Plymouth County

59-acre conservation easement adjacent to Stone State Park and Mt. Talbot State Preserve. The property features pockets of remnant prairie, cool-season grasslands and oak woodland, providing excellent habitat, expanding and buffering other protected lands in the area. Donated by Ruth Rose and Luis Lebredo.

19 Sac County

58 acres of reconstucted wetlands and prairies. The area will be restored to wetlands and wet-mesic prairie, provide habitat for wildlife and increase water quality to Outlet Creek near Black Hawk Lake. Completed by Jeffery McCorkle.


Warren County

Danamere Farms has a long history rooted in conservation and community. It boasts a diverse mix of native and restored habitat, a public bike trail and local foods. The 117-acre conservation easement was donated by Rob and Susan Fleming.

21 Winneshiek County

111-acre century farm north of Decorah located near the Upper Iowa River. Easement permanently protects the property from mounting development pressure and improves water quality and habitat diversity. Donated by Ace and Judy Hendricks and Jeff and Shelley Hendricks.

22 Winneshiek County

88 acres of woodland and native prairie habitat in northeast Iowa along the Upper Iowa River. Nearly 600 feet of the river runs along the property and is one of the most popular sections for paddlers and recreationists. Protection increases a large complex of privately and publicy protected land in the area. Completed by Lilly and Mark Jensen.

23 Winneshiek County

696-acre agricultural land easement (ALE) donated near Decorah. The donation is the first ALE in Iowa, permanently protecting the land for conservation while maintaining a sustainable farm operation. The farm features a diverse mix of working lands, woodland and water features, including a small stretch of Ten Mile Creek and three springs. The easement will help promote water quality on the adjacent Upper Iowa River. Donated by Bobby, Paula and Robby Jewell.

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2017 HIGHLIGHTS • 2017 set the record for the most conservation easements completed with INHF with a total of 23 easements signed. • 2,623 acres were permanently protected through conservation easements in 2017 in 15 different counties. • Jessica Riebkes-Clough, a former intern with INHF and the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, worked with the conservation easement department to help complete easements and annual easement monitoring. Jessica was hired full-time in 2018 as INHF’s new land projects assistant. • Bobby, Paula and Robby Jewell of Decorah signed Iowa’s first Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) to protect their family farm. The protection of 696 acres is also the largest such protection in the state. • A portion of farm land previously donated with a reserved life estate to INHF by Helen Gunderson in 2016 in Pocahantas County was certified organic in 2017. Gunderson leases the land to a young female farmer. • In partnership with the Monarch Research Project, INHF held two forums for landowners in Linn County interested in converting portions of their land to establish pollinator habitat. • Judson and Tuel prairies in Guthrie County were protected through conservation easements. Jon Judson runs a native prairie seed business off the land, and provides seed for many prairie reconstructions and plantings in the area.

Often, INHF is the recipient of donations of land or land value from private landowners who wish to see their land protected by INHF or a public agency. Below is a list of land or land value donations to INHF in 2017:

24 Allamakee County

Delores and Larry Meister and Angie Taves donated 12 acres on a steep, wooded bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The land lies adjacent to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.

25 Allamakee County

Sylvia Tucker donated a portion of her land’s value, which includes 39 acres of woodland, ridges and bluffs featuring dramatic views of the Mississippi River. The land lies adjacent to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.

26 Benton County

Cathy Irvine donated 77 acres near Dysart, which will be utilized by the University of Northern Iowa Tallgrass Prairie Center for prairie restoration and as a learning lab for UNI students and staff.

27 Clarke County

Dale and Imogene Wieland donated a portion of the value of 17 acres within Osceola city limits. The land lies between Osceola Elementary School and East Lake Park, Clarke County’s most popular campground. The donation will help complete a trail between the school and the park.

28 Clayton County

Dr. Albert “Al” Kollasch bequeathed 55 acres of woodland and grassland to INHF. Dr. Kollasch had a special connection to the property, sharing that he felt guided to it in order to protect it. The property is located near other INHF-owned land, expanding protected land and wildlife habitat in the area.

29 Dallas County

Jerry and Jane Kuehn have worked with INHF and the Dallas County Conservation Board for over 30 years to establish and expand Kuehn Conservation Area, a 700+-acre public area near Earlham. Jerry and Jane donated a portion of the value on a 5-acre inholding near the entrance to Kuehn Conservation Area.


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30 Dickinson County

The Iowa Great Lakes Saddle Club donated 22 acres just south of Little Foote Forest along the Little Sioux River. The land lies within the Horseshoe Bend Complex, a priority protection area for the Dickinson County Conservation Board.


Fayette County

Ray and Patricia Hamilton donated their share of 29 acres to INHF. The land contains a fen, one of two in the state that is home to both Fringed Gentian and Lesser Fringed Gentian.

32 Fremont County

Donald Mills bequeathed 96 acres of grasslands and woodland near Thurman to INHF. The property lies on the front face of the Loess Hills and is within the Bur Oak Ridge Special Landscape Area.

33 Greene County

Jeff and Roxanne Gorsuch donated a portion of the value of 48 acres with future transfer to the Iowa DNR. The primarily upland woodland property provides quality habitat for deer, turkeys and migratory birds. It will also help create a 655-acre nature complex along an eight-mile stretch of the North Raccoon River.

34 Jackson County

Ed Weimerskirk bequeathed 484 acres, including two miles of cold water trout streams, near Bellevue. The two streams — Mill Creek and Storybrook Hollow Creek — have been called “two of the greatest trout streams in Iowa.” It was Ed’s wish that INHF forever protect the land’s water resources and manage its woodland to advance conservation in Iowa.

35 Mahaska County

Pleasant Grove Land Preservation, Inc., an entity composed of 20 shareholders with a shared vision for land protection and stewardship, donated 73 acres near the North Skunk River with a reserve life estate. The property includes woodland, prairie and grassland, and provides wildlife habitat and water quality benefits.

36 Pocahontas County

Union Pacific Railroad donated a portion of the value of 26 acres of discontinued railroad corridor for use to expand a 0.8-mile trail located southeast of Laurens. Both the planned and existing facilities, together known as the Prairie Park Trail, are part of the larger Pocahontas County Trails Plan.


Polk County

Susan Ballard donated a 2-acre addition to Jester Park, a 1,000+-acre natural and outdoor recreation area along Saylorville Lake in Polk County. The donation ensures the property’s oak woodland will always be protected in an area facing increasing development pressure. It has been transferred to Polk County Conservation Board and become part of Jester Park.

38 Polk County

Connor Delaney donated two parcels of land totaling approximately 1.5 acres along Yeader Creek, which drains into nearby Easter Lake in Des Moines. Connor previously worked with INHF to protect approximately 7 adjacent acres, allowing for placement of structures to slow sedimentation entering the lake.

39 Pottawattamie County

Availa Bank donated 2 acres in Council Bluffs along the Valley View Trail. The Valley View Trail is part of the Council Bluffs trails network and links Iowa Western Community College to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a 63-mile rail trail stretching from Council Bluffs to Blanchard. The property will increase habitat and enhance the experience for trail users.

