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Great Race Against Shrubs and Shade

Join Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy in Iowa in the Loess Hills for one of the largest land restoration days in the state. Together, we'll remove cedars on the east slope at the Kessler property near Turin to help keep the property's hillside prairies healthy and thriving.

Please note: This event is not for the faint of heart. The terrain is steep and uneven, and the work is intense.

No RSVP necessary - just show up!

About Kessler

Nestled in the heart of the Loess Hills, the Kessler property includes just over 20 acres of high quality Loess Hills mixed prairie and oak woodland in Monona County along the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. It features spectacular vistas, bur oak woodlands and remnant prairie. The property is adjacent to the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area which adjoins the Sylvan Runkel State Preserve. The property is named after former owners Jerry and Deb Kessler, life-long conservationists who wished to see the land permanently protected -- a wish their daughter, Teniesha, fulfilled after they passed. INHF purchased the property in 2012. It is now owned and managed by the DNR. 

Please bring:

  • Water bottle
  • Sturdy boots or shoes
  • Helmet, gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs and sunscreen - if you have them (we will have a few extras)


  • No experience necessary
  • This is one of our more intense work days. Terrain can be steep and uneven. Not recommended for children under 10

  • You will be asked to sign a liability waiver


Contact Volunteer Coordinator Melanie Louis at or 515-288-1846, ext. 35


We'll meet at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area main parking lot. To get to the outdoor seminar site/campground from Onawa, travel east on Hwy 175 (which is Main St. in Onawa) to L-12. Turn north onto L-12 and travel 7.2 miles to Nutmeg Ave. Turn right and take Nutmeg Ave. 0.4 miles to the northeast across the Little Sioux River bridge and then turn right onto 178th St. Follow 178th St. for two miles and you will come to the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area parking lot just before the intersection of 178th St. and Oak Ave.

Visit to view a print-friendly map and turn-by-turn directions.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

9:00am - 12:00pm

Kessler Property
Castana, IA 51010

Melanie Louis