Page 1

Annual Report | Spring 2016

Natural

Iowa

HerĹtage Protecting and restoring Iowa’s land, water and wildlife

Connections and complexity


OPENING THOUGHTS 2SHQ\RXUVHQVHV:LWQHVVWKHVXQÀOWHULQJ WKURXJKWKHOHDYHV)HHOWKHIUHVKEUHH]H%UHDWKH LQ6PHOOWKHVZHHWà RZHUV1RWLFHWKHFRORUV WKHSDWWHUQV/LVWHQWRWKHELUGV6WHSEDUHIRRW LQWRWKHVWUHDP¡VFRROZDWHUV,RZD¡VZLOGSODFHV DUHEULPPLQJZLWKQDWXUHDQGEHDXW\³WKHLU TXLHWSUHVHQFHUHVWRUHVRXUVSLULWV 7KLVLVRXUZRUNRXUSDVVLRQWRSUHVHUYH UHVWRUHDQGSURWHFW,RZD¡VZLOGSODFHV:H GRQRWGRWKLVZRUNDORQH:HGRLWLQFROODERUDWLRQZLWKDPXOWLWXGHRI LQGLYLGXDOVDQGRUJDQL]DWLRQVZKRDOVRHPEUDFHDOHJDF\RIFRQVHUYDWLRQIRU WKRVHZKRZLOOIROORZ /RRNLQVLGHDQGUHDGVWRULHVDERXWVRPHRIWKHSHRSOHZLWKZKRPZH KDYHZRUNHG •

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(QMR\RXU6SULQJLVVXH$QGHQMR\\RXUWLPHLQQDWXUH Sincerely, David Mackaman, INHF Board Chair

Joe McGovern President Jodi Baker Finance Director Ross Baxter Land Projects Director Andrea Boulton Trails Coordinator Jered Bourquin Blufflands Assistant Brian Fankhauser Blufflands Director Cheri Grauer Donor Relations Director Diane Graves Administrative Assistant and Receptionist

,YPU.YPMĂ„U Development and Events Specialist Lisa Hein Senior Director for Conservation Programs

Joe Jayjack Communications Director Heather Jobst Senior Land Conservation Director Melanie Louis Land Stewardship Associate Stacy Nelson Donors Services Manager Anita O’Gara Vice President Andrea Piekarczyk Grants Coordinator Marian E. Riggs Public Policy Director Mary Runkel Volunteer Coordinator Tylar Samuels Conservation Easement Specialist Ryan Schmidt Land Stewardship Director Kerri Sorrell Communications Specialist Tim Sproul Loess Hills Land Conservation Consultant

Abby Hade Terpstra Development Specialist Erin Van Waus Conservation Easement Director Kari Walker Administration Director

6MĂ„JL

505 Fifth Ave., Suite 444 Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2321 Phone: 515-288-1846 E-mail: Info@inhf.org Website: www.inhf.org Facebook.com/iowanaturalheritage Iowa Natural Heritage is published quarterly by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for its members and friends. Circulation: 10,000 Articles appearing in Iowa Natural Heritage may be reprinted with permission of the publisher. Publisher: Joe Jayjack Editor: Lori Howe, Share Marketing Designer: Brian Shearer, Plum Communications

Our Mission

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation protects and restores Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. 2

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Nature’s details knitted into varying panoramas, can at once quiet our souls and revive our senses.

(YHU\GD\(OHPHQWVRI/DQGVFDSHV0DWWHU Cindy and Kevin Burke love their land for its heritage — the cultural heritage the rolling hills inspired and the opportunity to continue a legacy of gardening.



5XJJHG%HDXWLIXO/DQG3URWHFWHG %\:RUNLQJ7RJHWKHU Over 30 years of conservation efforts by multiple landowners and organizations permanently protects the distinct collection of landscapes Iverson Bottoms Wildlife Area offers nature lovers.

 :ULWLQJ1HZ&KDSWHUVIRU &HQWUDO,RZD7UDLOV

New additions are planned to expand central Iowa’s trail system, offering more avenues through nature and connecting bikers and hikers to new small town destinations.

 &HOHEUDWHWKH0DJLFRI7XULQ3UDLULH Turin Prairie’s numbers are impressive: hundreds of acres, $2 million, four years in the making. But this Loess Hills treasure offers a sense of place that can't be FDSWXUHGZLWKIDFWVDQGÀJXUHV

 0DULHWWD$SUDLULH<HDUVLQWKH0DNLQJ Marshall Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marietta Sand Prairie State Preserve is known as one of ,RZD·VÃ&#x20AC;QHVWH[DPSOHVRIUHPQDQWVDQGSUDLULH



$QQXDO5HSRUW In partnership with members, donors, landowners and conservation agencies, we protected 49 additional sites and 5,300 acres in 2015.

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Permanent protection fo this former Boy Scout camp means that Iowans in Bremer County will be able to re-connect and reap the EHQHÃ&#x20AC;WVRIQDWXUHIRU\HDUVWRFRPH

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Take action for nature this spring: volunteer for a river cleanup, tell your legislators to fund our natural resources, learn about the watershed in your area.

