Project Summary Golden Hills, working with The Naturalist School, local growers, and other partners, aims to create new markets for sales of locally-sourced and locally–propagated native oak trees. This project is supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from USDA.
This project is primarily coordinated by Lance Brisbois at Golden Hills. Trainings will be conducted by Jack Phillps with The Naturalist School.
Why Oaks? Click here to learn more about the importance of native oak trees, risks they are facing, and why we care. Click here for a list of resources and links to learn more about oaks.
Develop an understanding and appreciation of native oaks and oak ecosystems
Educate people about the need to preserve, protect, and enhance native oaks and oak ecosystems
Identify public and private lands for harvesting local ecotype acorns.
Identify partners with land and resources to propagate oak seedlings.
Train growers to propagate oak seedlings and provide technical assistance as needed.
Facilitate local sales of oak seedlings.
If you are interested in participating, whether as a grower or purchaser, please fill out this form (or scroll down and fill out the form below) and we will be in contact with you soon.
Information for Potential Growers If you might be interested in participating in this project as an oak grower, please fill out the form below. You will be expected to attend at least two of the trainings listed below and start growing oaks (either from acorns or from purchased seedlings). We do not have a minimum requirement, but you will want to have at least a small yard. You also do not need a greenhouse, but if you have one, that is great!
Trainings Timeline All trainings will be taught by Jack Phillips of The Naturalist School. Note that trainings will primarily be outdoors,, including hiking through rugged terrain, so please wear proper clothing and shoes/boots.
Workshop #1 - Native Oak Ecology Saturday, February 3, 2018 9:00am-12:00pm; optional afternoon hike 1-3pm Workshop agenda. Project PowerPoint Presentation Location: Washawtee Lodge - Washawtee Road, Waubonsie State Park, Hamburg, IA An introduction to the ecology, distribution, and communities of the oaks of western Iowa. This will be an indoor and outdoor workshop, and will include hiking over rugged terrain. The workshop will begin with an overview of the Native Oak Project, a program to support and encourage the planting, production, and marketing of native oaks. This workshop is free and open to anyone committed to the conservation of native oak ecosystems and communities. An optional afternoon hike will continue the outdoor learning immersed in oak savannas and woodlands. If you plan to stay for the afternoon, please bring a lunch. Please RSVP by email to email@example.com.
Workshop #2 - Native Oaks of the Loess Hills and the Missouri-Nishnabotna-Nodaway Watersheds June 9, 2018 (rescheduled from April 14) 9:00am-12:00pm Location: Waubonsie State Park - meet near the overlook A field workshop on identification of oaks and associated woody plant communities. A brief overview of the Native Oak Project will be included. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Tour of Iowa Native Trees and Shrubs Date: April 21, 2018 Location: Iowa Native Trees and Shrubs, Woodward, IA We will visit and tour Iowa Native Trees and Shrubs near Woodward, Iowa. This trip will offer a first-hand look at the best methods for germinating, propagating, and growing native oaks in a root-control system. Carpooling is encouraged. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
Workshop #3 - Native Acorns September 8, 2018 (Date and Time TBD) Location: Waubonsie State Park This training will teach about identifying, collecting, testing, and storing acorns. This field workshop will demonstrate how to find, collect, evaluate and store native acorns for future germination. An overview of the Native Oak Project will be included. Afternoon session will introduce and demonstrate planting acorns and saplings for conservation projects. Waubonsie State Park offers the greatest diversity of oaks in the region, but collecting acorns for commercial use is prohibited at the park. This training will be for educational purposes for interested growers to collect acorns in other places.
Workshop #4 - Oak Ecology and Acorn Propagation February 2019 (Date and Time TBD) Location: Waubonsie State Park This training will provide an overview of the project and information about native oak species and regional ecology. Attendees will also learn about propagating acorns. Participating growers must attend this workshop if they miss the Spring 2018 training and would like to grow in 2019.