In a county with less than 600 acres of public land, every acre has an impact on water quality, wildlife and the people who live there. INHF and local partners in Ida County have joined together to add another 103 acres of public land near Battle Creek, Iowa.
This project was a priority for INHF not only for the public land that it adds but because of the significant benefits to water quality and wildlife that come with it. The property is next to Crawford Creek Recreation Area which includes a 62-acre lake. The native vegetation on-site will continue to reduce runoff into the lake and support soil integrity. Permanent protection of this land will have lasting water quality benefits for Crawford Creek and those who use it for recreation.
The site currently consists of 80 acres of native tall grasses which will provide much needed habitat for wildlife in the area. Grassland birds and small mammals will find refuge, food and nesting habitat. The site also has a wooded corridor below the dam of the Crawford Creek Recreation Area.
The property was previously owned by Sue and Rich Smith. Following Rich’s passing, Sue sold the property to INHF, donating a portion of its value. INHF is currently holding the land while the Ida County Conservation Board and supporters raise the necessary funding to permanently buy the land. This purchase marks the first INHF project in Ida County. The site will be called the Rich Smith Wildlife Habitat Area once transferred to Ida County Conservation.