Remembering INHF board member Woody Brenton

By Joe Jayjack on March 17, 2021 in Blog

Woody BrentonLongtime Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation board member Woodward "Woody" Brenton passed away earlier this month at the age of 70. The INHF community is going to miss Woody's enthusiasm, good humor and passion for conservation, and we're grateful for the legacy of his good work.

Woody was raised in central Iowa, and he lived and worked in many places before returning home in 1982 to work for Brenton Banks as a fifth generation Iowa banker. He was a voracious reader and an active outdoorsmen, and Woody carried on the Brenton family's tradition of philanthropy and community involvement. Woody was elected to INHF's volunteer board of directors in 1995 and served in the role for more than 25 years. 

During Woody's time on the board, INHF protected more than 100,000 acres across Iowa and completed hundreds of projects. Woody was an enthusiastic supporter of many of INHF's milestone projects, including Angler's Bay on Big Spirit Lake, the High Trestle Trail and the establishment of the Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship, which was created to help launch the careers of future conservation leaders. He lent his expertise to INHF while serving on the Finance, Investments and Program committees. 

"We are grateful for Woody's years of service. He was keenly interested and attentive to our work, stability and accomplishments," said INHF President Joe McGovern. "Woody continued a tradition of conservation in the Brenton family. Iowa is a better place and INHF is stronger organization because the dedication of Woody and the Brenton family." 

Woody's father William "Bill" Brenton was a founding board member of INHF in 1979. INHF holds an endowment fund, the William & Natalie Brenton Iowa Great Lakes Land Protection Fund, established in honor of Woody's parents and their connection to the lakes.

Woody contributed to the fund on an annual basis and was happy to know it was aiding in protection of land, water and wildlife near their family home on Spirit Lake. Memorials directed to INHF in Woody's honor are being added to the fund.