40 Pottawattamie County

The Woodbury II, LLC donated a 5-acre addition to Vincent Bluff State Preserve, a highly visible 35-acre remnant prairie bluff overlooking Council Bluffs. The property will increase outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat and native prairie restoration opportunities in the area, and will be owned by the City of Council Bluffs and managed by the Loess Hills Preservation Society.

41 Poweshiek County

The Knolls, L.C. donated 22 acres within Grinnell city limits. The donation will enable INHF and the City of Grinnell to establish wetlands, prairies and a recreational trail to benefit water quality, create pollinator habitat and increase outdoor recreation opportunities in the area. It will eventually be owned by the city of Grinnell.

42 Scott County

John Clarke donated a portion of the value of 38 acres of wetland, woodland and working lands along the Mississippi River. John’s donation is adjacent to the Nahant Marsh Education Center, a popular outdoor education facility in Davenport featuring one of the last wetland complexes of its size along the Upper Mississippi River. The property will eventually transfer to Nahant Marsh.


Story County

Friends of ISU Hotel Holdings and Gateway Hotel & Conference Center donated approximately 7.5 acres near the Gateway Hotel in Ames, permanently protecting Gateway Green Hills Park for public use and enjoyment. The park is managed by and transfered to the Gateway Green Hills Park Association.

“I am constantly in awe of private landowners who work to restore wild land and protect our state. Iowa is better because of their passion and work.” – ERIN VAN WAUS, INHF conservation easement director

Bound by the land It all started as many good things do — as an idea developed between friends over beers. Sandy Moffett had recently fallen in love with 80 acres for sale in Mahaska County. The land was part of a larger complex — approximately 700 acres — which got Sandy and his friend Doug Caulkins thinking: What if they could get together a few friends to purchase, restore and protect the whole thing? They drafted a letter and sent it to some friends, many of whom were their colleagues at Grinnell College. Ten families responded. Together, they formed Pleasant Grove Land Preservation, Inc. The rest is history. “We all shared a vision for land preservation,” said Sandy. “We realized this wasn’t an opportunity that would come along again.” That was two decades ago. All shareholders have remained invested in the property, bound together by a love of the land. In 2010, Pleasant Grove Land Preservation, Inc., donated a conservation easement on just under 500 acres to INHF, land which it intends to donate to INHF in the coming years. In 2016 and 2017, the remaining 153 acres were donated to INHF with reserved life estates. Together, the transfers ensure the land will always be permanently protected. “This kind of thing can be done,” Sandy said. “It just takes people who care about our land coming together and asking what they can do about it.” inhf.o r g




Passion, exploration and a love of nature drive Iowans to protect our state. Luckily, we get to work and explore alongside them. INHF volunteers made a huge impact in Iowa in 2017.


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Volunteer coordinator | mlouis@inhf.org


t was a rewarding and eventful year as the INHF volunteer program completed its 5th year in 2017. The year was marked by a big transition as I moved into my new role as volunteer coordinator in August. The relationships fostered and developed through INHF’s volunteer program are a constant reminder that our volunteers are what make the program such a success. Welcoming people to the outdoors is one of the highest honors of my job and I am beyond thankful for all those that have welcomed me to this new position. Thinking back over the year, some moments particularly stick out: •

Our winter brush removal work days at Snyder Heritage Farm in Elkhart were packed full of dedicated volunteers that showed up during these cold winter days. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces, despite the chill and a few battle wounds along the way.

An afternoon spent working with a 5th grade Girl Scout troop hand harvesting prairie seed was a great reminder of our future ahead. Many of them had never had the opportunity to enjoy

the tall grasses of Iowa’s prairie. We heard: “You taught us so much about nature and we all absolutely loved it.” Worth it? Definitely. •

We wrapped up 2017 with Surly Brewing Company, removing invasive species from an oak savanna. A record number of volunteers showed up to work hard for a few hours (and to enjoy a cold Surly beer afterwards).

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time in 2017, and to those supporting from afar. Here’s to another fun and fruitful year ahead!

2017 VOLUNTEER PROGRAM BY THE NUMBERS Number of volunteers: 403 (304 new volunteers) Number of volunteer hours: More than 1,500 Number of volunteer events: 25 Volunteer events with partners: 15 Counties where INHF volunteers worked: Allamakee, Buchanan, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Greene, Monona, Pottawattamie, Polk, Story, Warren

2017 HIGHLIGHTS • In a partnership with Trees Forever, the City of Des Moines and Blank Park Zoo, INHF volunteers helped cut invasive plant species from Des Moines parks to feed to zoo animals in a series of UpCycle events. • New corporate partnerships helped get employees from Principal, Wells Fargo and John Deere out on the land for volunteer workdays throughout Iowa. • Volunteers collected over 120 pounds of prairie seed during seed harvests in 2017, which went toward plantings and prairie restoration all across the state.

Peace, purpose & wild parsnip Several years ago, Dennis Haller assigned himself the unpleasant task of pulling wild parsnip, a particularly cantankerous plant. “I had a bad infestation at my place,” he said. “I had been working at it for four years. The seeds stay viable a long time. I didn’t see the results right away.” But he kept at it. Over time, Dennis gained the upper hand and eradicated the plant from his property. The story serves as a fitting analogy for the approach Dennis has applied to his work as an INHF volunteer — and in his life. Dennis grew up in northeast Iowa hunting, fishing and exploring the Shell Rock River valley. He credits his dad — an avid outdoorsman — for instilling a love and appreciation for Iowa’s outdoors at a young age. Dennis considered a career in natural resources management, but instead went into education, spending the first half of his career as a teacher and the second half as a school counselor. But a love for the outdoors always remained. When Dennis retired, he reached out to INHF to get more involved. Over the years, Dennis has helped restore hundreds of acres of INHF-owned-andmanaged lands near his home in Decorah. In 2016, he became an INHF Land Ambassador, a designation given to volunteers that take on long-term leadership on select INHF-owned land, expanding INHF’s stewardship capacity.

Dennis speaks about the joy he gets from spending his days outdoors, learning restoration techniques he can try on his own land and working alongside like-minded people, but it’s evident that the work is also deeply personal. In restoring the prairies, woodland and river valleys dotting the Driftless area, Dennis has found peace and purpose. “Things are just less complicated,” he said. “Being outdoors reminds me of what is really important, and what isn’t. It’s good for the mind, it’s good for the body and it’s good for the soul.”

