AML site in the news, Monarch Project completion, Grass-fed Beef Project update & Byway Museum Crawl Save the Date! 
View this email in your browser

March 2018
Happy Spring!
With the warming weather, we are excited to have some projects taking us outdoors! We hope you are getting outside too. 

In this month's newsletter, we share updates on our Grass-fed Beef Project and our Monarch Butterfly Project. We also highlight one of our Abandoned Mine Land reclamation sites, and encourage you to mark your calendars for our 5th annual Byway Museum Crawl on Saturday, June 16th!

If you have any questions or comments, please call or email us:
641-472-6177 or 


Anna Bruen
Executive Director

Schmitz Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Site
Last month, the “Schmitz” AML reclamation site was featured in the Ottumwa Courier. Pathfinders RC&D is a partner on the project that is busy reclaiming the 55-acres of abandoned mine land in Wapello County. The Schmitz site was a Priority 1 risk, meaning that it needed immediate attention because the hazardous conditions of its steep drop off, piles of debris and highly acidic soil and water were putting people, animals, and nearby roads and houses at risk.

Work began last fall and after the bulldozing work of moving the spoil piles and re-grading the site is completed, the project team will focus on lowering the soil acidity and then seeding the land. Reclamation work is not a cheap undertaking, with most projects costing $18,000- $24,000 per acre to reclaim. This cost is carried by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Abandoned Mine Land Program with assistance from partners such as Pathfinders, Wapello County SWCD, and the Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining. One unique aspect of the Schmitz site is that part of the acreage is located in a natural flood plain and, post reclamation, that part will remain as a wetland.

To learn more about the 40+ AML projects Pathfinders has partnered on, visit our website.You can read the full article here

Monarch Final Report
Pathfinders recently completed a monarch butterfly project funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The focus was on collaborating within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to plant monarch habitat on privately owned, marginal, lands in Iowa and host educational field days. During the two years of the project, 5,241.78 acres of monarch habitat were successfully planted. There were also six outreach events which were attended by 340 people. We were pleased to complete the project having exceeded the target number of planted acres and target number of event attendees.

Why the need to plant monarch habitat? The monarch butterfly’s population has decreased by nearly 80 percent in the last twenty years. They continue to face many challenges including the loss of milkweed and nectar plant habitat in its spring and summer breeding ranges. Female monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed plants, and the hatched caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed. As pollinators, monarch butterflies are important to Iowa agriculture, landowners and citizens.
This work was made possible with the collaboration of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, four Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Iowa Learning Farms.

Grass-fed Beef Project Update
Pathfinders is hard at work in the final year of its Grass-fed Beef Project. The project, funded by a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, focuses on expanding markets for grass-fed beef as a means for promoting grazing and the improved soil health and water quality that it facilitates.
Projects currently in the works:
  • SE Iowa Producer Website Survey- We are conducting an online survey to provide valuable feedback for one of our producer partners on how to better market their beef online. Special thanks to everyone who filled out our survey- we’ve had over 80 respondents! Survey results are being compiled into a report that will be available at upon completion.
  • Consumer Awareness Campaign- May is National Beef Month and this year we are organizing a consumer awareness campaign in local grocery stores carrying grass-fed beef. We are currently working on an educational info graphic – keep your eyes out in the grocery store!

Save the Date! The 5th Annual Byway Museum Crawl  is June 16th

Mark your calendars now for the Historic Hills Scenic Byway’s 5th Annual Museum Crawl! On Saturday, June 16th, explore the western tip of the Byway and learn some of our rural Iowan history!
This year, the four museums featured will be:
  • The Monroe County Historical Society Museum in Albia
  • The Wabash Depot Museum Complex in Moravia
  • The Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum in Centerville
  • The Moulton Historical Society Museum in Moulton
Copyright © 2017 Pathfinders RC&D, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are considered a Pathfinders project partner, stakeholder or friend.

Our mailing address is:
Pathfinders RC&D
304 South Maple - Suite 101
Fairfield, IA 52556
Add us to your address book 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences 


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Pathfinders RC&D · 304 South Maple - Suite 101 · Fairfield, IA 52556 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp