Legacy Gifts

Legacy Gifts

Creating a natural legacy through INHF

Do you care a lot about nature, Iowa and the future? Do you want to figure out how to make “the gift of a lifetime” that’s especially lasting or heartfelt? We want to help you make that happen!

INHF is in a unique position to help Iowans craft gifts that are especially meaningful to them! Because we work statewide in so many ways with such diverse partners, we’ve been able to help many donors turn their visions for Iowa nature into reality

Below are the stories of a few of our inspiring donors whose natural legacies are diverse and powerful!

Legacy stories

Creating a new wetland

Jim and Pat Dinsmore pledged a major, multi-year gift — asking if INHF could use it to restore a “Dinsmore wetland.” Today, the James and Patricia Dinsmore Tract at Big Wall Lake Wildlife Management Area in Wright County is being restored as a home to waterfowl and wetland creatures. Watching the restoration unfold will bring a special joy to this former wildlife professor and his wife. Read their story here

Family land

The 192 acres of cropland near Newton that Bobbie Lanz inherited has become her conservation legacy. She entrusted this land by bequest to INHF without expressing any wishes or restrictions. We named it Lanz Heritage Area, and our young tenant farmer helped restore native grasses on fragile areas and sustainably farms the rest. Income from the land supports our mission. Read of their generous gift here

Prairie forever

Several native prairies have been saved, thanks to Sandy Rhodes. His bequest created the Richard S. (Sandy) Rhodes II Fund at INHF to support Indiangrass Hills plus, in Sandy’s words, “similar prairie restoration and protection projects as the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation may undertake." So far, this legacy gift has helped INHF permanently protect several precious native prairies and provides prairie stewardship experiences to three college students annually: our Sandy Rhodes Interns. 

For wildlife all over Iowa

John S. Lowenberg had an eye for the Iowa landscape and knowledge of nature that ran the gamut. John asked INHF to create permanent wildlife habitats with his bequest. We strategically direct portions of the John S. Lowenberg Fund to land protection projects that need substantial private support to succeed. Sometimes Lowenberg funds match the gifts of other donors. So far, this legacy has helped protect 532 acres of wetland, grassland, native prairie, woodland, creeks and ponds — even a John S. Lowenberg Forest! 

Lake lovers’ legacy

Natalie and Bill Brenton and their family made their “home away from home” at Big Spirit Lake for decades. Their devotion to the Iowa Great Lakes sparked a combination of legacy gifts to keep this watershed and lake system healthy. With Bill’s passing, the family suggested gifts in his memory be sent to INHF for lake protection. They made the same suggestion at Natalie’s passing, and Natalie’s bequest to INHF increased the fund. Their family continues to give in their memory for the place that brought them so much natural joy.

Perpetual membership

What do Bill Quarton, Liz Barry, Harry Jensen, Bob Meier and Jack Milroy have in common? Each of them were loyal INHF members over many years and wanted to continue their support beyond their lifetimes. Their bequests to the INHF Endowment now provide annually what their membership used to. We treasure having them with us in spirit, year after year.

New opportunities for nature lovers

In a reflection of Geitel Winakor’s innovative and creative personality, we used a portion of her unrestricted bequest to spark a new program at INHF. Our members were asking for ways to do more, and we wanted to welcome new people eager to give time and talent to conservation. Lack of a volunteer coordinator was holding us back. Now, thanks to Geitel, we have a volunteer program that helps new volunteers find their niche and organizes events where volunteers can help care for land. Learn how to volunteer with INHF.