Clover Lawns: Is the Trend Lucky for Pollinators?
The idea of creating a pollinator-friendly yard is finally taking root, and the idea of a perfect lawn, along with its expense, is being weeded out. Clover lawns are one of the latest trends yard-owners are trying out in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. This new kind of lawn is often touted to support pollinators, require less maintenance, and lower pollution. But do they live up to the hype?
The Love Lives of Moths: Competition in the Air
Forget about buying roses – in the great words of Shania Twain, “that don’t impress me much”. To impress me, you’d have to match the energy of male moths. Instead of dropping cash on last-minute flowers, male moths might fly miles for a first date, dodge dangerous predators, and out-compete other males, all while most humans are fast asleep.
An Impressive 2022 Stream Monitoring Season
Last year, Story County’s volunteer stream monitoring program really took off! Check out the metrics: more people, monitoring more streams, more consistently.
Clean Water Act: 50 years, 50 facts
“The Clean Water Act: 50 Years, 50 Facts” will be a weekly series of short videos for Instagram and YouTube, focused on rivers and lakes in Iowa.
You can lead a horse to water…
Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and a messy case study from the Cedar River.
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.
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!
TMI stands for “Watershed Plan”
The new watershed plan for the Headwaters of the South Skunk River is hard to digest, but provides a strong foundation for action.
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.