June 2021

Jon Koch

The Muscatine Pollinator Project took over acres of old unused farm land that had gone to weed to create a 55 acre Pollinator Park inside the City limits of Muscatine.

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Prairie Strips*

Small changes Big Impacts. Prairie strips provide a win-win scenario for farmers and wildlife. Research shows that by converting 10% of a crop-field to diverse, native perennial vegetation, farmers and landowners can reduce sediment movement off their field by 95 percent and total phosphorous and nitrogen lost through runoff by 90 and 85 percent, respectively.

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The Evolution of a Gardener

Does the following sound familiar? You go to the garden center to pick up some plants for your garden. The plant with big flashy flowers calls to you. You put it in your cart. Then you discover that it comes in several different colors! You put one of each color in your cart. You take them home to plant not really knowing where they will go…but you loved them and will find a place for them somewhere.

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Beyond Parks and Preserves / June 23, 2021

In a recent NY Times article, Zoë Schlanger describes a policy shift in managing our national parks, from protecting all species within our parks to picking a choosing which ones we have the resources to save. Climate change is blamed as the culprit that has pushed park managers and budgets beyond their capacity, although most of the actual problems described in the article are caused by invasive species we have brought to this country and would be problematic even without climate change. Climate change is indeed serious management issue, though not the only issue, and it has shown us the limitations of restricting conservation to parks and preserves. Parks are fixed in location, but a changing climate demands flexible responses on the part of plants and animals they are designed to protect. When confined to a fixed space, they lose that flexibility.

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