Volume 10, May-June 2018
Grassroots Connection
Welcome! Iowa Heartland RC&D is excited to bring to you our new and informative monthly e-Newsletter, Grassroots Connection , for important and engaging events you will not want to miss. We will feature programs and projects of interest in your area and Central Iowa including snapshots of articles about people making a positive impact. We'll keep you informed so you can stay connected!
Mother's Day, May 13!
Mother's Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate this special day with mom than to enjoy one of the many outdoor scenic and recreational trails, public parks, rivers, woods, gardens and timber areas in our beautiful central Iowa region. For a full listing and guide visit: WWW.IOWADNR.GOV and other county and state listing agents and websites.
Blog from Ann's Farm
I'm a vegetable garden novice. However, this was the year I decided to plant one at my farm in eastern Iowa. I've never done this before, so every bit of the garden planning including exact location, tilling fresh ground, fencing material and vegetables to actually plant were all new to me. I did do my research and homework through the Internet to learn about what not to do and what to expect in a first-ever vegetable garden which was really helpful.

One of the many challenges I face is living in Des Moines and having a vegetable garden over 3 hours away, which I can only monitor on average every other weekend! The distance is one factor in trying to have a successful vegetable garden experience, others include making sure the fence material used was almost indestructible with fortress like construction to keep out all sorts of wild and domesticated critters who notoriously live near and on the farm!

All the vegetables that I like are now planted in my 16'x32' garden. There's still more work to be done this weekend when I'm there but I'm excited to see just what, if anything, is starting to grow. It's also the start of morel mushroom hunting so I'll be busy with farm chores and some fun too. Keep y'all posted on vegetable garden results and more in our next enewsletter. Happy growing!

County-wide Trail Plan In The Works
Iowa Heartland RC&D received two grants from the National Park Service in October of 2014, as well as approval to extend the projects for 2015, 2016 and 2017. The purpose of these grants is to develop trail master plans for Jasper, Madison, Marion and Warren counties, with the end goal of linking to the Central Iowa Trail Network.

Trail and greenways tend to compete better in tight economies.

TOURISM -creates economic impacts
TRANSPORTATION- 2/3 of all trips are for 5 miles or less.

IMPROVING HEALTH THROUGH ACTIVE LIVING- In short, trail networks create better opportunities for active lifestyles.

Water shed protection
Natural buffer zone
Educational opportunity
Reduce air pollution with safe alternatives

Protects natural flood plains along rivers and streams. Areas can be restored to their natural state. ENHANCING CULTURAL AWARENESS AND COMMUNITY IDENTITY.
Visit our website for a full report. 
  Water, Soil Quality, Regenerative Agriculture and Health- Its Everyone's Business

There has been a lot of discussion recently in the media about Iowa's water, soil quality, rural and urban health, Regenerative Agriculture and environmental sustainability. You can learn more about these important discussion topics, viewpoints and more by visiting the following short list of websites:

For more Arts and Culture activities visit:
Here's More Exciting News from IHRC&D
Over the past winter months, Iowa Heartland RC&D has been busy reaching out to communities, organizations, educational institutions and businesses to learn more about programs and collaborative partnership opportunities that would benefit our area and fulfill our mission and goals to the communities and families we serve.

This year Iowa Heartland RC&D will be celebrating 25 years of service to our six county Central Iowa region. Watch for upcoming activities on our website and in our monthly e-Newsletter to support and participate in this organizational milestone!

Currently, we are collaborating with IDALS (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship) and their Iowa Farm to School program. This program celebrates Iowa's local foods in schools aiding food service directors in making local procurement, engage more growers in growing and selling produce to schools, expanding Farm to School activities as well as to help growers ramp up sales by working with Summer Food Service programs. For more information on any of these areas please contact or go to; tammy.stotts@iowaagriculture.gov  ann.wolf@IHRCD.ORG

We are excited to announce we have received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for their 2018 ArtsLab project. This is a a peer learning program designed to ensure cultural leaders in Iowa have the skills, ideas, and mindsets of adaptability and resilience needed to thrive in a world of continuous change.

IHRC&D is participating in this year's Iowa Healthiest State Initiative's 2018 Walking College. http://@iowahealthieststate.com

Organizations and projects in our Central Iowa area worth knowing about include:       

We are proud to say that Iowa Heartland RC&D has been instrumental over the years in helping to connect, promote and expand our wonderful scenic trail system. Connecting communities and people, expanding awareness for good local foods and markets, growing natural heritage appreciation, expanding arts and culture events are just a few key ways our central Iowa trails and waterways bring us all together expanding awareness and appreciation for the great outdoors!

Here is a list of websites to check out for your outdoor activity trail and water fun schedule: www.centraliowatrails.com

Join Our Vision!
Iowa Heartland RC&D is excited to inform our readership about new programs and projects we are currently involved in for planning and implementation. This includes breaking new ground, so to speak, in areas of rural health and vitality, community enhancement, economic development and the resurgence of pre-existing, trail blazing programs.

If you would like to join our vision and bring your own ideas to our table, we would like to hear from you. We have opportunities on our Board of Directors, committee assignments, volunteering with event planning and project development. We can not do it without your help!

Be sure to visit websites in our six county region directly for more calendar events and programs. that you might want to get involved with. Please see the list below for direct website information.

Education, Learning, Events & More!
The following is a list of professional activities, events, education and learning opportunities supportive of the nonprofit, community outreach and learning sectors.

Ongoing events:
Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation-school  & classroom programs
Iowa Arts Council-Department of Cultural Affairs
Lunch and Learn series, University of Iowa
Support Iowa Heartland RC&D with your gift today!
Visit http://smile.amazon.com for more donation opportunities.  You shop and Amazon gives! Make a lasting gift to support your passion and what is important to you through IHRCD. With your gift we can help make what you care about a reality for future generations and support new and exciting programs that fit our Mission and goals. Visit our donation page on our website for more gift giving details and options. IHRCD.ORG.
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa", from Field of Dreams. Consider being a part of Iowa Heartland RC&D by joining our Board, committees or volunteering on many of our Central Iowa projects! For more details on how you can make a difference contact Ann Wolf ann.wolf@IHRCD.ORG 
Iowa Heartland Resource Conservation & Development | 515-321-9070 | ihrcd@ihrcd.org| ihrcd.org