 ,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH â&#x20AC;¢ Spring 2016

3


Walking through the woods never fails to wake up every sense and calm your soul. You are at once more alive and at peace. How is that possible? Maybe it’s the diversity and balance a woodland represents. The richness of the forest layers. The intricate dance of pushing to survive without overtaking and disrupting nature’s tipping point. The vastness of the forest soothes. A forest mini scene directs focus on a single act in nature’s play — a cardinal’s song … morels in a new secret spot … an oak sapling competing for sunlight. What nature lovers know is this: the complexity of nature connects us to a part of ourselves nothing else can. By Lori Southard Howe, Contributing Writer

Dolliver Memorial State Park in Webster County. Photo: Bruce Morrison

4 Iowa Natural Heritage • Spring 2016


Photo: Kip Ladage

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

5


(YHU\GD\(OHPHQWV of

Bu Burke Burk Conservation Co ti Easement Linn County Land: Two conservation

easements totaling 157 acres, part of which is in the 123acre Grant Woods Rural Historic Landscape District

Above: The rolling hills of Cindy and Kevin Burkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Linn County landscape. Inset: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fall Plowing,â&#x20AC;? a 1931 painting by Grant Wood, is part of Deere & Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s permanent corporate art collection. Considered one of Woodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous works, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fall Plowingâ&#x20AC;? is on display through June 2016 at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

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RU&LQG\DQG.HYLQ%XUNHWKHPRWLYDWLRQIRU permanently protecting land they own in the hill country of Linn County stems from their dedication to paying attention to, valuing, and lifting up the richness of the everyday elements of the landscape in which they live. As it turns out, some of the elements of that landscape are not so everyday. Regionalist artist Grant Wood was a frequent visitor to Linn Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hills. Cindy heard a lot of local lore from neighbors when she was a girl, including how the famous Depressionera artist had painted on land her parents came to own and stayed in the house at the end of their road. Wood, champion of ordinary people and landscapes, painted the scenic fall landscape â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fall 3ORZLQJÂľLQ+HIRXQGDĂ&#x20AC;WWLQJEDFNJURXQGLQZKDWZDVWKHQWKH'UXPEDUJHUIDUPVWHDG and a suitable vantage point for capturing the bucolic scene from a hilltop on what is now the %XUNHV¡SURSHUW\(LJKW\Ă&#x20AC;YH\HDUVODWHUWKHODQGVFDSHDVYLHZHGIURPWKDWKLOOWRSVWLOOEHDUVD VWULNLQJUHVHPEODQFHWR:RRGV¡YLHZGHSLFWHGLQ)DOO3ORZLQJÂŤDQGWKHEDUQLVVWLOOVWDQGLQJ

8\PJRHJ[PVUWYLZLY]LKHZPNUPĂ&#x201E;JHU[SHUKZJHWL ,QWKHODWHV/LQQ&RXQW\SODQQHGWRVLWHDFRXQW\ODQGĂ&#x20AC;OOLQWKHLUQHLJKERUKRRG ZKLFKZRXOGKDYHFRPSURPLVHGZKDWWKH%XUNHVVXVSHFWHGZHUHWKHFXOWXUDOO\VLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQW

6 | Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

Photo Above and Right: Courtesy of Cindy Burke

Landscapes Matter


aspects of their land, involved the condemnation of two neighboring family farms and possibly impacted hundreds of acres of publically owned conservation ODQGV&LQG\DQG.HYLQFRXQWHUHGTXLFNO\DQG established the Matsell Area Preservation and 3URWHFWLRQJURXSDQGWRRNVWHSVWRKDYHWKHLUODQG registered as a National Historic Landscape. The Grant Woods Fall Plowing Rural Historic Landscape 'LVWULFWZDVOLVWHGRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOO\RQWKH1DWLRQDO5HJLVWHURI Historic Places in 2003. Cindy recalled how â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those two endeavors crystallized our passion for conserving what LVRIWHQRYHUORRNHGWDNHQIRUJUDQWHGRUIRUJRWWHQÂľ )RU&LQG\WKDWSDVVLRQZDVNLQGOHGLQKHUFKLOGKRRG â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our family mushroom hunted all over eastern and southern Iowa. I came to love the timbered hillsides and the rivers. I was fascinated by old farmsteads we stumbled onto that had gone to ruin â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that time had forgotten. I saw so many of these old places demolished DQGWKRXJKWRIDOOWKHZRUNRIZRPHQWKDWZDV ultimately covered over. I wanted to continue the legacy RIWKHLUZRUNWKDWVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;HGWKHSODFHWKH\FDOOHGKRPHÂľ

Heritage gardens are a window to the past Her desire to continue that legacy has played out in the KHULWDJHJDUGHQVDWWKH%XUNHKRPHSODFH7KHJDUGHQV feature more than 500 hosta species, a few hundred species of day lily, scores of iris varieties and ferns of all NLQGVWKDW&LQG\KDVFROOHFWHGRYHUWKH\HDUVDVZHOO as four lady slippers her brother rescued from a timber that was being leveled. ´3RNLQJDURXQGWKRVHIDUPVWHDGUXLQV,IRXQGORYHO\ RIWHQKXJHSDWFKHVRIKDSS\Ă RZHUVDQG,WROGP\VHOI that one day, when I had my own place, I would collect these beauties and those of my momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friends and relatives. I thought about the women tending to the JDUGHQVDQGLPDJLQHGWKH\¡GEHKDSS\WRWKLQNVRPHRQH made the effort to carry on the tending of what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d HQMR\HGLQWKHLUOLIHWLPHV,WWKULOOVPHWRWKLQNRIWKH miles these plants have traveled and survived and that I could be a part of carrying on their legacy and that now, they can thrive long into the future.â&#x20AC;? The assurance that the everyday elements of their hill IDUPZLOOIRUHYHUWKULYHVWHPVIURPWKH%XUNHVRSWLQJ to permanently protect their land by will bequest and through conservation easements with Iowa Natural

