Our Journey to the Wild Side

Trusting Wildness

Trusting Wildness Calendar 1995

Trusting Wildness

The great hope of all life is for wildness –
a self-reliant and spontaneous state free from enslavement and degradation.

Great hope

Trusting wildness allows plants, animals, ecosystems, and humans
to reach their highest potential.


Trusting wildness means choosing not to control resources
in ways that limit another’s ability to achieve independence.


Trusting wildness permits humans and non-humans alike
to live naturally and develop instinctively.


Trusting wildness frees both the enslaved
and the enslaver.


Trusting wildness conveys respect for
the struggle of all beings
to transcend themselves.


INHF Agrestal 2004-2007

event series


Now in its third year, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s Agrestal Fund is kicking off 2006 by sponsoring a series of events and projects entitled “Wild Iowa Discovery.” The series is designed to stimulate public thought and discussion about the meaning and significance of wildness in Iowa, a concept often lost in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.

The Agrestal Fund, which is managed by INHF, was originally established in 2004 by Roger Ross Gipple. The Fund’s mission is to encourage public thought, discussion and expression around the multi-faceted subject of wildness.

“Wild Iowa Discovery” offers a number of creative programs, including five public seminars, three essay projects, and more.

Artist Daniel Dancer spends week-long residency at Capitol View Elementary School in Des Moines, culminating in an aerial photo of 800 students/staff forming a cougar shape on East High's athletic field

Download the informational pamphlet and PowerPoint presentation

Wildlands Network Courtship 2017-2018

Wildlands Network

The Wildlands Network is a longtime mentor. So far, they have not become a partner in rewilding the corn belt.

by Greg Costello

When I think of wildness, wild places, and wild things, the first images that come to mind are craggy peaks, vast forests, dark jungles, and large, charismatic creatures often imagined but seldom seen. I don’t think of Iowa.

by Paula MacKay

In a previous post, Greg Costello made the case for bringing Wildlands Network to Iowa to help inspire further conversation about rewilding in a region ripe with opportunity and need. In recognition of this important work, we’re republishing an essay originally crafted by Iowan MJ Hatfield in 2006....

by Rebecca Hunter

Our plane dipped beneath the clouds as we dropped into Des Moines, the gold-and-emerald patchwork beneath us knit together like a two-toned tetris grid. The squares were confined by straight-line roads on right angle edges, as if they were pencil marks drawn with an engineer’s ruler. Houses dotted...


June 2018–Present

Social Networking

The Re-Wilding Iowa and Beyond Group Facebook Page

The Re-Wilding Iowa and Beyond Group Facebook page was established June 15, 2018 as a place to dream, create, strategize, and celebrate the wild. More than 300 people joined during the first 12 months to participate in the ongoing discussion about how to rewild our damaged, sacred place.

Community Art Gathering

These artists have received Community Art Gathering Grants from the BeWildReWild Fund at Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF). 


Website and logo development for BeWildReWild and BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY.

Produced by Sydney Pursel. Focus on the benefits of TRUSTING WILDNESS. Two large paintings illustrating BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY. Ready for display in September 2019.

5-10 minute film produced by Dick DeAngelis. Focuses on Jefferson County citizen’s relationship to the concept of Wild. Expected release in November 2019.

Produced by Autumn Rozario Hall. Resulting in the production of paintings and art showing Connectivity to Iowa Lands, a seed starting and planting workshop, and an artist talk. Will be completed by Summer 2020.

Artwork produced by Lance Foster, Reuben Ironhorse-Kent, Kayla 'WhiteKnife' Kent, Sydney Pursel and Philip Pursel. To be displayed at Effigy Mounds National Monument visitor’s center August 31-October 31, 2019.

Produced by Nitin Gadia. Resulting in a large vision map of the entire Mississippi River Watershed, a Midwest map connecting the Driftless, the Ozarks, and the Loess Hills, plus a third map connecting the Ozarks with South Central Iowa via the Chariton and Missouri Rivers. Will be completed by November 2019.

Developed by Mary Young Bear. Workshops on basket making, twined bags, cattail mats, bone dice and wooden bowl/spoon carving. Held at the powwow grounds September 21-22, 2019.

Coordinated by Leland Searles. Theme of Cores – Corridors – Communities. Resulting in computerized mapping of the Iowa River Corridor. Ready to display in September 2019.

Developed by Mark Edwards and Ursula Ruedenberg. Three, hour-long programs covering the themes of BeWildReWild. To be aired over three months in 2019.

Produced by Courtney Chandrea. Resulting in an illustrated ebook guide about exploring, understanding, and TRUSTING WILDNESS. Illustrated by Erica Wilson. Ready in February 2020.