Golden Hills RC&D, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Trees Forever are partnering to bring back the Iowa Trails Summit for 2018! Mark your calendar for Friday, October 12th! The Raccoon River Valley Trail Association will be hosting a social ride beginning at 4:30 PM Thursday evening, wrapping up with a pre-conference meet & greet!
The morning welcome session will set the stage for the day. In an interactive group discussion, we will highlight challenges, successes, and best practices. We will get to know a little about each trail group’s “story” and discover who we may learn from and who we may be able to give advice to.
Our breakout panels will feature 3 tracks - for those who Want a Trail, Have a Trail, and Water Trails. Full agenda and registration is available at
Hundreds of years ago, prairie covered nearly 80 percent of Iowa’s landscape. Years later, less than 0.1 percent of native prairie remains. Part of restoring the land for soil health and wildlife habitat includes gathering, collecting, and planting native prairie grasses and forbs. On Monday, September 24, 2018, Golden Hills RC&D and the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board are providing an opportunity to learn more about Iowa prairie and collect native prairie seeds at Hitchcock Nature Center.
Participants will meet at the Loess Hills Lodge at 5:30pm. After a brief training and discussion about prairie seed collection, participants will stroll through the prairie and collect native prairie seed. The collected seeds will be used to restore and reconstruct Loess Hills prairies at Hitchcock. This evening happens to be the full "Harvest Moon," which will rise above the prairie at the end of the event.
Paper bags will be used in seed collection. Participants are invited to bring paper bags to contribute to the project, but some bags will be available at the event. Because this event is outdoors on the rugged western edge of Iowa’s Loess Hills, Pottawattamie County Conservation recommends bringing a water bottle, wearing work gloves and hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes.
This event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required. Participants at this event are not required to purchase a daily entrance pass or have an annual membership to attend this program.
This event is part of Loess Hills & Heritage Week—September 22-30, which celebrates the scenic and unique Loess Hills landform of Western Iowa. To learn more about this event visit http://www.pottcoconservation.com/. For more information about Loess Hills & Heritage Week visit http://www.visitloesshills.org/lhhw.html.
Known as “sugar clay,” the Loess Hills are a beautiful habitat that stretch along the Missouri River Valley. George Catlin has labeled the hills as “soul melting scenery.” Cornelia F. Mutel calls them “fragile giants.” And Dr. John Price explains their essence as “sacred ground.” Western Iowa is celebrating this beautiful formation during the first Literary Loess event, connecting food and literature, on Saturday, September 22 from 10:00-2:00 pm in Waubonsie State Park at the Washawtee Lodge near Hamburg, Iowa. This event is kicking off Loess Hills and Heritage Week, which celebrates the region’s unique and cultural assets.
Local and regional authors and producers will be making connections between the landscape, literature, and local foods. Participants can come and go between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm or stay the whole time. Producers will provide local food samples, and authors will be featuring excerpts from their books at various intervals throughout the day. Featured authors at this event include Dr. John Price, Jack Phillips, Jeff Koterba, Ruth Harper, Marcy Seible, Matt Mason, Sean Doolittle, Kelly Madigan, Lisa Knop, Angela Glover, Mike Whye, and Sarah Mason.
Fresh produce and tastes of the region will include cheese and wine, mixed greens, lamb, beef, wild game, honey and more. This family-friendly event will incorporate hands-on writing opportunities, a craft, and “Hoop the Fair,” which will provide “easy, beginner’s hula hoops and gentle coaching to help people of all ages get hooping with ease,” said Kelly Madigan, author and founder of “Hoop the Fair.”
Golden Hills RC&D and Dr. John Price, University of Nebraska-Omaha English Professor, collaborated to coordinate this event. “The inaugural Literary Loess is the result of a long-time dream to bring together area writers and independent food producers to share the many ways this place inspires us. The beautiful Loess Hills is a local natural treasure, and those who join us will find nourishment for both body and mind,” said Price.
Literary Loess will be followed by a “Hike and Write” with naturalist and nature writer Jack Phillips, principal of the Naturalist School from 2:00-4:00 pm. Phillips will guide us through the hills and lead us through a writing exercise following the walk. “Mindful walking and writing makes us porous and through these natural acts we become wilder,” said Phillips.
Partners to support this event include Golden Hills RC&D, Friends of Waubonsie State Park, Loess Hills Scenic Byway, and the UNO English Department and Creative Nonfiction Writing Program.
Connect. Listen. Taste. Learn. Experience. Grow. All in the Loess Hills. For more information about this event contact Tina at Tina@goldenhillsrcd.org or call 712.482.3029.