Heritage Foundation and the Linn County Conservation Board. The will bequest and easements serve to preserve the biodiversity and wildlife habitat of the land as well as the aesthetic, environmental and other non-economic values for posterity. ,WFLUFOHVEDFNWRWKLVIRU&LQG\DQG.HYLQÂłWKH everyday elements of landscapes matter. The setting for Grant Woodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fall Plowingâ&#x20AC;?; the love ZRPHQKHOGIRUWKHLUĂ RZHUJDUGHQVWKHGLOLJHQFHWKDW Cindyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents expressed as they assembled parcel by parcel the property that is now in her and Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s care; the habitat this now-protected property provides for all manner of wildlife including predatory animals; the way WKHLUODQGĂ&#x20AC;WVLQWRDQGFRPSOHPHQWVWKHDGMDFHQWSXEOLF Matsell Bridge Natural Area and the even more extensive :DSVLSLQLFRQ5LYHUFRUULGRU(YHU\HOHPHQWPDWWHUV They matter because they are integral parts of a whole. And Cindy and Kevin are committed to not only continuing but expanding their contributions to maintaining the whole â&#x20AC;&#x201D; conserving what is often RYHUORRNHGWDNHQIRUJUDQWHGIRUJRWWHQÂłRQODQGWKH\ own, as well as by encouraging more land protection in their neighborhood and in the farther reaches of the Wapsipinicon River. As Cindy sees it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We may not be able to do much about the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;state of the world.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; There is much, however, we can do here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at home. â&#x20AC;? By Cheri Grauer, Donor Relations Director

Left to Right: Al Gates (Cindyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother), Cindy Burke and Kevin Burke display their bountiful morel harvest from the Burkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land.

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016 | 7


Rugged,

working together A

textbook example of partnerships among private landowners, conservation organizations and government agencies has protected an UN-ordinary natural area in an extraordinary corner of Iowa.

Iverson Bott Iv Bottoms Wildlife Area Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties Land: HJYLZ Special Features: IS\MĂ&#x2026;HUKZ

VHROPJRVY`MVYLZ[ZNVH[ HUKOPSSWYHPYPLZHUK5H[P]L (TLYPJHUTV\UKZ Partners: 05/-0V^H+59 www.inhf.org/spring-2016magazine.cfm

More than 3,000 acres of wild lands â&#x20AC;&#x201D; centered on the Iowa Department of Natural Resourcesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 680-acre Iverson Bottoms Wildlife Area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sprawl across the meandering Upper Iowa River Valley in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. The complex represents a decades-long effort by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Iowa DNR and conservationminded landowners. Goat prairies, limestone ridges, mature woodlands and river bottoms contain diverse wildlife and plant communities. Indian mounds denote earlier peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; connections to the UHJLRQ&DQRHLVWVKXQWHUVELUGZDWFKHUVDQGERWDQLVWVĂ&#x20AC;QGDUHDVDVZLOGHUQHVVOLNHDV anything in Iowa. ,RZD'15ZLOGOLIHELRORJLVW7HUU\+DLQGĂ&#x20AC;HOGFDOOVLW´WKHEHVWFRXQWU\LQWKHZKROH wide world.â&#x20AC;? ´7KHFRUHLVVRPHWKLQJVSHFLDOIRUZLOGOLIHÂľKHVDLG([SDQVHVRIIRUHVWZLWKIDUPĂ&#x20AC;HOGVKLOO prairies and the Upper Iowa River corridor shelter deer, turkeys, ruffed grouse and songbirds. :LQWHULQJGHHUDQGJROGHQHDJOHVVHHNWKHVHFOXGHGEOXIĂ DQGV5HFOXVLYHEDOGHDJOHVWLPEHU UDWWOHVQDNHVULYHURWWHUVDQGEREFDWVĂ&#x20AC;QGUHIXJHLQWKHUXJJHG8SSHU,RZD5LYHU9DOOH\

A mix of land stewardship techniques practiced Abo Above: Bri Brian Fankha Fankhauser, INHF IS\MĂ&#x2026;HUKZKPYLJ[VYOPRLZHSVUNVULVM[OL YV\NOSPTLZ[VULYPKNLZ[OH[[V^LYHIV]L [OL0]LYZVUSHUK

8 | Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

7KHXQLTXHDUHDUHTXLUHVFRPSOH[PDQDJHPHQW+DLQGĂ&#x20AC;HOGVDLG7KH,RZD'15VWHZDUGVKLS plan protects large woodlands for forest interior bird species, while occasionally using clear-

Photos: Larry Stone

beautiful land protected by


cuts to create habitat for grouse and songbirds that need more brush. Timely harvest of mature oak stands, before maple and basswood take hold, will ensure future mast-rich oak-hickory forests for squirrels, deer and turkeys. 3UHVFULEHGĂ&#x20AC;UHRQSUDLULHUHPQDQWVVWLPXODWHJUDVVHV and forbs that have been suppressed by encroaching FHGDUWUHHV+DLQGĂ&#x20AC;HOGVDLG/DQGPDQDJHUVDOVRPXVW maintain pleasing viewsheds, avoid damage to steep slopes and protect Native American mounds and other archaeological resources.

Four additions double the protection The Iverson Bottoms project required many partners. 7KHVWDWHDFTXLUHGWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWDFUHVLQXVLQJ IXQGVIURPIHGHUDOH[FLVHWD[HVRQKXQWLQJDQGĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJ JHDUDORQJZLWK,RZD´2SHQ6SDFHVÂľIXQGV More recently, INHF and Iowa DNR cooperated on four additions that doubled the size of the original Iverson Bottoms area. Using donations from supporters, INHF negotiated land deals that might KDYHEHHQGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWIRUDVWDWHDJHQF\FRQVWUDLQHGE\ timetables and funding streams.

