Outdoors with INHF

By Melanie Louis, INHF volunteer coordinator on September 4, 2018 in Blog


A hiker takes a moment to appreciate the prairie at a guided hike hosted by INHF at Snyder Heritage Farm in Elkhart this summer. 

This summer was hot and, at times, rainy, but INHF volunteers didn’t let that stop them from getting outdoors to help harvest seed, remove invasive species and clean up waterways. From the bluffs in northeast Iowa to the creek bottoms of central Iowa, we’ve been all over the state these past few months. Here are a few of the highlights:

Heritage Valley Seed Harvest

40+ volunteers gathered to collect seven species of prairie seed along a remnant hillside on a warm July day at Heritage Valley near Waukon. By the end of the morning, there were several full bags and buckets of prairie seed that will be used to diversify the prairies on the property.

Improving Des Moines' Parks

We’re more than half way through the UpCycle series, a partnership between INHF, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Trees Forever. Together, we’re removing invasive species from Des Moines’ parks to be fed to the Blank Park Zoo animals. Don’t miss out on the last UpCycle event of the year on Thursday, September 20 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines. RSVP here.

Creek Cleanup

INHF, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Polk County Conservation, Polk County Soil and Water District, and Active Endeavors had a unique opportunity to partner with United By Blue, an organization based out of New York that focuses on helping clean the countries waterways. Thirty plus volunteers gathered for 1.5 hours on a Saturday to help clean over 1,400 lbs of trash out of the Yeader Creek watershed. Yeader Creek was negatively impacted by the summer flooding and flows directly into Easter Lake, making this project a necessary and valuable project for locals to join forces on.

Fall Forecast

Summer may be coming to an end, but the opportunities to get outdoors with INHF this fall are plentiful! Fall is the perfect time to help our land stewardship team with prairie seed harvest. These events are great for individuals and families. All are invited to come relax, lend a hand and enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the prairie. Check out the events coming up this month and next occurring all over the state. We have several new opportunities in eastern Iowa and central Iowa including Seeds and S'mores at Danamere Farms and a seed harvest at Breen Prairie Farm, as well as some of the favorites including the Moonlight Seed Harvest at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt and Seeds and Cider at Heritage Valley. Can’t wait to see you out on the prairie this fall!