“Dennis has been one of INHF’s most consistent, eager and patient volunteers. Whatever the need, Dennis is quick to share his time and energy, and his gentle nature, good humor and encouragement are so refreshing. His contributions make INHF a stronger conservation organization.” – BRIAN FANKHAUSER, INHF blufflands director inhf.o r g




Each year, INHF works with county conservation boards, cities and the Iowa DNR to buy land that will become new public spaces for Iowans to enjoy. Below is a listing of the projects INHF worked on in 2017 that will be public:


44 Lansing Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Addition 50 acres of woodland, ridges and bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River provides critical resting and migration habitat for game and non-game birds. Protection preserves the scenic value of the bluffs and important natural areas. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

45 Clear Creek WMA Addition

36 acres of oak woodland and prairie located next to Clear Creek in Allamakee County. Protection expands wildlife habitat for deer, turkey and trout in Clear Creek. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

Hunters, families, recreationists — all Iowans — need spaces to get outdoors and connect with nature. Public land is part of the Iowan identity and protecting it is at the core of INHF’s work.

46 Tahigwa WMA

308 acres of woodland and trout stream north of INHF-owned Heritage Valley in Allamakee County. The site is a former Girl Scout camp and is adjacent to Bear Creek, which provides high quality habitat for brown trout. Read more about this project on page 13. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

47 Magnetic Park

55 acres of pasture, restorable habitat and woodland will provide wildlife habitat and important water quality protection along the Little Sioux River. Pieces of trail on the property will eventually connect to make a 2-mile trail for public enjoyment. (Will be owned and managed by the city of Cherokee)

48 Clarke County

17-acre property in Osceola city limits. The area will eventually feature a trail from Osceola Elementary School to East Lake Park, the county’s most popular campground. (Will be owned and managed by the Clarke County Conservation Board)



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Agricultural land


49 Clay County

158 acres of rolling pasture and working land near the Little Sioux River, one of five rivers in Iowa designated a Protected Water Area. Protection helps achieve the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan goal to double the amount of protected wildlife habitat by 2030. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

50 Clay County

175 acres of grassland in Clay County. The land is in the Waterman Prairie Bird Conservation Area, home to 66 species of Greatest Conservation Need and many native plant species. Protection provides water quality benefits to the Little Sioux River and maintains soil health. (Will be owned and managed by the Clay County Conservation Board)


Gilbertson Conservation Education Area Addition

40.5 acres of woodland, prairie and wildflowers in Fayette County. This property provides excellent wildlife habitat and is important to protecting the Turkey River watershed. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

55 West Fork Prairie Addition

194 acres of pasture, working land and riparian (river-adjacent) habitat with many oxbows (natural bends in the river) and wetlands in Butler County. Provides habitat for deer, turkey and migrating waterfowl, and water quality benefits to the adjacent Wapsipinicon River. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

56 Spur Island WMA

131 acres of floodplain area and riparian (riveradjacent) woodland along the Cedar River in Louisa County. Excellent habitat for migratory waterfowl, bald eagles, reptiles and amphibians. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

57 Loess Hills WMA Addition

240 acres of prairie, woodland and restored habitat within the Loess Hills Bird Conservation Area providing habitat for species like the grasshopper sparrow and western meadowlark. Protection ensures watershed benefit for the nearby Little Sioux River. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

Protecting land, protecting memories Since the late 1960s, a set of bluffs in northeast Iowa has been much more than a summer camp — it’s been a safe haven, a setting to be immersed in nature and a place of peace for generations of Girl Scouts. In fact, the camp’s name, “Tahigwa,” means just that — “at peace.” The days of welcoming scouts through Camp Tahigwa’s gate have come and gone, but INHF members have opened a new chapter for the property as a public space.

53 Humboldt County

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (GSEIWI) turned to INHF to find a way to permanently protect the camp as a natural area. The new owner is a familiar, yet unique partnership — all bureaus of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will work cooperatively to manage this Allamakee County land, from managing the woodlands and prairies in conjunction with nearby public land to restoring and stocking Bear Creek, a cold water trout stream.

54 Iowa River Corridor WMA Addition

“Selling a camp is never without emotion, but we celebrate that people’s love of the land is what ultimately helps us protect places like Camp Tahigwa,” said Heather Jobst, INHF senior land conservation director. “Over 300 acres will remain as wildlife habitat and open to the public because of our members and partners in conservation.”


(public land project listings continue inside fold)

North Raccoon WMA Addition

38.5 acres of woodland and working land in Greene County. The land provides quality habitat for deer, turkey and neotropical migrating birds and helps create a 655-acre complex of protected land along the North Raccoon River. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR) 390 acres of riparian (river-adjacent) woodland, pasture and working land located in Humboldt County. Prairie Creek runs through the property, providing habitat for the federally endangered Topeka Shiner and a resting area for migrating waterfowl. Protection ensures watershed benefits for Prairie Creek, which flows into the Boone River. More information on this project was featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Iowa Natural Heritage. (Will be owned and managed by the Humboldt County Conservation Board) 46 acres of riparian (river-adjacent) woodland along the Iowa River in Iowa County. The land offers quality habitat for reptiles, amphibians and migrating birds and protects valuable watershed land to benefit the river’s water quality. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

BELOW: INHF’s Brian Fankhauser and DNR staff perform a stream assessment and species inventory on Bear Creek running through Camp Tahigwa in northeast Iowa.

Tahigwa is now your public land. May you explore it as in the scouting song: on a trail that’s out there waiting, on the loose. inhf.o r g


Following family wishes


Meandering through Western Iowa and rising up above the Iowa plains is a windblown ridge known as the Loess Hills. Made up of sediment deposited long ago by winds across the Missouri River, the Loess Hills are a prominent natural feature and one of Iowa’s premiere landscapes. Gary Hargroves of Monona County had a passion for conservation and owned 235 acres of prairie in the Loess Hills that embodied many of the area’s natural features. The land, featuring prairie, woodland and restored wildlife habitat, was a valuable neighbor and extended the wildlife habitat of the nearby Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area.


Fortunately, Gary’s family wanted to see his passion for conservation protected. They contacted the Iowa DNR, who reached out to INHF for assistance in securing the land to protect its important natural resources for conservation and open it for public enjoyment.











However, when Gary passed away suddenly, the future of his land became an unknown. “There was concern that if the land was sold to another buyer, it would lose the natural features that Gary worked so hard to protect and restore,” said Tim Sproul, INHF Loess Hills land conservation specialist. “That would result in the destruction of native prairie and a negative impact on water quality in the area, especially into the Little Sioux River.”











“The land Gary protected is very diverse and the prairie resource is so unique,” Sproul said. “The Loess Hills are a melting, a marriage of the short-grass prairies of the West and long-grass prairies of central Iowa. We want to preserve those special land forms for generations to come.”