In 2005, INHF acquired 22 acres at Iverson Bottoms E\WUDGLQJWKHRZQHUDQDFUHWUDFWLQDQRWKHU part of the Allamakee County. The trading partner GRQDWHGFRQVHUYDWLRQHDVHPHQWVRQWKDWDFUHVDQG another 58 acres. ,RZD¡V5HVRXUFHV(QKDQFHPHQWDQG3URWHFWLRQ 5($3 IXQGVFRVWVKDUHGWZRRWKHUSDUFHOVWKDW,1+) SXUFKDVHGLQDQG Iowa DNR also used money from the Protected Water $UHD 3:$ DOORFDWLRQRI5($3VDLG7RGG%LVKRS special projects coordinator for the Iowa DNRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wildlife bureau. He and Nate Hoogeveen, director of river programs for the Iowa DNR, put that money toward EX\LQJWKHDFUHWUDFWWKDW,1+)SXUFKDVHGLQ

*\S[\YHSS`ZPNUPĂ&#x201E;JHU[SHUKZ Pat Ryan, son of the late Forrest Ryan, worked with ,1+)WRSURWHFWWKHVLWHZKLFKLQFOXGHVPLOHVRI Upper Iowa riverfront and half a mile of Pine Creek. His father was passionate about preserving the area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially the Indian mounds on a bench above the Ă RRGSODLQ5\DQVDLG That mound group may be the most prominent Native American site in the region â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but certainly not the only one, said Colin Betts, professor of anthropology at /XWKHU&ROOHJHLQ'HFRUDK 7KH8SSHU,RZD9DOOH\KDV´DUHDOO\ULFK DUFKDHRORJLFDOOHJDF\Âľ%HWWVVDLG´7KHUHLVQRGRXEW that it represented an important location for people going back thousands of years.â&#x20AC;? 2WKHUSURWHFWHGODQGLQWKHULYHUERWWRPVDUHD LQFOXGHVDFUH+HULWDJH9DOOH\ZKLFK,1+) purchased from the estate of Forrest Ryan in 2007. Although not contiguous to Iverson Bottoms, Heritage Valley is just upstream along the Upper Iowa River. The ,RZD'15¡VDFUH3LQH&UHHN:LOGOLIH$UHDFRQQHFWV ZLWK+HULWDJH9DOOH\DQGWKHDFUH&DQRH&UHHN Wildlife Area is only a mile or two farther upstream. With unusual wildlife and plant communities, scenic vistas, high-quality streams, archeological treasures and corridors connecting public and private conservation areas, the Iverson Bottoms area â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the surrounding 8SSHU,RZDEOXIĂ DQGVÂłVKRZFDVH,RZD¡VQDWXUDODQG cultural heritage at its best. By Larry Stone, Contributing Writer Left: Typical to northeast Iowa woodlands and goat prairies, pasque flowers are some of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring.

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016 | 9


10 | Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016


Writing

New Chapters for N

Central Iowa Trails

Photos: INHF staff

early 40 years ago the Central Iowa trail network got its start with the establishment of the Bill Riley Trail. This short trail links Waterworks Park with Greenwood Park and the neighborhoods near the Des Moines Art Center and the former Science Center of Iowa location. It was a modest beginning named after the famous Iowa State Fair talent scout and television personality who loved trails.

Today the network of trails in central Iowa has grown to include local neighborhood trails as well as long distance regional trails stretching in all directions. The current plan envisions the regional spine extending 70 miles west to Whiterock Conservancy, 45 miles southeast to Lake Red Rock, 80 miles northeast to Pine Lake State Park, 25 miles south to Lake Ahquabi, as well as existing connections to Jefferson, Martensdale and Ames. The exciting part of this work is the amazing trail loops that have evolved. An eastern metro loop plan was begun in 1995 linking Chichaqua Valley Trail with the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and the Neal Smith Trail. Large sections of this eastern loop are completed, but in the meantime, a western loop that will connect Neal Smith Trail with the High Trestle Trail and Raccoon River Valley Trail is underway. Finally, Central Iowa trail network is currently pursuing a third major loop linking the Great Western Trail to the Summerset Trail and back into downtown Des Moines. This interconnected system central Iowans enjoy didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen by accident. It has taken sincere dedication, planning and tenacity from volunteers, public agency staff, HQJLQHHUVGHVLJQHUVUDLOURDGFRPSDQLHVODQGRZQHUVSURMHFWGRQRUVDQGHOHFWHGRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOV Perhaps the most important advocates are trail users, who passionately shout the

Above:The world famous High Trestle Trail provides bikers and hikers breathtaking views of the Des Moines River Valley. Opposite: Cyclists ride the Raccoon River Valley Trail near Redfield. The RRVT is 89 total miles with a 72-mile interior loop.

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016 | 11


Central Iowa Trails

The Central Iowa Trail Network is an extensive system of existing and planned trails. It does and will link multiple communities and counties throughout the Des Moines metro area and beyond. The system will eventually have large loops, plus many crosslinks, short-cuts and other connections. What you can do to help: To

learn about emerging trails you can support, call Lisa Hein at 515-288-1846 or visit inhf.org/ trail-gifts.cfm. Also, get outside and enjoy the trails!

