Water that flows into Big Spirit Lake is just beginning a long journey through the Iowa Great Lakes system. As Iowa's largest natural lake, Big Spirit Lake is more than 5,500 acres and is a part of 34,000 acre watershed. What happens at Wallace and Bowers affects many waters that Iowans love. This project protects source water (drinking water in it's natural environment), improves water quality in the Iowa Great Lakes, increases wildlife habitat and has the potential to expand recreation opportunities.
Wallace & Bowers is in a prominent location on the northeast shore of Big Spirit Lake, tucked between the Minnesota border and the Shore Acres neighborhood. The property is also surrounded by public areas, with Trickle Slough Wildlife Management Area to the east and McClelland Beach and MiniWakan State Park to the west.
More progress nearby
INHF is also protecting and restoring 48 acres just west of the Wallace & Bowers Nature Area. See the North Shore Project for details.
Management and Restoration:
Wallace & Bowers Nature Area will be owned long-term and restored by INHF. Initial restoration began in the fall of 2018 and focuses on reducing water flow, soil loss and nutrient runoff into Big Spirit Lake. A diverse native prairie buffer is sprouting along the southern border of the property. Alfalfa buffers help with soil health and water absorption. Cover crops were planted across the entire no-till managed crop grounds. Wetland restoration began in 2020 in the northwest corner of the property, where flooding is an ongoing issue.