Mission & Values

Protecting and restoring Iowa's land, water and wildlife.

Although INHF's mission is simple, the ways we fulfill it vary greatly. From establishing Iowa's multi-use trails to protecting untouched prairie, the work INHF supporters and staff do together is far-reaching. It is bound by the idea that together, we can do more. At the center of INHF's mission are the people who are passionate about saving Iowa's wild places — for wildlife, for the health of our state's natural resources and for the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. We're protecting our home so that others can love it, too. Thank you for joining us in that work.

Our vision

INHF envisions Iowans connected to our diverse landscape and committed to the value of healthy land, water and wildlife.

Our values

Forward Thinking
  • We know that our work and decisions will impact future generations who depend on us to protect and restore wild places now.
  • We prepare the next generation of conservation leaders by engaging and mentoring young Iowans.
Respect, Partnership and Stewardship
  • We hold deep respect for Iowa’s land, water and wildlife and let it guide our daily work.
  • We embrace the power of relationships with donors, volunteers, landowners, conservation agencies and other partners. Conservation, no matter who’s doing it, is always our goal.
  • We believe it is a great privilege to serve as stewards of the land and financial gifts entrusted to us.
  • We embrace each day as a privilege to protect and restore Iowa’s natural resources and to connect people to them.

Commitment to Diversity  

INHF is committed to ensuring that its policies, practices, and systems are free of barriers, emphasize the value of diversity, and promote full participation to ensure dignity, respect, and equal access for all. Diversity has many dimensions, including race, gender, physical ability, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, educational access, age, geographic location, work experience, family status, socio-economic class, and diversity of political thought. Our goal is to recognize and welcome the varied experiences and ideas that each individual brings for the good of the organization and all of the communities that Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation serves. INHF values an inclusive culture that connects each employee, volunteer, supporter and advocate to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential. 

INHF history

INHF was founded in 1979, in part because important and threatened natural lands were being offered for sale and the Iowa DNR and county conservation boards (CCBs), who protect recreational land and nature preserves across the state, could not act quickly enough to purchase and protect them. It was painful to watch the loss of woodlands, prairies, wetlands and wildlife — especially those adjacent to treasured public parks and wildlife areas.

INHF quickly began working with private landowners statewide who wanted to sell or donate their land for conservation, and protected those places until the DNR or CCBs could secure funding to buy the land. Many of these lands become open to the public. This niche has remained at the heart of INHF’s work since the beginning.

Over the last four decades, Iowans began to work through INHF in other ways, too. Volunteers, donors and partners began to restore as well as protect Iowa’s natural places. Volunteers donate thousands of hours a year to helping Iowa’s prairies, trails and rivers. Donors are fostering the next generation of Iowa conservation leaders with an endowed internship program that serves 20 college students a year. And INHF works every day with legislators to encourage strong and permanent funding to support conservation throughout the state.

INHF is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit.

Learn more about the work we do across Iowa.