Catch a Glimpse of Brenton Slough
Following the announcement earlier this summer that INHF would purchase the 1,113-acre Brenton Slough near Grimes, many have commented that it’s a spot they’ve wanted to explore for years. Its value to plant and animal communities, ecosystem health and human wellbeing has long been apparent to the Brenton family, those they invited to visit, the droves of wildlife watchers passing by and conservation professionals who hoped it would someday be permanently protected.
“The fact that this is still here in Polk and Dallas counties, that the Brentons had stewarded it for so many years, and now it’s going to enter a new phase of public ownership and public use and that’s what the family wants… I think people are going to really be grateful that we took the opportunity to protect this while we had the chance,” said Joe McGovern, President of INHF.
“This is very close to Grimes on south, Granger on the north and Johnston on the east, and all those communities are growing. One of the mantras we’ve had is if you don’t do it now, it’s not going to get done,” said Rich Leopold, Director of Polk County Conservation. “We’re doing it, right now — providing green space for all of these communities to enjoy for the future.”
With fundraising efforts in full swing, the vision of Brenton Slough being protected and open to the public as a park managed by Polk County Conservation is on its way to becoming a reality. Existing funding from Polk County and a lead gift from Kenneth Rutledge Brenton and family mean we’re already halfway to our fundraising goal of $8 million, but it will take the support of many to get across the finish line.
“We’re going to need a lot of people’s help. It’s something that can only happen when all groups come together,” said McGovern.
Hear more from the Brenton family, INHF and Polk County Conservation about the decision to protect this place and why your help is needed:
Though the property remains closed while funds are raised to transfer it to Polk County Conservation, there are many opportunities to get a sneak peek of Brenton Slough this fall.
- Birding Field Trip with Des Moines Audobon, Saturday, Sept. 9, 8 a.m.
- Photography Clinics:
- Friday, Sept. 15, 7 a.m. with Ty Smedes
- Monday, Oct. 9, 7:30 a.m. with Marlen Kemmet
- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7:30 a.m. with Marlen Kemmet
- Saturday, Oct. 14, 7:30 a.m. with Ty Smedes
- Thursday, Oct. 19, 7:30 a.m. with Ty Smedes
- Plein Air Workshop, Saturday, Sept. 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- Fall Family Fun at Brenton Slough, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-4 p.m.
Registration details and more event information will be released in the coming days. For the latest updates, visit our events page. Any event fees go directly towards the protection of Brenton Slough. You can also make a contribution here.
“The sooner we reach our fundraising goal, the sooner Brenton Slough can be open to the public — to you,” said Stacie Couvillon, INHF’s Planned Giving and Major Gifts Officer.