39 40 60 MILLS









4.5 miles of discontinued railroad corridor connecting the city of Laurens to Buena Vista County. Obtaining this future trail corridor is the first major step in a plan to extend the length of the Three Rivers Trail. (Will be owned and managed by the city of Laurens)

59 Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Addition 348 acres of restorable habitat, woodland and floodplain grasslands on the edge of Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt in Polk County. The Greenbelt is one of the largest contiguous blocks of habitat for wildlife in Iowa. Protection provides significant water quality benefits and flood control. (Will be owned and managed by the Polk County Conservation Board)

60 Green Hill Ranch

506 acres of woodland, grassland and cropland along Loess Hills National Scenic Byway in Pottawattamie and Mills counties. Adjacent to Folsom Point Preserve (owned by The Nature Conservancy in Iowa). The area provides excellent wildlife habitat and makes more public land available to Council Bluffs and Omaha residents. More information on this project was featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Iowa Natural Heritage. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

61 Ringgold WMA Addition

120 acres of grassland within the Kellerton Bird Conservation Area in Ringgold County provide quality habitat for Greater prairie chickens, turkey and a variety of other species. Protection ensures water quality benefits in the area. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

62 White Horse WMA Addition

27 acres of grassland and woodland provides quality wildlife habitat and water quality benefits to North Raccoon River in Sac County. Adjacent to Almer Noyd Wildlife Area. (Owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

63 Nahant Marsh Addition

39 acres of row crop, wetland and woodland adjoining Nahant Marsh in Davenport and Scott County. Protection and restoration will provide additional native vegetation and wetlands and wildlife habitat for migratory birds. (Will be owned and managed by the Nahant Marsh Education Center)

64 Mitchel Marsh WMA Addition

160 acres of grassland, creek and restored habitat near Summit Lake in Union County. The land provides habitat for migrating birds, amphibians and turtles, and protection ensures water quality protection for Summit Lake. This is INHF’s first project in Union County. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

65 Wapello County

90 acres of grassland and woodland provides quality habitat for deer, turkey, songbirds and small mammals adjacent to the Kirkville Wildlife Management Area in Wapello County. Protection ensures continued water quality benefits and reduced soil erosion. (Will be owned and managed by the Wapello County Conservation Board)

66 Lenze McCoy Wildlife Area Addition

101 acres of wetland and grassland habitat containing restorable basins and waterfowl habitat in Winnebago County. Protection provides water quality benefits and reduces soil erosion, and allows public access to restored wildlife areas. (Will be owned and managed by the Iowa DNR)

67 Worth County

142 acres of oak savanna, grassland and wetland provide permanent wildlife habitat and water quality benefits to Worth County. Restoration includes an 8-acre wetland and several smaller wetlands. (Will be owned and managed by the Worth County Conservation Board)












The numbers on this map correspond with 2017 INHF projects that are, or soon will be, open to the public. Those project descriptions can be found on pages 8-9, pages 12-13 and at the bottom of this spread. Private land protection projects, including conservation easements and land donations that will remain private, are not located on the map in order to protect the privacy of the owners.


























































INHF public land protection projects, 1979-present




Public recreation/ conservation land






County with 2017 donation of land or land value to INHF


County with conservation easement completed with INHF in 2017


2017 INHF public land protection project


2017 HIGHLIGHTS CONSERVATION FEATURES LEGEND Woodlands Prairies/Grassland Wetlands Park Streams/Rivers Agricultural land Trail

• INHF celebrated our first land protection project in Union County. INHF has now protected land in 96 of Iowa’s 99 counties. • Carole Teator joined the INHF staff as the Eastern Iowa Program Manager, opening INHF’s third satelitte office and providing more opportunities for landowners, members and volunteers to get involved along the I-380 corridor. • INHF was awarded an additional pollinator grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to continue establishing pollinator habitat throughout Iowa on private and public lands, in partnership with the Iowa DNR and the Monarch Joint Venture. • In a new kind of partnership, INHF and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa (TNC) worked to acquire their first joint-project, the 500+-acre Green Hill Ranch in Pottawattamie and Mills counties. This is the first time INHF and TNC have been co-owners on a property. The land will eventually transfer to the Iowa DNR to be enjoyed by the public.



43 counties worked in

2,621 acres + 1,061 acres + 3,412 acres 7,094 acres

2 million people live within 10 miles of a 2017 INHF protection project

protected with conservation easements protected through donation protected for public enjoyment protected for conservation in 2017



Whether it’s chainsawing in summer heat or writing grants to protect wild places, INHF interns and partners are putting their passion into our state every day.


Land stewardship director | rschmidt@inhf.org


s the 2017 land stewardship interns walked onto the prairie on their last day, I couldn’t help but note the changes before me. They arrived just three months prior, bringing with them passion, energy and enthusiasm for Iowa’s outdoors — as well as a few fears and anxieties. Now, they walked with confidence, self-assured in themselves and their ability to help shape Iowa’s landscape. INHF’s land stewardship interns spend their summer working on some of Iowa’s most stunning natural areas. In return, those lands and the people they meet on them work on their hearts and minds. During those 12 weeks, I saw nine young women and men learn, grow and develop personally and professionally in ways that will make this state — and world — a better place. I watched as their knowledge, skills and confidence expanded. I stood by as fears were conquered and replaced with poise. I observed grit, commitment and dedication. I saw the way they relate to themselves, others and the natural world around them change. And I watched these young conservationists try to make sense of a summer gone by entirely too fast. A summer in which INHF was graced with individuals who poured their hearts into this land just as hundreds of interns have before them. These interns — and the generous individuals, families and foundations that make the 100 percent-donor funded statewide stewardship, blufflands, communications, program and trails intern programs possible — are a testament to the


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

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impact that Iowa’s wild places can have on us. We see it in our partnerships, too. Working with young conservation professionals from Conservation Corps of Iowa and our strong partners across the state brings home the heart of INHF’s mission: to protect the landscapes of this state. There is life-changing beauty in the prairies, wetlands and oak savannas that we encounter every day. It is up to us to let this beauty change our lives, and to share it with others.

2017 HIGHLIGHTS • INHF partnered with several other conservation organizations for the annual Loess Hills Cooperative Burn. In one week, over 2,500 acres of public and private prairies were burned with prescribed fire in western Iowa. • INHF interns developed their grant writing skills and helped secure $282,687 in state grants to help protect Iowa’s wild places. • Indiangrass Hills, a private prairie preserve in Iowa County, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. INHF land stewardship interns spend several days at Indiangrass Hills each year, performing restoration work and learning from Mary Brown and Judy Felder, two of the three original owners of the property. The other is the late Sandy Rhodes. • Melanie Louis, current volunteer coordinator and former land stewardship associate, spent 18 days fighting wildfires in Montana with the U.S. Forest Service. Melanie got her wildfire certification in 2016 and is annually deployed to assist national and local wildfire fighters in managing dangerous fire outbreaks.

Pedaling toward Iowa’s trail future New experiences, like the trails through Iowa’s many landscapes, often lead to places and opportunities never expected.

“One thing we try to incorporate in all of the INHF internships is the real world experience,” said Andrea Boulton, INHF trails and greenways director. “None of the projects we work on are the same, there’s always a new twist or a challenge, and that provides our interns with opportunities for new solutions and exploration.”