12 | Iowa Natural Heritage • Spring 2016

praises for trails. Trails are some of INHF’s most complicated and challenging — yet most rewarding — projects because they touch so many lives and communities. A single trail can take years to complete, not for a lack of enthusiasm, but mostly because funding is so tight and, frankly, establishing a 10-foot wide trail in the most physically altered state in the nation can be daunting. Nearly every inch of Iowa is consumed by some form of development (residential, commercial or agricultural), and very few places are reserved exclusively for outdoor recreation or nature. This is one reason that setting aside railroad corridors for trails is a sensible concept. The railroads existed before most of the agricultural and commercial development, and the railbeds have a solid infrastructure on which to build trails.

Photos: INHF Staff

Trails: More than 700 miles of trails, including: Raccoon River Valley Trail, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail, Bill Riley Trail, Neal Smith Trail, Somerset Trail, Chichaqua Valley Trail, High Trestle Trail, Great Western Trail, Iowa River Trail


Most recent trail additions The latest additions to the central Iowa trail system have been along such railroad corridors. At the east end of the regional trails network, an 11-mile corridor between Prairie City and Mitchellville was acquired by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation recently. This corridor will eventually transfer to Jasper County and Prairie &LW\7KHSURMHFWH[SDQGVDQGGLYHUVLĂ&#x20AC;HVWKHUHFUHDWLRQ opportunities found nearby at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, which provides extensive wildlife habitat and educational programming. At the western end of the central Iowa trail system, INHF secured 6 miles of the former rail corridor between Herndon and Bayard. This corridor was preserved by the previous owners so it would be available as a future trail. ,WLVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWVWHSWRZDUGOLQNLQJWKH5DFFRRQ5LYHU Valley Trail west to Whiterock Conservancy and Coon Rapids. While the completion of these current projects is likely years away, securing the corridors is key to the projectsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; success. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also sad to think of the corridors lost over the years. For example, INHF was outbid on the effort to acquire an abandoned railroad connection between Marshalltown and Cedar Falls. And another corridor lost would have extended the Great Western Trail all the way to the Missouri border! Yet, while we missed out at an even

greater network, Iowa trails have received international recognition and become a destination for cyclists. State funding for public acquisition of rail corridors has been possible from state gambling monies that support REAP and the State Recreational Trails fund. Local match funds are provided through private contributions and public agencies. To complete trails on the corridors recently purchased, it will take diligent work and cooperation. 9ROXQWHHUVDJHQF\VWDIIHQJLQHHUVDQGHOHFWHGRIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOV will pursue grant funding, begin section-by-section construction, hold fundraising events, attend numerous meetings, cut ribbons and watch their children grow as the trails become reality. It is a classic story of trailEXLOGLQJLQ,RZDWKDWZLOOWDNH\HDUVWRĂ&#x20AC;QLVK7KHUHVXOW will be an important link in the regional vision to create an interconnected statewide trail system that supports quiet places for people to visit small towns and reconnect with nature. By Lisa Hein, Senior Director for Conservation Programs

The 25-mile Neal Smith Trail takes Central Iowa residents from downtown Des Moines to Big Creek State Park in Polk City. Often dominated by views of Saylorville Lake, the trail traverses a range of landscapes, including bottomland, shaded forest, oak uplands and prairie.

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016 | 13


Celebrate the Land: 467 acres added to

the Turin Preserve Wildlife Management Area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; creating a 1,200-acre block of protected wildlife habitat Special features: Loess Hills ridges with over 200 acres of high quality native prairies, plus valleys of mixed bur oak woodlands and oak savanna Partners: INHF, Iowa DNR, and 937 donors, with special thanks to Loess Hills Alliance and Helen A. Ringgenberg www.inhf.org/spring-2016magazine.cfm

Above: Duck season at Big Wall Lake; October 2015.

14 | ,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

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Photo: Ryan Schmidt

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,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH â&#x20AC;¢ Spring 2016 | 15


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16 | ,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH • Spring 2016

Photos: INHF Staff

Caption.


Left Top:The 2015 Loess Hills Prairie seminar attendees took in fabulous views atop the Turin Prairie hills. Left Bottom: A young prairie enthusiast looks over the Loess Hills landscape at a recent Loess Hills Prairie Seminar. Right: Tim Sproul presenting to seminar attendees.

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Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re invited: A Celebration of Turin Prairie Saturday, September 24: A Celebration of Turin Prairie will welcome everyone to experience parts of this vast place. Enjoy guided hikes and opportunities for varied interests and abilities, plus a dedication ceremony. INHF staff and board look forward to celebrating with our members. Please come! Watch for more information this summer. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so special about Turin Prairie? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vast. Photos simply canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t capture it. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way more protected land than you can see from any spot and more than you can explore in a day. By adding 467 acres to the already expansive Turin Preserve and Wildlife Management Area, there are now more than 1,200 rolling acres of protected prairie, woods and hills. This creates only the fourth public site in Iowa where you can visit an expanse of Loess Hills of this scale. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rare. Prairie once covered most of Iowa. Today, most remaining native prairies are quite small. In the Loess Hills, many prairies are narrow â&#x20AC;&#x201D; following the knife-edge tops of ridges. But at the Turin Prairie addition, more than 200 acres of native prairie spread across the hills and valleys PUL]LY`KPYLJ[PVU0[»ZHNYLLUL_WHUZLHISHaL^P[O^PSKÃ&#x2026;V^LYZ[OH[ PU[LYTPUNSL^P[OI\YVHRZ·HZNVVKHZ`V\^PSSÃ&#x201E;UKPU[OPZYLNPVU*YVW Ã&#x201E;LSKZHYLILPUNYL[\YULK[VWYHPYPLV]LY[PTLYL\UP[PUN[OL^OVSLULZZVM this place. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s silent. Just minutes off Interstate 29, a short hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive from Sioux City or Council Bluffs, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an amazingly quiet place; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hear no mechanical noise. The silence becomes a companion. It draws you. Iowans can experience this particular quality of silence only on a large expanse of natural land. This magical combination helps us imagine how Iowa must have looked HUKZV\UKLKÃ&#x201E;]LNLULYH[PVUZHNV/LYL[OLHJ[PVUZVMV\YTLTILYZHUK partners ensure our great-grandchildren will be able to sense their Iowa roots.

