Gift to Iowa's Future Day 2015: McQuillen Gift
The McQuillens (middle) pictured here with Chuck Gipp of the Iowa DNR (far left) and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Matt and Beth McQuillen donated a 139-acre conservation easement along the Maquoketa River in Delaware County to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Mature upland woodlands are interspersed with limestone outcroppings. About 30 acres of former agricultural land has been planted with native prairie species and trees. This reconstructed prairie provides habitat for grassland birds, small mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians. The protection of this land helps prevent erosion, slow runoff and improves the water quality of the Maquoketa River, which was listed as an impaired waterway in 2012 under the Federal Clean Water Act.
Gift to Iowa's Future
In 2008, Iowa legislators designated the first Monday in April as Gift to Iowa’s Future Day to celebrate and honor individuals, corporations and organizations that have helped permanently protect land for parks, trails, natural areas, fish and wildlife habitats in Iowa.
A number of this year’s honorees worked with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to help them find the right options to protect their land for conservation purposes.