Austin Dunn, the 2017 INHF trails intern, saw this in action as he biked the central Iowa trails last summer. Equipped with a helmet and the Iowa Data Bike ­— an electric bicycle that collects trail data and 360-degree trail imagery as he rode — Austin hit the trails. As he rode, a GoPro camera, iPhone and app collected information that tracked his route and pinpointed areas on the trails that needed repair. With the data Austin gathered, INHF and the Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization were able create a long-term maintenance strategy for the trails and get a better picture of how trails are used in central Iowa. For Austin, who graduated this spring from Iowa State University with masters degrees in Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning, his work with INHF was more than just a summer job — it was an opportunity to apply his passion for biking in a real world setting. “I love riding bikes, and getting to incorporate that into my work, it was a dream come true,” Austin said. “But it was also more than that. It built my knowledge and passion for trails and allowed me to be part of the mission-driven work at INHF. This is the type of work I hope to do, and it gave me the real-world experience to help me grow.” inhf.o r g



Together, our 7,000+ donors make an outstanding impact on behalf of Iowa’s land, water and wildlife! We’re proud to recognize those who contributed at our highest categories in 2017.

$100,000 or more Anonymous Unrestricted Legacy Spirit Lake Protective Association Reeds Run Wildlife Area, Dickinson Co. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Flyways Grants; Raccoon River Valley Restoration The Graham Group, Inc. INHF Trails Program; Unrestricted

“Those acres are a gem in Iowa and anyone who is lucky enough to visit Heritage Valley walks away (or paddles away) with a true sense of what nature in Iowa can be if protected and managed properly.”

The Throssel Family Iowa River Trail; Membership; Throssel Fund for Hardin Co.

$50,000 to $99,999 Clinton County Conservation Foundation, Inc. Ringneck Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Addition, Clinton Co. Bruce Campbell Estate Unrestricted Legacy R.J. McElroy Trust Internship Program

- TRAVIS YOUNG The Young Family Foundation of Waterloo, Iowa found supporting the Heritage Valley project in Allamakee County to be an enticing and exciting way to make an impact in their community. 16

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

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Complex – Heissel Tract, Clay Co.; West Fork Access Addition, Butler Co.; Carson Recreation Area Addition, Webster Co.; Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area, Story Co. Fred and Martha Wetzel Charitable Gift Annuity for Unrestricted; Membership Loess Hills Alliance Possum Hollow WMA, Fremont Co. Young Family Foundation of Waterloo, Iowa Unrestricted; Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co. Hardin County Community Endowment Foundation Iowa River Trail; Gunderson Nature Park, Hardin Co. National Wild Turkey Federation Roberts Wildlife Area, Buchanan Co.; Ensign Hollow

$20,000 to $29,999 Anonymous Iowa River Trail Cherokee Community Foundation Cherokee County Trail Extension

$30,000 to $49,999

Greg and Teri Grupp Unrestricted; Gifts-in-Kind

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Lizard Lake Addition, Pocahontas Co.; Pioneer Park Nature Preserve, Dickinson Co.

Gunderson Family Fund Iowa River Trail; Gunderson Nature Park and Hoover Ruby Wetland, Hardin Co.

Pheasants Forever, Inc., Iowa State Council Roberts Wildlife Area, Buchanan Co.; Kindlespire

Inger Lamb Unrestricted; Land Stewardship Fund

The Fred Maytag Family Foundation Unrestricted

Herbert Eckert Estate Unrestricted Legacy

Pheasants Forever, Clay Co. Chapter Kindlespire Complex – Heissel Tract, Clay Co.

The Nature Conservancy Christopherson Slough Complex Addition, Dickinson Co. (Heebner)

Robert and Susan Fleming Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund; Unrestricted

Pheasants Forever, Mahaska County Chapter Willie J. Suchy WMA, Mahaska Co.

Friends of ISU Hotel Holdings Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund

Pheasants Forever, North Butler Chapter Hogenkamp Wildlife Area, Butler Co.

Raccoon River Land Company, L.L.C. Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund

Mary Lou and Bob Gunderson Unrestricted; Iowa River Trail; Gunderson Nature Park, Hardin Co.

John and Linda Ptacek Unrestricted

Richard and Judith Smith Unrestricted

Beth Henning Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund; Membership

Principal Foundation Unrestricted

$10,000 to $19,999 Anonymous Red Rock Prairie Trail; High Trestle Trail/Raccoon River Valley Trail Connector; Iowa River Trail; INHF Trails Program Susan and John Aschenbrenner Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund Steven K. Ashland Estate Legacy for Ashland Woodland Fund Katherine Becker Reeds Run Wildlife Area, Dickinson Co. Beef Products, Inc Unrestricted Natalie Brenton Estate Legacy for INHF Natalie and William Brenton Fund for the Iowa Great Lakes Barry and Mary Lou Burke in memory of Dr. Albert Kollasch Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.; Big Wall Lake Addition, Wright Co. Martha Christensen Unrestricted Charitable Gift Annuity Decorah Bank & Trust Company Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.; Membership Easter Family Fund Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.; Unrestricted Paul and Sandy Easter Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.; Unrestricted

David Hoffman Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co. Holthues Trust Unrestricted Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Diversity Grant; Landowner Options Education Grant Catheryn Irvine Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund Robert and Patricia Jester Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund; Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.; Unrestricted

Helen A. Ringgenberg Unrestricted Ernest & Florence Sargent Family Foundation Unrestricted Sugar Grove Farms, LLC Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund Carolyn Sweers Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area, Story Co. Wallace Genetic Foundation, Inc. Unrestricted Charles Walker Unrestricted Wells Fargo Unrestricted

Daniel J. and Ann L. Krumm Charitable Trust Unrestricted; Heritage Valley, Allamakee Co.

$5,000 to $9,999

Edwin T. Meredith Foundation Unrestricted

Anonymous Barbara Benson Natalie G. and William H. Brenton Fund David and Susan Brown Cindy and Kevin Burke Gifts in memory of Bruce I. Campbell Robert Chisman Clarke County Development Corporation Clear Lake Tel Climate Ride - Heidi Soliday Rev. Christine and Dr. Arnold Cowan Patty and Jim Cownie Charitable Fund Mark and Kay DeCook David and Margaret Drury Judith J. Felder George and Susan Frampton

Larry and Laura Miller Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund National Wild Turkey Federation – Two Rivers Chapter Prairie Creek Wildlife Area, Humboldt Co. Outdoor Alliance of Story County Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area, Story Co.; Carroll Prairie, Story Co. John and Shari Paule Conservation Easement Monitoring Fund Pheasants Forever, Buchanan Co. Chapter Roberts Wildlife Area, Buchanan Co.; Membership

inhf.o r g


$5,000 to $9,999 (continued) R. Kim and Marsha Francisco Carol Fullenkamp Great Outdoors Foundation Timothy and Rochelle Grochala John and Gina Hale Cindy Hildebrand and Roger Maddux Mike and Sally Hood Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation Jon Judson and Kay Neumann Lawrence and Susan Koehrsen Sara and Lee Lira Sara and Steve Marquardt Frank and Marilyn McDowell The McIntyre Foundation Meredith Corporation Foundation Mildred Miller Estate Carylann Mucha The Perry Foundation Pheasants Forever, Black Hawk Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Chickasaw Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Delaware Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, 18

