INHF's plan to help slow the spread of COVID-19

By Joe McGovern on March 17, 2020 in Blog

Friends of INHF,

During the past few weeks INHF staff has closely monitored the situation around COVID-19. Our team has followed official guidelines and taken an active role in making sure our staff, supporters, volunteers, landowners and partners are protected. The need for immediate action through social distancing, rescheduling of events and limited travel are all part of our plan to keep ourselves and our neighbors around the state healthy.

Staff and office operations

Public health officials have urged the practice of social distancing in order to prevent the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. INHF staff is working remotely until further notice, and we will be limiting non-essential in-person meetings. We will continue to receive mail and execute day-to-day operations as necessary. If you need to reach a staff person, we encourage you to reach out by email or phone. Staff will continue to be available to meet with landowners as long as those meetings are outdoors and adhere to CDC-recommended protocols that keep them and the larger community safe, including cancelling the visit if staff or the landowner feel sick.

At INHF, we are fortunate that much of our work can continue with just a few modifications to our normal practices. Staff have been provided the tools and technology needed to continue their high-quality work. 


All INHF events through at least April 15 have been cancelled or postponed, including the State Park Centennial volunteer events at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, Volga River State Recreation Area and Big Creek State Park. Gift to Iowa's Future Day at the State Capitol on March 25 has been cancelled, and the landowners that were to be honored at the event will be recognized at next year's ceremony. We are disappointed, but know it is the right decision, and we are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding.

Protecting Iowa's land, water and wildlife

In each of these precautionary steps, we strive to continue to uphold our mission and quality of work. We will continue to be a support system for those making decisions about how to best protect and care for Iowa's land. Our stewardship team has been busy conducting prescribed burns this spring as well as caring for our wild places all across Iowa. Our communications team will continue to keep you updated and informed about Iowa conservation, and offer ways that you can enjoy nature. As always, our donor relations team is available to talk with you about ways to support INHF's mission. We will continue to take caution as we carry out our work.

What you can do

You can continue to stay up to date with INHF via social media, our website and our blog posts. We ask that you continue to care for yourself and those around you. Remember that during times of social isolation, trails, parks and public lands are still available to you. Getting outdoors can be a great way to find some joy and relief during uncertain times. Take caution with others who may be out, but enjoy the great outdoors!

This is an unprecedented situation and we don’t have all the answers. We will continue to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health and to be as transparent as possible as we navigate the weeks ahead. Please continue to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

Joe McGovern

Yours in conservation,
Joe McGovern
President, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation