Highlights from 2021: A Year of Conservation

We accomplished a lot this year. Here's a look back at some of the highlights.

1. New property

We’ve added Oak Crest Hill to our roster

This 13-acre property sits on the southern edge of Iowa City and was once home to an oak savanna, a now endangered ecosystem in the Midwest. There’s a lot of work to be done at Oak Crest Hill, and we can’t wait to share updates with you in 2022.

2. New programs

Teaching skills, getting outside, having fun

With Chainsaw Academy we taught adults how to use chainsaws and stay safe doing it. This course was a big success and classes will be available in the new year. Our other new programs include Pollinator Week and Creek Camp.

3. Disaster response

Helping communities in need

The derecho hit in 2020, but clean-up continued into this year. We were able to assist groups including the Meskwaki Nation and Indian Creek Nature Center clear fallen trees and other debris. Most recently, some of our staff and AmeriCorps members deployed to Kentucky with Team Rubicon to cut up trees after a devastating tornado ripped through the state earlier this month.

4. AmeriCorps service

New members, returning faces, critical service

Our AmeriCorps teams serve to restore the lands we protect. Collectively, our members put in more than 15,000 hours cutting, removing, pulling and treating to improve habitat for wildlife and the natural spaces we all value.

5. Supporting species

Bringing back fruit and butterflies

More than 75 pawpaw fosters helped us grow the next generation of pawpaw trees for our upcoming grove at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. Through their support we raised approximately 600 seedlings that we will plant in 2022 to help feed the rare zebra swallowtail butterfly.

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