Continuing Connectivity in the Loess Hills

The initial phase of the Loess Hills Connectivity grant resulted in multiple concrete initiatives (The LoHi Trek, Larksong Writers Place workshop focused on the Loess Hills, raffle prize to encourage use of the Wildlife Crossing Scorecard, among others) but also a treasury of gathered information, multiple new groups formed, and increased conversations about cores, corridors and crossings.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation wants Kelly to continue on her trajectory of being an active contributor and collaborator with the community of conservation organizations and concerned citizens who live in and love the Loess Hills. The next phase of her grant will enable further exploration and development of pathways to a more resilient, more biologically diverse and beautiful watershed through the further building of coalitions, development of advocates, and the continued promotion of on-ramps that make it easy to enter the community of Loess Hills conservation. Our further support helps to widen the reach of a valued and respected voice in the region.

Specific undertakings will include but are not limited to offering an advanced workshop for the writers who attended the Loess Hills Place-Based Writing Workshop; designing appropriate lesson plans for integrated education along the trail during organized hikes; supporting local residents with education about environmentally-sensitive economic opportunities; and assisting other grantees by offering a depth of knowledge of the area and local contacts. Also, it contributes to the development of workshops that utilize the Loess Hills and their inhabitants as inspiration for writing and art that is deeply connected to the natural world.

The Loess Hills is a significant landform in the Mississippi River watershed. It is a rare place of wildness in the Midwest and is of significance, both environmental and cultural. Kelly’s aptitude for encouraging and educating other people about the value of protecting the Loess Hills as a wildlife corridor, as a rare geologic landform, as a home for specialized species of plants and animals, as a place of natural beauty, and as a treasured legacy to the families that reside there, is a gift. A continuation of her work adds value to the conversation and the community.

Grant request: $5000
Timeline: 2nd quarter of 2021
Submitted by: Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

This is our first BeWildReWild Grant to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. It will encourage Kelly Madigan to continue her Loess Hills work in ways consistent with the INHF Mission. Furthermore, it is in keeping with BeWildReWild’s interest in funding only grant proposals from established non-profits.

Roger Ross Gipple