By Anita Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Gara, Vice President

,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH â&#x20AC;¢ Spring 2016 | 17


Marietta:

A prairie

years in the making U

Ma Marietta S Sand d Prairie Prairi Preserve Marshall County Land: 229 acres Special Features: rare remnant

sand prairie, fen wetland Partners: Marshall CCB,

INHF, Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Iowa Prairie Network, Pheasants Forever www.inhf.org/spring-2016magazine.cfm

Caption Captio Cap tion tio n caption capt capt aption ion

18 | Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

nder the blue bowl of an early October sky, volunteers of all ages met to harvest prairie seed at Marietta Sand Prairie Preserve in Marshall County. Between sipping apple cider and enjoying the cool, clear day, they collected more than 5 pounds of native prairie seed. It was a day more than 10 years in the making: this was the last of the seed needed to restore the row crop land adjacent to the state preserve.


Photos: XXXXXXX

Remnants of native sand prairie are even rarer than tallgrass prairie remnants. Amidst Iowaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lush tallgrass prairies, there are a few dry sand prairies that support a rich mix of plant, animal, bird and insect life distinctly their own. Remnants of native sand prairie are even rarer than tallgrass prairie remnants. Marietta Sand Prairie State Preserve, a designated wildlife management area, is known as RQHRI,RZD¡VĂ&#x20AC;QHVWUHPDLQLQJH[DPSOHVRIUHPQDQW sand prairie. But at just 17 acres, it faced constant pressure from invasive weeds and pesticide drift from surrounding land. Moreover, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t large enough to support the most sensitive, threatened species â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like grassland birds needing large tracts of prairie grasses to successfully reproduce and thrive. So, in 2005 when the opportunity arose to purchase the 211 acres next to the state preserve â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an area including remnant sand prairie, a fen wetland and VDQG\DQGORZODQGFURSĂ&#x20AC;HOGVÂł,RZD1DWXUDO+HULWDJH Foundation immediately seized the chance. INHF president Joe McGovern, who was land stewardship GLUHFWRUZKHQWKHSURMHFWEHJDQUHĂ HFWHGWKDW,1+) could have simply bought the remnant prairie areas of the adjoining land. Instead, INHF decided to protect the HQWLUHDUHDFURSĂ&#x20AC;HOGVDQGDOOEULQJLQJWRJHWKHUDJURXS of strong and passionate partners to restore this land around the state preserve. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will take years to establish the prairie and some care and attention long-term to keep it whole and healthy,â&#x20AC;? McGovern said at the time of the purchase. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth a little time and cost to do it right.â&#x20AC;? So even after the land protection was complete, INHF stayed involved in the restoration of the prairie â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dedicating hundreds of staff and volunteer hours to picking and planting. Reestablishing prairie on the crop ground was a deliberate process. INHF and Marshall County Conservation Board (CCB) knew that the time and attention was key to establishing the high quality planting the area deserved. As Marshall CCB director Mike Stegmann observed, â&#x20AC;&#x153;in any natural area, it is critically important to provide as much diversity as possible to support insect, bird and animal life.â&#x20AC;? Though

efforts at managing the area will continue through mowing and prescribed burns by Marshall CCB, the results so far, Stegmann says, have been â&#x20AC;&#x153;exquisite.â&#x20AC;?

A satisfying day On the last Friday in January 2016, a small group of INHF staff members and interns braved the cold to spread the last handfuls of prairie seed at Marietta Sand Prairie Preserve. Despite the rawness of the day, the sun was EULJKWDQGWKHZLQGRQO\KHOSHGLQVFDWWHULQJWKHĂ XIIV of seed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; gathered by those fall volunteers only a few PRQWKVEHIRUHÂłDFURVVWKHZLGHZKLWHĂ&#x20AC;HOGV $OORIWKHSUDLULHVHHGXVHGWRUHVWRUHWKHFURSĂ&#x20AC;HOGV adjacent to the state preserve came from other prairie remnants. The prairie seed used to restore the sandy FURSĂ&#x20AC;HOGVZDVJDWKHUHGIURPWKHVWDWHSUHVHUYHLWVHOIÂł largely by volunteers, whose dedication and hard work bring continual energy and excitement to the project. Indeed, Marietta Sand Prairie is the type of project that draws support from all corners, bringing together an incredible diversity of groups. Multiple chapters of Pheasants Forever contributed their support, and the Iowa Prairie Network donated the proceeds of their annual auction. A $50,000 challenge grant from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation in Marshalltown inspired individual donations from across the state. This outpouring of support helped Marshall CCB secure a $200,000 county Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grant for the project. And, for the majority of contributors, their involvement with Marietta Sand Prairie did not end with the purchase of the addition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lots of donors have come out and helped us gather seed, and they have visited throughout the restoration process,â&#x20AC;? Mike Stegmann said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Something about Marietta touches people in an unexpected way. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the beauty and peacefulness of the place. In Iowa, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an ocean or beachfront where you can let your mind wander. We have the prairie.â&#x20AC;?

