Conservation Connection

How to Plant a Prairie Strip: One Landowner’s Journey

How to Plant a Prairie Strip: One Landowner’s Journey

“Prairie strips [are] one of the best ways farmers can get into conservation practices and habitat building” David Stein said when I asked him about this project, “You’re taking unproductive land out of intensive use and replacing it with a small area that provides amazing benefits for the farm and surrounding environment.” For Chuck, some of those benefits include a reduction in run-off and erosion, increased water infiltration, and of course the perennial beauty of native prairie and pollinators where there was once just grass.

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Which Insects are “Home for Christmas”?

Which Insects are “Home for Christmas”?

Insects are conspicuous by their absence during Iowa’s winter months. Absent are the beauty of butterflies, and we would be shocked to hear a bee buzzing around our snowy apartment balcony on Christmas Eve. So where did they all go? Did they perish from freezing temperatures? Have they all migrated south with the eastern Monarch populations?
Here in Iowa, we have many insects that use truly astonishing techniques to stay here throughout the winter, braving the cold with the rest of us. From smart hiding places and suspended animation to making their own antifreeze, Iowa’s insects have developed some pretty wild adaptations to weather the winter!

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Ames Pollinator-Friendly Practices Pilot Project Completed

Ames Pollinator-Friendly Practices Pilot Project Completed

How can homeowners in Ames be encouraged to increase their pollinator friendly practices in their yards? That was the question addressed by former Prairie Rivers of Iowa (PRI) Lincoln Highway National Heritage Byway Coordinator Shellie Orngard in a recently completed pilot project using Community Based Social Marketing strategies.

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A Full Plate: Little Things Deserve Our Thanks

A Full Plate: Little Things Deserve Our Thanks

As E. O. Wilson accurately put it, insects are the “little things that run the world”, and that includes pollinators. They are not only the key to the survival of nearly 90% of flowering plant species; they are also a major food source for other animals, and benefit about 35% of our world’s food crops.

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The Real Meaning of WOTUS

The Real Meaning of WOTUS

This election season, remember the true meaning of WOTUS: development and flash flooding. Reflections on the Iowa Water Conference and a Supreme Court case.

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Autumn’s Spooky Species: How to Appreciate Misunderstood Wildlife this Season

Autumn’s Spooky Species: How to Appreciate Misunderstood Wildlife this Season

The crisp October air brings the excitement of changing leaves and a changing season. While making yards and gardens cozy for wildlife over winter is a common discussion this time of year, we are focusing on what kinds of important wildlife you may start seeing this month! With Halloween around the corner, now is the perfect time to better understand some of the spooky (or maybe not-so-spooky-after-all) animals that you may see in autumn!

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