More than 3,600 acres of Iowa land with an estimated value of $6 million was permanently protected through many donations for conservation. The donors associated with the 23 donations of land or land value will be recognized during ceremony at the State Capitol.
Del and Carolyn Fure of Decorah donated a 2-acre tract in Winneshiek County to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The property, east of Decorah, consists of 320 feet of frontage along the Upper Iowa River, providing an excellent public fishing access.
Ingrid Neste, Mary Neste, and Joseph and Michelle Stefanick donated a portion of the value of 240 acres of their family farm near Decorah, through a bargain sale to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. The property includes Dry Run Creek, woodlands, hay fields and tree plantings. One mile of abandoned railroad corridor bisects the woodland that will become a trail developed by the Winneshiek County Conservation Board to connect Prairie Farmer Trail and Trout Run Trail. The property will be one of the most scenic segments along the proposed trail.
The ceremony is scheduled Monday, April 1, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., in Supreme Court Room 103, at the State Capitol, in Des Moines.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to attend.
Landowners who are in attendance will be honored individually for their donation.
The first Monday in April is designated as the Gift to Iowa's Future Recognition Day to recognize, celebrate and honor individuals and corporations who have donated land or a conservation easement to benefit Iowa's parks, trails, fish and wildlife habitat, natural areas, open spaces and public recreation areas for other public uses and benefits.