John S. Lowenberg Fund

Posted on July 29, 2014 in Blog


John S. Lowenberg’s roots ran deep into Iowa land. His rural childhood and his career as a farm manager and appraiser gave him an eye for the Iowa landscape and a knowledge of nature that ran the gamut, including bees, nuts, birds, mushrooms, no-till farming, reforestation and more.   

John, a long-time member of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, told the INHF staff he planned to entrust a portion of his estate to INHF to provide land for permanent wildlife habitat. Cropland near Ottumwa was part of that bequest, but he did not expect us to protect or restore that land. Rather, he expected we’d sell it to fund wildlife habitat protection elsewhere. Upon receiving the land, INHF considered its conservation needs and opportunities before deciding to sell the 42 acres with deed restrictions and adding the proceeds to the rest of John’s bequest in our John S. Lowenberg Fund.

Since John’s death in 2007, it has been INHF’s humbling privilege to strategically use his legacy for wildlife habitat projects that need substantial private support to succeed. In some cases, Lowenberg funds have spurred others to give by matching their contributions.

So far, this legacy has helped restore or protect 532 acres of wetland, grassland, native prairie, woodland, creeks and ponds. The legacy gift for the Iowa River Wildlife Area near Marshalltown was large enough to name a portion of the site the John S. Lowenberg Forest — a fitting honor for a man who loved to wander Iowa woodlands.

The John S. Lowenberg Fund also helped to protect the Jennett Heritage Area near Nevada, Hickory Ridge Wilderness Camp at Lake Red Rock, Quigley-Slattery Heritage Prairie near Winthrop and an expansion to the Clanton Creek Wildlife Area in Madison County.

Four of these sites include donor recognition signage, highlighting the John S. Lowenberg Fund and recognizing John’s generosity and foresight.