Enjoy Learning About and Helping Birds Through Birding!

Enjoy Learning About and Helping Birds Through Birding!

When I look out onto my backyard, I almost always see birds. We have a mid-sized city lot in a town of about 4,000 people, so I have modest expectations, but I’m never disappointed. Most of the time, just by taking a few minutes to observe, I can find over 10 species...
Prairie Strips in Fall

Prairie Strips in Fall

It’s a late fall afternoon, and I am walking along a four-year-old prairie strip that was planted by Valley Stewardship Network, where I work.  The ground is pretty sloped, but farmable – certainly in this part of the country – angling down through a corn...
Constructed 1.5-Acre Open-Water Marsh – Tom’s Story

Constructed 1.5-Acre Open-Water Marsh – Tom’s Story

Agriculture and development have severely reduced the acreage of wetlands across the countryside.  Wetlands support an extraordinary diversity of wildlife.  They trap sediments and nutrient-laden agricultural runoff.  Wetlands serve as sponges for flood waters too. We...
What’s Up with All the Tree Cages – Tom’s Story

What’s Up with All the Tree Cages – Tom’s Story

Prevention of deer browse is one answer.  We protect all the trees and shrubs that we plant.  In the case of some of the oaks, even if they are volunteers sprouted from forgotten squirrel cashes, we generally protect them with 5′ welded wire fence rings.  Oaks,...
Tom’s Story – Streambank Restoration

Tom’s Story – Streambank Restoration

Tom acquired this 87-acre property with its mile of the West Fork in 2003. Since then, a half mile of streambank stabilization work has been done, along with in-stream and other habitat work. This work has been done in stages. The most recent work along 780 feet of...