You are invited to help protect and restore 175 acres of wildlife habitat on the Skunk River just south of Ames.
Great diversity creates great wildlife habitat, and this land includes an expanse of floodplain savanna, plus areas planted to native grasses or awaiting restoration. On this land, you can see where the South Skunk River flowed before it was dredged and straightened. Hiking, birding, hunting and other recreation activities will be available to everyone, after funds are raised to complete the project.
Marilyn Baldus, daughter of Dick Jordan, worked closely with the Story County Conservation Board and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to create the opportunity to establish a public wildlife area on the land once owned by her parents. The family donated a portion of the land's value to ensure permanent protection and future public ownership.
Funding and the Future
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation purchased this land and will hold it while grants and contributions can be raised to reimburse the purchase. About $810,000 is needed for the land purchase, restoration and project costs. Public funds may cover 75 percent, and contributions from the Baldus family and early contributors have launched the project. The Outdoor Alliance of Story County and the local Pheasants Forever chapters are promoting contributions to the project.
Only $25,000 more in private contributions is needed to complete this project, with hope to transfer the property to Story County Conservation in the summer of 2017.
After funds are raised, the land will transfer to Story County Conservation for management.
Management and restoration
While the land is held by INHF, we will work closely with Story County Conservation to begin more restoration. Prairie and riparian habitats will be restored and river banks will be stabilized.