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Dickinson Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, ISU Chapter Pheasants Forever, Pocahontas Co. Chapter Richard and Carolyn Ramsay Ronald Ruen Dennis and Sally Rust Chuck and Judy Shepard John Shillinglaw Kathy Steege Gifts in memory of Jonathan P. Steege Alison Swift Konefes Timberland, Inc. Tri-Rivers Waterfowlers Greg Twedt and Zoraida Guiterrez Araya United Fire Group Mark and Charlene Vukovich Karen Wagner Wellmark Employee Giving Program Gifts in memory of Phyllis Rexine Willis Travis and Deb Young

$2,500 to $4,999 Alice and Kendall Atkinson Alliant Energy Foundation Matching Gifts Program 2 0 1 7 A N N UA L RE PO RT

Doug Bruce Blanche Carey Martin Charitable Trust Frederick and Nancy Anne Crane Michael and Michelle Daugherty Gene and Marva DeBoer Michael J. DeCook Robert Denny John Fisher and Jann Freed John and Ann Ghrist Rita and Al Goranson Gretchen Gronstal Graff Carol Grimm Joan and Tom Gronstal Ann Hailey and John Dunsheath Shirley Halling Mary Jane Hatfield and Richard Mercer Jim Hoffman Joyce and Scott Hornstein ITC Midwest, LLC David and Jane Jensen Ben and Loline Johnson Elizabeth and Karl Kahler Bill and JeanAnn Kern Craig Koehrsen and Lisa Clarke-Koehrsen George Kotlers Jan and Tom Lovell Barbara and Paul MacGregor David and Laura Mackaman Gerald Morsello and

Elaine Rees Liz and Rick Neumann Pheasants Forever, Crawford Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Floyd Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Franklin Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Marshall Co. Chapter Joe and Kris Plank Joann Sargent William Scheible, M.D. Leo Schlunz Thrivent Financial Voya Foundation Employee Giving Program David and Sue Wetsch

$1,000 to $2,499 Anonymous (4) Mark and Susan Ackelson Garth and Cheryl Adams Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. Janice, Brian and Bailey Allen Stan Askren Sally and Bradford Austin Rod and Nancy Bakken David Balster Daniel Barth William and Dianne Blankenship

Jacquin Bodensteiner in memory of James Bodensteiner Roger and Dorene Bollman Daryl and Norma Bosma Alan Branhagen Margaret Brennan Katherine Brown Raleigh and JoEllyn Buckmaster William and Barbara Buss Michael and JoAnn Callison Daniel and Terri Caplan Dr. Roger and Kim Ceilley Clark and Melinda Colby Edward and Teri Connolly Darwin and Jeanette Copeman Naomi Craft Jim and Phyllis Currell Gifts in memory of Charlie Cutler J. Douglas Dawson and Wallace Bowling Daniel and Angela DeCook Renate and Dieter Dellmann Julie Dickerson James and Patricia Dinsmore Ronald and Barbara Eckoff EFCO Corp. Stan and Carol Eilers

Paul and Mary Fankhauser Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. Barbara Farrow Joan Farver Vernon Fish Evelyn and Thomas Fisher Jerry Fitzgerald Randy and Bonnie Forburger Four Mounds Foundation Nona France Judson and Dixie Frisk Gifts in memory of Ronald Fullenkamp Ron and Marion Gehrke Michael and Ann Gersie Stephen and Michele Goodenow Elizabeth Goodwin John and Di Gray The Ralph and Sylvia G. Green Charitable Foundation Jim Grochala Carol Gronstal Bill and Laura Gunderson Corine Hadley Laura and Tom Hahn Dennis and Janet Haller Mark Halverson Neil and Khanh Hamilton Raymond and Patricia Hamilton Jean Hanson

Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association Suzanne and Chip Hawkinson Kenneth and Maria Hazen Arthur Heimann Carol L. Horner Nathan and Melanie Houck Ted and Susan Hutchison Gifts in memory of John D. Imsande Iowa Foundation for Education, Environment and the Arts Dori Jansma Sheral and Chris Jensen Teresa and Bart Jenson Tigger and Irving Jensen Foundation Joseph and Margaret Jester Johnson County Conservation Board Gerald Johnson Mark Johnson and Debra Mutchler Richard and Grace Keir Drs. Mary Kemen and Brian Randall James and Amy Kern Dennis and Karlene Kingery Thomas and Sherrie Kopecky Sharon and Kyle Krause

Gerald and Jane Kuehn Mike LaMair Gifts in memory of Jane LaMair Ruth G. Larson Russelle J. Leggett Charles and Susan LeMaster Christopher and Jane Lindell Katherine and David Linder Lloyd Property Holdings #4 Jim and Janis Lovell Elizabeth Lynch and Steven Peterson Phyllis Madsen Kevin Magee Brenda and Brian Mainwaring Cheryl and David Martin Joan L. Mathews Dr. Stee Logan and Barb Maxwell Louise McCormick James McCoy and Diane Dahl-McCoy Joseph and Molly McGovern Matt and Beth McQuillen Gary and Barbara McVey Barbara Mendenhall Nicola J. Mendenhall and Wendell C. Speers John Menninger Don and Edith Merryman Eileen Miller

John R. Miller Gifts in memory of Dr. Lawrence Ferguson Mills Lisa Minear David and Janet Moeller Christine and Roy Molina Gregory and Ann Muilenburg Alan and Kristin Nagel Bruce and Lynn Marie Nelson Gifts in memory of Kenton A. Newell Tom Newton David Nicholas Gifts in memory of Kerry Nicholson Mary Noble Russell and Martha Noyes Randy and Brenda Nugteren Sam and Sarah O’Brien Anita and Gil O’Gara James and Jeanne O’Halloran Sarah and Dennis Ohlrogge David Oliver Michael and Libby Osterholm Larry and Lynn Pape Francis and Margaret Pardoe Michelle Peacock Pella Rolscreen Matching Gift Program Rand and Mary Louise

Petersen Pheasants Forever, Dubuqueland Chapter Pheasants Forever, Poweshiek Co. Chapter Pheasants Forever, Twin Rivers Chapter Ed and Camille Power in honor of Patti and Bob Jester Richard Prestemon Rex and Jan Ramsay Carole and Duke Reichardt Dennis Renquist Elizabeth Richards in memory of Richard K. Richards Virginia H. Richards Richter, Inc. Paul Riggleman Craig Ringgenberg Matthew and Red Rissi Susan Salterberg Floyd and Sharon Sandford James and Jean Sandrock Nathan Savin and Susan Enzle Paul and Claudia Schickler Tom Schilke Jacqueline and Dick Schmeal Angela Schmidt and Chris Miller Joann and Joe Schmidt Donald F. Schnell Lee and Nancy Schoenewe

