Prairie, wetlands protected at Silver Lake in Palo Alto County
In late 2016, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation purchased 185 acres adjacent to Silver Lake in Palo Alto County. The property consists of wetlands, meadow and prairie that will undergo a five-year restoration.
Silver Lake is a 648-acre area open to fishing, picnicking and boating. This new area contains significant shoreline along Silver Lake, and will improve the lake’s water quality with restored wetlands and prairie reconstruction.
“A major portion of the water flowing into Silver Lake flows through this property, so from a water quality standpoint, restoring this area allows for natural filtering of the water that feeds into the lake,” said Heather Jobst, INHF’s senior land conservation director.
In the eight wetland areas, plant species such as blue flag iris and monkey flower will be protected. In prairie areas, silver leaf scurf pea and porcupine grass are among the vegetation that will benefit from reconstruction. While the land is currently broken into pieces by small fields, restoration will create a contiguous piece of land more beneficial to sustaining the property and the ecosystem and recreation it supports.
By protecting Silver Lake for future generations, INHF and the Iowa DNR are ensuring that its legacy as a valuable area for animals, plants and human visitors remains intact. The property is planned to be transferred to the Iowa DNR for management within a year.