Small projects, big impact
mall species can be a bellwether for the health of an ecosystem. When INHF was working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore oxbows in tributaries of the Raccoon River in the early 2000s, one of the first JO E McGOV ERN President signs of success was the return of the Topeka Shiner, a small minnow less than three inches long. Even things too small to see with the naked eye, like the billions of microorganisms that live in the soil of your no-till field, are signs of vitality. In this issue, we’re celebrating the small stuff: the small pollinators that contribute to a healthy environment, the small easements that protect vast scenic beauty and the small natural areas that have a big impact on communities. It’s often easy to see the value of a large landscape protected, but it’s important to recognize the value of small natural areas that improve our quality of life, too. Nature is resilient, and our job is providing the opportunity for nature to recover and thrive. Similarly, people are resilient, but I believe we need a bit of nature in order to recharge. It doesn’t always have to be a grand landscape. For many of us, a patch of remnant prairie along a country road or a green space in a sea of concrete can be just what the doctor ordered. Just watch our most important “small projects” — our children. They’ll find the nearest creek to splash into, log to jump over or flower to stick their nose in, and it will brighten their mood in an instant. Nature should be available, and accessible, to everybody. Even in an urban landscape, a little bit of wildness should be part of everyday life. With your help, we’re making that happen more and more. Thank you for making these small projects with big impact possible.
ON THE COVER A juniper hairstreak rests on butterfly milkweed. The butterfly is relatively uncommon and depends on the cedar trees of western and eastern Iowa. Photo by Ron Huelse
Protecting and restoring Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. OFFI CE
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Joe McGovern President Jodi Baker Finance Director Ross Baxter Land Projects Director Andrea Boulton Trails and Greenways Director Jered Bourquin Blufflands Assistant Brian Fankhauser Blufflands Director Cheri Grauer Donor Relations Director Diane Graves Administrative Assistant and Receptionist Erin Griffin Development and Events Specialist Katy Heggen Communications Consultant Lisa Hein Senior Director for Conservation Programs Joe Jayjack Communications Director Heather Jobst Senior Land Conservation Director Melanie Louis Volunteer Coordinator Stacy Nelson Donors Services Manager Anita O’Gara Vice President Andrea Piekarczyk Grants Coordinator Tylar Samuels Conservation Easement Specialist Ryan Schmidt Land Stewardship Director Kerri Sorrell Communications Specialist Tim Sproul Loess Hills Land Conservation Consultant Carole Teator Eastern Iowa Program Manager Abby Hade Terpstra Development Specialist Erin Van Waus Conservation Easement Director Kari Walker Administration Director
EDI TORI AL
Joe Jayjack Editor/Publisher Kerri Sorrell Art Director 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.
Iowa Natural Heritage
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Published on Nov 30, 2017