A Dream Realized

Posted on September 23, 2020 in Blog

Living Lands Fellowship 2020

From left to right: 2020 Living Lands Fellow Joe Frieden, FCCB Director Rod Marlatt, Kathy Steege and INHF President Joe McGovern.

The Living Lands Fellowship was established at Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) by Maynard residents Jon and Kathy Steege to create an opportunity for recent college graduates to engage in stewardship work while searching for a permanent position in the conservation or natural resource management field.

Jon Steege
Jon Steege

Jon, who was the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Manager for Fayette County for 25 years, was particularly passionate about creating opportunities for the next generation of professional conservationists. When Jon passed away in 2017, the Living Lands Fellowship framework was in place.

This fall, Joe Frieden, a Waukon native, former INHF land stewardship intern and a recent graduate of Upper Iowa University completed his tenure as the inaugural Living Lands Fellowship fellow.

During his fellowship, Frieden helped INHF and the Fayette County Conservation Board (FCCB) steward public and private lands in northeast Iowa.

“So many of our natural areas have been altered and neglected. There is a great need for land management work. I’m thankful to the fellowship for the opportunity and look forward to continuing to do my part,” Frieden said. He will soon start a new positions as a Pheasant Forever Farm Bill Biologist based out of the Adair Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

“This was Jon’s dream and we are excited it finally came to fruition,” Kathy said.

The 2020 fellowship was made possible through a joint partnership between INHF, FCCB, Fayette County Pheasants Forever, the Steeges and other anonymous private donors. Contact Donor Relations Director Abby Hade Terpstra at aterpstra@inhf.org to discuss contributing to the fund or how you’d like to leave a legacy through INHF.