Two new nature areas for Story County

By Kerri on March 11, 2016 in Blog


We recently announced the opportunity to create two new nature areas in Story County. A public presentation on March 22 by INHF President Joe McGovern introduced the public to efforts to establish the new Gray Ghost Prairie and the Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area.

“While the majority of the funding for both these new areas is expected to come from competitive public grants, private contributions will also be needed for both projects,” said McGovern.

Gray Ghost Prairie
Gray Ghost Prairie, 49 acres located north of Nevada, will protect patches of remnant native prairie and an oxbow of West Indian Creek. Story County resident and passionate conservationist Lorna Sellberg worked closely with INHF to see the protection of this property come to fruition. Lorna donated half of the land's value to ensure permanent protection and future public ownership. Future restoration activities will continue to build off past care and attention that Lorna so willingly gave to the property.

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Jordan Family Wildlife Area
The Ronald “Dick” Jordan Family Wildlife Area will be a large natural area along the South Skunk River just one mile south of the Ames city limits. The area includes 51 acres of floodplain oak savanna. The Cylindrical Papershell mussel, an Iowa threatened species, has been found in the river nearby. The Baldus Family, longtime Story County residents and outdoor enthusiasts, worked with SCC and INHF to ensure the protection of this property. The family donated a portion of the land's value to make sure the land would be permanently protected and in public ownership. The original channel of the South Skunk River, prior to dredging, runs through the center of the property, and offers a glimpse into Story County's past.

Learn more about this project.

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“These two areas offer exciting opportunities for prairie and riparian habitat restoration,” said Mike Cox, Story County Conservation Director. “When funding is secured, they will provide 255 additional acres for wildlife plus two great new places for outdoor recreation in the county.”

Both properties will eventually transfer to Story County Conservation and be open to the public. Fundraising is ongoing for both projects. Donate now to help protect these areas.