Thomas Scholz and Patricia Winokur George and Alliene Schrimper Amy Schroeter Frances Schroeter Ron Schulz Martha Schut and Doug Peters in memory of Harold and Ardis Schut Orlando Schwartz James and Linda See in memory of Thomas Jay McDonald Vicki Sehgal and Ryan Clutter Susan Shullaw Rebecca and David Sidney Bruce and Linda Simonton Marilyn Sippy Daryl and Sue Smith Neal and Bea Smith Family Foundation Dr. Lisa G. Soldat James Spevak Daniel and Jill Stevenson Richard and Sharon Stilwell Mark and Mary Ellen Stinski Foundation Gayle and Lois Strickler Keith and Nancy Sutherland Dawn Swanson and Steve Douglas David and Denise Swartz

Taylor Eness Family Foundation Dennis and Cecille Thompson Jimmie Thompson Gifts in memory of Nancy Thompson Total Outdoorsmen NW Chapter Alan and Myrna Tubbs William and Mary Kay Vogel Wendy and Michael Wiedner The Wellmark Foundation Martha Wendt and Robert Linschoten in honor of Loretta Marie Miller Wendt Ann C. Werner in memory of Jane and Clem Werner Keith Whipple Jo Ellen Whitney and John Wheeler Kathy Wiederin Greg and Gwen Williams David and Gladys Winter Kirsten Winter in memory of Richard H. Winter, MD Dennis and Kristine Woodruff Rick and Cathy Young Anne Zellhoefer

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CIRCLE We are honored to recognize our Stewardship Circle members — those people who have arranged a “future” gift for Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.

Nearly 300 individuals and couples have let us know they’ve included INHF in their estate plans. As part of our Stewardship Circle, they provide us amazing inspiration and encouragement. Some are close and long-time friends; others we’ve not yet had the opportunity to meet. We honor and thank them all for their vision and generous commitment to what lies ahead. Each legacy gift reflects the giver’s deepestheld values. Each legacy gift combines with others to help solidify and expand our work into the future for the land, water, wildlife and people of Iowa. We are deeply appreciative. If you have arranged a will bequest, beneficiary designation or other planned gift for INHF, please let us know so we can extend our thanks to you, as well. Contact Abby Hade Terpstra at 515-288-1846. Bold indicates newly enrolled.


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

2 0 1 7 A N N UA L RE PO RT

Mark and Susan Ackelson Jim and Joy Adams Brian and Jan Allen Richard J. Ament Lawrence and Rosemary Arp Jon and Joyce Bahrenfus Harold and Phyllis Barber Philip and Virginia Beach Steve Beaumont Greg Beisker Sondra Bennett Ron Blair Ambassador Terry E. Branstad Jennifer Breakenridge Margaret M. Brennan Edith Brown Jane E. Brown and Mark F. Hainey Mrs. Larry D. Brown Doug Bruce Debra L. Brus Kay S. Bucksbaum Dan Burke Kevin and Cindy Burke John E. Carl Dennis Carter Douglas and Lorna Caulkins John R. Chaplin David and Barbara Chase Doug and Jean Cheever Mark Chervenka Julie Christian and Ed Mall

Robert E. and Rosie M. Clark Ray and Lora Conrad James C. Coulthard Fred Crane Mary and Kevin Curran Mike DeCook Dr. Richard Deming Rev. Wayne J. Droessler Bill and Cathy Eddy Randy and Angela Evans Ellen Fairchild and Bill Lusher David and JoAnn Faribault Vernon Fish Cymbelene Forbes James and Karole Fuller Suresh Ganu Lois Gilman R. Ross Gipple Sharon Glasgow Shari Grace Gretchen Gronstal Graff Cheri Grauer Carol A. Gronstal Dr. Sue Grosboll Helen D. Gunderson Joel and Linda Haack Richard and Patricia Hager Dennis and Janet Haller Joyce Hanes Muffy Harmon Kenneth and Marie Harter JoAnn Hasselman Gary and Jean Hayes

Thomas Healy Art Heimann Lisa Hein and Phil Sporrer Dale and Barbara Henning Vearl and Janet Hicks Barbara Jo Hime and Greg Knoploh Dee and Todd Hoke Linda Hopper Jeanne Burke Hoskins Gary and Deborah Howell Robert and Thelma Huffer Jorah Huibregtse and Jeffrey Veal Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Jester Robert and Roslea Johnson Karl and Carmen Jungbluth Colin Kavanagh and Sandra Upton Kavanagh M. Keller Caroline Kimple Karlene and Dennis Kingery Kent and Cheryl Kolwey Patti McKee and Jon Krieg Gerald A. Kuehn and Jane C. Kuehn Carl and Linda Kurtz Mike LaMair John Lamb Sarah and Roger Lande David A. Lange Neva L. Lanning

Steven and Karen Laughlin Blair W. Lawson Glenn and Russelle Leggett Nathan James Lein Janis Leise Marilyn Lekwa Mrs. Gladys M. Long Robert W. and Ellen Longman Chris M. Lonowski Donald M. Lowe Curtis Lundy Mary L. Lunt Paul and Barbara MacGregor Roger D. Maddux and Cindy Hildebrand Charles and Judy Madson Brenda and Brian Mainwaring David H. Manders Edward E. Marshall Dan M. Martin Ron and Lora Mayland Jeff McCorkle Kim I. and Anne Willemssen McKeown Robert “Mick” and JoAnn McNiel Matt and Beth McQuillen Laura McVay Eileen Miller John and Mary Miller James and Kathyrn Miller David Moeller James E. and Rose Marie Monagan

Bruce G. Mountain George and Carylann Mucha Douglas M. Mullen David Munn and Linda Luksan Bruce J. Nelson Catherine R. Nielsen Andrea L. Novak Russell and Martha Noyes Anita and Gil O’Gara Ray and Mary Oothout Alan and Karen Orr Allan and Krisanne Orsborn Dr. and Mrs. Merrill Overturf Rod and Miriam Patton H. Rand Petersen Mary Lou Petersen Dale Peterson James A. Peterson Peggy Petrzelka Donald and Delores Pettengill Paul and Marlene Pick Glenn Pollock Camille and Ed Power Dave and Phyllis Prichard Anne G. Rapp Don Reed Larry and Susan Reeve Paul Riggleman Jane Robinette and Matt McCright Lawrence D. Roesler Rebecca Roorda and David V. Johnson Jill and James Rose Doug and Sharon Rossman

Charles E. Ruth Susan K. Salterberg Gary and Lynnda Sanborn Gloria N. Sando Nancy and Randy Schietzelt Leo R. Schlunz Donald F. Schnell Gerry and Pat Schnepf Thomas Scholz and Patricia Winokur George and Alliene Schrimper Kenneth L. Shatek Dennis Shimon Sandra Simmons Dayton and Marilyn Sippy Ken and Marybeth Slonneger Don Smalley Ty C. Smedes Ryan and Nicole Smith Lisa Soldat, MD Cathy and Gary Staake Marion Steinbrenner Jim and Wendy Stevens Marilyn Stevens Harry H. Stine Kathleen M. Stokker Mary K. Stratmann Gayle and Lois Strickler Carolyn J. Sweers Roger and Gladys Swift Kelly and Angela Tagtow Faye Thompson Penny Thomsen Joseph A. Tollari J. P. Tolson

Jean J. Trey Gail Turner Dolly and Bill Turner David and Dian Urush Sheila K. Vedder Douglas and Jean Vickstrom Gregory Vitale Karen Wagner Jerry and Dottie Wala Charles and Donna Walker Donald K. Watkins Margaret Yoder Weiner Jim and Judy Weipert Karla West Fred and Martha Wetzel Mr. and Mrs. Tom Whannell B. Joan White Tom White Mark Widrlechner

Carl Wiederaenders and Melissa Watson Karmin Wilson William Witt Netia B. Worley Richard and Jane Worm Rick and Cathy Young Bill and Dotty Zales Kimberly and Troy Zeleznik Dean Zimmerman And 96 others who wish to remain anonymous, including 11 newly enrolled.