Above: In January, INHF staffers spread prairie seed, including this common milkweed, on the last section of Marietta Sand Prairie Preserve to be restored. Opposite: The Marietta Sand Prairie has blossomed into a diverse mix of grasses and forbs after years of restoration work.

By Andrea Piekarczyk, Grants Coordinator

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016 | 19


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VITAMIN

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Take a Walk through

Ingawanis Woodlands

Few things clear a cluttered mind better than a walk through the woods. More ,RZDQVDUHQRZDEOHWRUHFRQQHFWDQGUHDSWKHEHQHÃ&#x20AC;WVRIQDWXUHWKDQNVWRWKH SURWHFWLRQRI,QJDZDQLV:RRGODQGLQ%UHPHU&RXQW\

Ingawanis In ni Woodlands Woodland nds Bremer County Land: 140 acres of upland

woodland Recreational opportunities:

hiking, cross-country and equestrian trails, birdwatching, single track mountain bike trail, nature education programs Partners: INHF, Bremer CCB, Whitetails Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Iowa DNR www.inhf.org/spring-2016magazine.cfm

26

7KHDFUHDUHDZDVIRUPHUO\SDUWRID%R\ Scout camp. When the scouts decided to sell DSRUWLRQRIWKHLUODQGIRUÃ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOUHDVRQV Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the %UHPHU&RXQW\&RQVHUYDWLRQ%RDUGMXPSHGDW WKHRSSRUWXQLW\WKHQZRUNHGIRUWKUHH\HDUV WRIXQGDQGFRQYHUWWKHUHDG\PDGHUHFUHDWLRQ DUHDWRDFRXQW\SDUN ,QJDZDQLV:RRGODQGSURYLGHVFUXFLDO FRQVHUYDWLRQYDOXHWRWKHFRXQW\DQGWR WKHFULWWHUVWKDWFDOOWKHSURSHUW\KRPH 3HUPDQHQWSURWHFWLRQVDIHJXDUGVUDUHSODQW VSHFLHVSUHVHUYHVELUGKDELWDWDQGLPSURYHV ZDWHUTXDOLW\DORQJWKH&HGDU5LYHU ´+DYLQJVRPHWKLQJDORQJWKHULYHUZDV LPSRUWDQWWRXVµVDLG+HDWKHU*DPP QDWXUDOLVWIRUWKH%UHPHU&RXQW\&RQVHUYDWLRQ %RDUG´,W·VVXFKDQLFHWUDFWZLWKVRPDQ\ DFUHVZHGLGQ·WZDQWWRVHHLWGLYLGHGXSµ ,QJDZDQLV:RRGODQGERDVWV\HDU URXQGUHFUHDWLRQDODFWLYLWLHVPDNLQJLWD GHVWLQDWLRQIRUQDWXUHORYHUV,QJDZDQLV· PLOHVRIVRIWWUDLOVDWWUDFWKLNHUVELNHUVDQG VNLHUV3OXVWKHSDUN·VTXDOLW\PLJUDWRU\ELUG KDELWDWJLYHVELUGZDWFKHUVWKHFKDQFHWRVSRW GLYHUVHVSHFLHVLQFOXGLQJEDOGHDJOHVDQG

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;¢ Spring 2016

\HOORZELOOHGFXFNRRV 7KHSURSHUW\SOD\VDSDUWLQHGXFDWLQJ YLVLWRUVDERXWWKHLPSRUWDQFHRIFRQVHUYDWLRQ ,QJDZDQLV·ORGJHVHUYHVDVDPHFFDIRU HQYLURQPHQWDOHGXFDWLRQDFWLYLWLHVPHHWLQJV DQGHYHQWVLQ%UHPHU&RXQW\ ´:HKDYHQHYHUKDGDSODFHWKDWLVLQGRRUV ZKHUHZHFRXOGKDYHDVFKRROJURXSRUDQ\ W\SHRIPHHWLQJµ*DPPVDLG´:H·YHEHHQDEOH WRRIIHUDGGLWLRQDOHQYLURQPHQWDOHGXFDWLRQ SURJUDPVµ )XQGLQJIRU,QJDZDQLV:RRGODQGFDPHLQ SDUWIURPSULYDWHGRQDWLRQVDQGJUDQWVEXW SULPDULO\IURPD5HVRXUFH(QKDQFHPHQW DQG3URWHFWLRQ 5($3 JUDQW,QDQLQFUHGLEO\ FRPSHWLWLYHÃ&#x20AC;HOG,QJDZDQLVQRWRQO\UHFHLYHG IXQGLQJEXWZDVWKHWRSVFRULQJFRXQW\ SURMHFWDFURVVWKHVWDWH ,QJDZDQLV:RRGODQGWUXO\KDVVRPHWKLQJ IRUHYHU\RQH³H[SORUHUVELUGZDWFKHUVDQG QDWXUHORYHUVRIDOONLQGV(QMR\DSLFQLFLQ WKHPHDGRZRUÃ&#x20AC;QGVHUHQLW\RQDZDONLQ WKHZRRGV1RPDWWHUWKHDFWLYLW\WLPHDW Ingawanis is time well spent. By Katie Bandurski, Communications Intern

Photos: Kip Ladage

Sharp-lobed hepatica blooms in early spring.


