Rewilding: What is Wild in Northwest Iowa?

A Grant Proposal for $5,000 submitted to Roger Ross Gipple, BeWildReWild

David Hoferer, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Briar Cliff University, proposes working with the Northwest Iowa Sierra Group of the Sierra Club in Sioux City, IA, to organize, promote, and host a one-day event in spring 2024. We are applying for up to $5,000 to support this event and the resulting project that will be decided on at the event. The event will focus on the question “What is Wild in Northwest Iowa?” It will be marketed to specific target audiences and will be publicized in the tri-state area of Siouxland. A tentative agenda for the event may be:

Meeting space will be rented at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City


10 am          What is Wild in Northwest Iowa? begins

10-10:15 am          Welcome, summary of definitions (“wild,” “nature,” etc., as from The Practice of the Wild), and three questions from BeWildReWild)

10:15-11 am           Film(s) selected by Roger Ross Gipple

11 am-12 noon       Examples of rewilding and finding the wild in northwest Iowa (Agape Garden, prairie garden at Bridges West, prairie restoration at BCU, state of our rivers, etc.)

12 noon-12:45 pm   Break for lunch

12:45-1:30 pm         Breakout Sessions (Define what is wild in northwest Iowa, how to find it, how to reduce consumption, and how to foster more wildness)

1:30-2:30 pm           Organic Planning (What can we do to reduce consumption and create a wilder, more diverse northwest Iowa?)

2:30-3 pm                 Large Group Discussion to decide on actions to take, signing up for group action, and deciding proper assessment procedures

The purpose is to stimulate local interest in rewilding in northwest Iowa, and to create an action plan to be implemented in 2024. Prompts for potential projects will be given, such as assessing current nature reserves in the Loess Hills and potential for corridor restoration, assessing wildlife crossings over roads, creating habitat stepping stones in Sioux City for wildlife to be able to traverse the city, further assessment of water quality in our rivers and how to clean them, how to work with local landowners, etc. However, the overarching goal is for attendees to produce their own actionable ideas so that the creativity and interests of local residents are expressed. 

As participants produce their own actionable ideas, they will also be required to consider how to evaluate the effectiveness of those action ideas. During the large group discussion from 2:30-3 pm, the action that the group will commit to will be decided. Evaluation procedures for this action idea will also be finalized. The evaluation procedures may involve data collection, interviews, and/or qualitative assessment and reflection by group members. These procedures will provide the necessary data for a final assessment of the project, which could be that the action idea worked and should be implemented again, the action should be revised but contained merit, or that the action idea did not work.

Possible expenditures may include:  

  1. Marketing: Targeted audiences to include landowners, public officials, environmental group leaders, media, general public, organizations like Siouxland Professional Women, etc. Paid media/marketing: Siouxland Public Media, other radio/Spotify, television partner (KTIV or KCAU), Sioux City Journal, smaller newspapers, social media. Printing of a brochure or other informative piece for placement/distribution at places like chambers, city halls, county courthouses, libraries, and extension offices, and various events.
  2. Meeting logistics: Documentary screening fees, travel/honorarium for presenters, venue, refreshments, printed materials, etc.
  3. Expenses for subsequent public/targeted meetings/programs
  4. Purchase of materials needed to implement action items. Refreshments for volunteers.
  5. Signage for participating spaces and project partners.

Grant application is made by:
David Hoferer, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Department of Natural Sciences
Briar Cliff University
3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, IA 51104

Grant money will be coordinated by:
Christy Stinger 
Assistant Director of Development and Grants 
Briar Cliff University 
Office (712) 279-5484 
3303 Rebecca Street | Sioux City, IA 51104

Briar Cliff University EIN 42-0707124
IRS nonprofit determination letter is attached.