Randy and Linda Carr have worked for years to restore prairie plants and other pollinator-friendly habitat on their farm near Eldora, and now other landowners can learn from their experience.

A field day led by Trees Forever, Iowa DNR Forestry, and NRCS staff is set for Thursday, July 20, to view four different prairie seedings and tree and shrub plantings and to learn how these projects provide pollinator habitat, while also improving water quality and reducing soil erosion.

“Linda and Randy have done a great job adding a variety of conservation practices on their farm and have been good environmental stewards,” said Meredith Borchardt, program manager and field coordinator for Trees Forever. “Other landowners can learn from what they’ve done, especially adding native prairie into small strips and pockets of land, while maintaining a working productive farm.”

Borchardt will be one of the presenters at the field day, along with Joe Herring, Iowa Department of Natural Resources District Forester, and Nichole Williams, Natural Resources Conservation Service Resource Conservationist.

The farm has been in the family for more than 100 years, and the couple began the plantings as a way to reduce erosion where conventional crops or grass had grown, to serve as buffers between fields and as habitat around a new pond. One recent part of their work was funded by a 50 percent cost-sharing program for prairie seeds through Trees Forever.

“Now we’re seeing a lot more butterflies, bees and birds,” Randy Carr said, adding that other farmers might consider doing the same, especially on hills or land that is otherwise difficult to farm.


What: Pollinator Field

When: 1-4 p.m. Thursday, July 20, 2017

Where: Randy and Linda Carr farm, 26083 Hwy. D41, northwest of Eldora. From Eldora, go west on Hwy. 175, turn north on Hwy. D41 and continue as it curves west. Farm is on the north side of the road.

For further details, contact Meredith Borchardt, 641-430-3854, or mborchardt@treesforever.org.