Decades of Devotion “Bruce was always proud of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the length of his connection with the organization,” shared Beverly Evans, Bruce Campbell’s wife. “He loved seeing the seed planted and watching it blossom into an organization that was making a big difference.” Bruce was part of the original group of people who launched INHF in 1979 ­— in fact, he was the attorney who drafted our incorporation papers. Through decades of board service, his wisdom and his sense of humor were cherished by his colleagues. Besides being among INHF’s original donors, often Bruce went to great lengths to have the privilege of providing the first gift of each new year. From his board perspective, Bruce saw how unrestricted legacy gifts are generally invested with our endowment, so earnings can provide steady, flexible income for our work each year into the future. Bruce entrusted his own legacy to INHF without restriction, knowing he could continue his steadfast support beyond his lifetime. INHF is so grateful for Bruce’s service and generosity and his heart for INHF’s work and the mission. “He always appreciated nature and animals — it was just who he was,” said Beverly. “This was his way to leave a legacy.”

PHOTO: TY SMEDES inhf.o r g





for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017 Assets

Sources of 2017 Revenue

Current assets Receivables, investments and land

$30,143,033 $42,014,868

Total assets


Membership, Contributions and Grants

Liabilities & Net Assets Current liabilities Long term liabilities Total net assets

$3,357,350 $14,699,195 $54,101,356

Total Liabilities & Net Assets





A full balance sheet for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017 can be found online at www.inhf.org/balancesheet.



$ 3,220,269 Land Donations* 4,456,882 Merchandise 7,762 Conservation Programs 20,222,287 Unrealized Investments Gains** 3,963,731 Total

$ 31,749,405

* INHF is fortunate to be able to hold and often does hold land ownership until it can be transferred to a public entity. Many land holdings are temporary and are recorded as revenue when received. Land donations that will stay with INHF are later entered as assets. ** Growth in INHF’s stock investment portfolio; not translatable as cash on hand.

E FFI C IE N CY At least 95 percent of your gift directly supports Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation projects and services. INHF is one of the most efficient and mission-focused nonprofits you’ll find anywhere!

Program and Operating Expenditures

Land Protection Projects Education/Awareness Policy Administrative Fundraising


95 percent: projects and services


Less than 3 percent: organizational support


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

2 percent: fundraising

2 0 1 7 A N N UA L RE PO RT

2% 3% >1% 2%

$ 22,866,501 428,284 62,632 700,916 504,090 $ 24,562,423


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Our dedicated board members provide strategic leadership, approving our projects and ensuring our strong fiscal management.

Jodi Baker

Finance Director

Erin Griffin

Development and Events Specialist

Derek Miner

Land Stewardship Associate

Tim Sproul

Loess Hills Land Conservation Specialist

Ross Baxter

Land Projects Director

Katy Heggen

Communications Assistant

Stacy Nelson

Donors Services Manager

Carole Teator

Eastern Iowa Program Manager

INTERNS College student interns work alongside staff, lending their energy, ideas and talents to help bring about real conservation progress for Iowa. These interns served in 2017.

Andrea Boulton

Jered Bourquin

Trails and Greenways Director

Lisa Hein

Senior Director for Conservation Programs

Anita O’Gara

Donor Relations Director


Nicholas Banwarth Peosta, IA Alex Hoffman Ottumwa, IA

Brian Fankhauser

Diane Graves

Joe Jayjack

Heather Jobst

Melanie Louis

Joe McGovern

Communications Director

Grants Coordinator

Abby Hade Terpstra

Peder Hopkins Newton, IA Taylor Schaefers Garnavillo, IA Hunter Schmitt Sumner, IA Trev Schoyer Ossian, IA

Jessica Riebkes Clough

Andrea Piekarczyk

Vice President


Blufflands Associate

Erin Van Waus

Conservation Easement Director

Jared Keenan Grinnell, IA Ris Kleve Dundee, IA Maxwell McCarty Bettendorf, IA Sarah Rueger Hubbard, IA Derek Seward Sloan, IA Trent Stuchel Ottumwa, IA Abby Zabrodsky Brookfield, IL

Land Projects Assistant

Senior Land Conservation Director

Tylar Samuels

Conservation Easement Specialist

Kari Walker

Administration Director


Blufflands Director

Volunteer Coordinator

Ryan Schmidt

Land Stewardship Director


Kerri Sorrell

Communications Specialist

Logan Wood

Blufflands Field Assistant

Communications Sarah LeBlanc Verona, WI Haley Hodges Niwot, CO Graphic Design Kelsea Graham Kansas City, MO Genna Clemen Overland Park, KS

Administrative Assistant and Recptionist

Trails Austin Dunn Newton, IA Grant Writing Nora Balboa South Elgin, IL Outreach Ben Grauer Winterset, IA Program Support Emily Tyler Pittsfield, NH

Chair Susan Shullaw, Iowa City 1st Vice Chair Garth Adams, Des Moines 2nd Vice Chair Michael Daugherty, Dunkerton Secretary Donald Beneke, Pocahontas Treasurer Wendy Wiedner, West Des Moines Peg Armstrong-Gustafson, Waukee Woodward G. Brenton, Des Moines David Brown, Des Moines Cindy Burke, Central City Ed Cox, Centerville Mike DeCook, Lovilia Paul Easter, Des Moines Vern Fish, Waterloo John Fisher, Des Moines John Gray, Sioux City Greg Grupp, Dakota Dunes, SD Rob Hall, Harlan Neil Hamilton, Waukee Kirsten Heine, Decorah Thomas Hoff, Iowa City Robert Jester, Des Moines Christopher Lindell, Marion Jeff Lockwood, Bettendorf Jan Lovell, Clear Lake David Mackaman, Des Moines Liz Neumann, Des Moines Scott Raecker, Des Moines Richard Ramsay, Des Moines Carole Reichardt, Clive Susan Salterberg, Iowa City Travis Young, Waterloo inhf.o r g





505 5th Ave., Suite 444 Des Moines, IA 50309


DES MOINES OFFICE 505 5th Ave., Suite 444 Des Moines, IA 50309 515-288-1846

DECORAH OFFICE 1111 S. Paine Street, Suite E Decorah, IA 52101 563-382-2008