LOOKING OUT FOR

Keep exploring online at

www.inhf.org/lookingoutforiowa.cfm

IOWA

Take actionIRUnature Volunteer: Clean up the river ,W¡VWLPHWRJHW\RXUKDQGVGLUW\-RLQWKH,RZD'HSDUWPHQWRI1DWXUDO5HVRXUFHV IRU3URMHFW$:$5(DĂ&#x20AC;YHGD\FOHDQXSRIWKH/RZHU'HV0RLQHV5LYHU9ROXQWHHUV RIDOODJHVZLOOSDGGOHGRZQWKHULYHUORDGLQJWUDVKLQWKHLUFDQRHVDVWKH\JR$IWHU DGD\RQWKHZDWHUSDUWLFLSDQWVUHWXUQWRGHVLJQDWHGFDPSVLWHVIRUHGXFDWLRQDO SURJUDPPLQJ7KLVFRPPXQLW\HYHQWXQLWHVQDWXUHORYHUVDQGFUHDWHVDZDUHQHVVIRU ZDWHUVKHGSURWHFWLRQ3URMHFW$:$5(ZLOOWDNHSODFH-XO\ Visit www.iowadnr.gov/aware for more information.

Advocate: Tell legislators to fund the Trust $WWHQGDFDQGLGDWHIRUXP DQGEULQJDIULHQG RUFDOORUZULWHWR\RXUOHJLVODWRUVDQG WKHJRYHUQRUWRWHOOWKHP\RXZDQWIXQGLQJIRUWKH1DWXUDO5HVRXUFHVDQG2XWGRRU 5HFUHDWLRQ7UXVW)XQG7HOOWKHP\RXXQGHUVWDQGWKLVPHDQVDRIRQHFHQWVDOHVWD[ LQFUHDVHDQGWKDW\RXWKLQNLWLVDVRXQGLQYHVWPHQWLQWKHIXWXUHRI,RZD¡VODQGZDWHU DQGZLOGOLIHDQGRXUVWDWH¡VHFRQRP\ Learn more at www.iowaswaterandlandlegacy.org

Learn: Discover conservation in your watershed

Photo Bottom: Practical Farmers of Iowa Photo Top: Iowa DNR

&OHDQ:DWHU,RZDDQLQLWLDWLYHRIWKH,RZD'HSDUWPHQWRI$JULFXOWXUHDQG /DQG6WHZDUGVKLSHGXFDWHV,RZDQVRIDOOW\SHVÂłIDUPHUVKRPHRZQHUVDQG LQGXVWU\OHDGHUVÂłDERXWWKHLPSRUWDQFHRIZDWHUFRQVHUYDWLRQ)URPUHVWRUHG ZHWODQGVWRSHUPHDEOHSDYHUVOHDUQDERXWWKHEHVWZDWHUSUDFWLFHVDQGZKHUH \RXFDQVHHFRQVHUYDWLRQGHPRQVWUDWLRQSURMHFWVLQ\RXUZDWHUVKHG Visit www.cleanwateriowa.org to get started.

T R I B U T E IN HONOR OF Pam Abarr Bruce Ecker Lew Throssel Wendy Tripp IN MEMORY OF Erkle Anderson Jeanne Kay Anderson Gary Barr Alberta Brosnahan Dale Birkenholz

G I F T S James Bodensteiner Ted Boyle Carlin Burmeister Marvin â&#x20AC;&#x153;Butchâ&#x20AC;? Bushore Julianne Carlson George Cenovich Thomas E. Clay Jean Ellen Cording Charlie Cutler Ruth E. Fardal Wilbert Frahm David R. Gates

Erwin Gillette Wiliam Lynn â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redâ&#x20AC;? Harris Dr. Charles A Johnson Mylan Johnson Gwen Kennedy Raymond Kruse Glenn Leggett Cora LeMaster Roy Lilledahl Doris Loehr Bunda Jeffrey Logan

Mark Lyons Darlene Madson Don Mathews Ronald D. McGrew Brian McKeon Earl & Gretchen McQuown Donald L. Meier Don Moye Roland & Virgnia Nelson 200+ year-old tree Juanita Ostwinkle

Larry Pauly Roy Pewitt Marcia Pierson Leona Preister John & Shirley Rendleman Ward Reynoldson Donald Rowen Pauline Schatzle Warren and Dorothy Schlicht Bob â&#x20AC;&#x153;Schmittyâ&#x20AC;? Schmidt

Roger Schultz Ronald Sime Cory Smith Bart Steele Lorraine S. Strack Mary Terpstra Dolores Throssel Kay Wall Howard Walsh Dale Webster

Iowa Natural Heritage â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2016

27








































505 Fifth Avenue, Suite 444 Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2321 Change Service Requested

Photo:Ty Smedes

Leave a legacy of clean water, healthy soil and beautiful outdoor places for those who follow. To see how estate giving through INHF can help make your vision for Iowa a reality, contact Cheri Grauer at cgrauer@inhf.org or 800-475-1846.

This trio of striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) kits are cute enough to draw you near. But, you may want to rethink how close you get; kits as young as eight days old are capable of spraying someone they perceive as a threat. Wildlife trivia: the name â&#x20AC;&#x153;mephitisâ&#x20AC;? is derived from the Latin world â&#x20AC;&#x153;mephit,â&#x20AC;? meaning â&#x20AC;&#x153;bad odor.â&#x20AC;? Please share this publication with friends, and visit our website at www.inhf.org.

































Spring 2016  
Spring 2016  

Spring 2016 edition of Iowa Natural Heritage magazine, featuring the 2015 Annual Report.

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