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2021 Projects

image of pawpaw fruit on tree branch

Foster a Pawpaw Project

May – October 2021

The pawpaw, once an abundant fruit, tree in Iowa is now on the list of species of special concern. It is also the sole food source for the threatened zebra swallowtail butterflies. By planting pawpaws, we are nurturing two species back to health.

Details: We are planting 800 trees to help the swallowtail butterflies thrive. The potted pawpaws will be fostered by registered participants from May to October. Fosters will house, water, and provide a balance of sun and shade in an outdoor space.  In October, foster pawpaw parents will bring back the plants to Bur Oak Land Trust for planting on the properties and will be invited next spring to join in on the planting!

For more information or to register to become a pawpaw foster:

image of young woman using a chainsaw to cut branches

Chainsaw Academy - Back by popular demand!

May through July 2021

The Bur Oak Land Trust Chainsaw Academy is an educational series to teach safety and competency skills for personal chainsaw use. 

Details: We are offering an all-women, co-ed, and advanced cohort taught by our sawyer certified land stewards. Chainsaws are useful for everything from storm clean up, pruning jobs, and cutting firewood. Participants will learn how to select a chainsaw for their needs, equipment maintenance, proper cutting techniques, and most importantly personal protection. Be prepared for the next storm and be empowered to tackle land work on your property.

For more information or to register to become a participant:
image of a Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, sitting on a flower

Pollinator Week - Save the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

June 21-27, 2021

The rusty patched bumble bee is the first nationally endangered bumble bee. The great news is that they are on at least five of Bur Oak Land Trust’s protected properties! Now you can help us protect their habitat by learning to identify them.

Details: We’re celebrating the rusty from 6-9 p.m. Monday, June 21 at Big Grove Iowa City! Come have dinner, watch a screening of “A Ghost in the Making” — a documentary about this endangered bee — listen to a reading of children’s book “Begin with a Bee,” and pick up your own signed copy. This event is free, but registration is required. 

Knowing where the rusty patched bumble bee populations are is critical to their survival. Through an online class, we will teach you to identify and upload key photos to the community science program Bumblebeewatch.org. Then Saturday, June 26, we’ll guide you through Turkey Creek Nature Preserve to put your ID skills to the test! This information is used by federal agencies to identify future areas to protect. This event is free, but registration is required.

Special thank you to Grout Electric for sponsoring this project!

For more information or to register:

image of a trail path through nature

Blazing Trails

May – Fall 2021

Turkey Creek Preserve, a favorite property among kids, dogs, and hikers is getting an upgrade.

Thanks to our sponsors, we are constructing new trails on the eastern side of the creek to provide even more recreational and educational fun! Trail construction makes nature more accessible and enjoyable. Our stewardship crew is utilizing a route that is nature-friendly and welcoming.

Check back for information on our first day of fall hike!

To support more trails, donate here:

Thank You!

Thank you to our sponsors for making our projects possible. From protecting endangered species to blazing new trails, our Charitable Business Members are giving back and making a difference.

For questions about sponsoring a project please email rachel@buroaklandtrust.org.

Martin Construction
Davisson & Son Millwork
Total Tree Care of Iowa
Iowa City Landscaping & Garden Center - The Nature of Excellence
MidWest One Bank
Green State Credit Union
Amperage Marketing & Fundraising
Hills Bank
Grout Electric