Breen Prairie Farm to host seed harvest

     Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will host a fall prairie seed harvest on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Breen Prairie Farm near Monticello.

     Volunteers will help hand harvest native prairie seed from the property's expansive prairie. Seed collected will be dried, stored and later distributed to other parts of the property to increase biodiversity. Volunteers are invited to stay after the harvest to hike around the prairie. Snacks and water will be provided.

     No experience necessary. Families welcome. An RSVP is requested.

     Volunteers should wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and long pants, and bring a water bottle, sun protection and work gloves (INHF will have extra gloves). All other equipment will be provided.

     Breen Prairie Farm encompasses 140 acres of native dry, rocky prairie, woodland and working lands in rural Jones County. Helen Reichardt, a Monticello native and the granddaughter of Jones County pioneers Michael and Honora Breen, donated the century farm to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1989 to permanently protect and preserve the land’s natural beauty and wildlife habitat.

     “I didn't want to sell it,” Helen said. “I was afraid persons interested in buying our little diversified farm would clear away all the beautiful trees and wildlife cover to put more land into production. It would have destroyed the charm and character of the land.”

     Helen passed away in 2011, but her legacy lives on through Breen Prairie Farm. Today, the farm is haven for nature as well as a showcase for practices that benefit both conservation and farming. It is owned and stewarded by INHF.

     Breen Prairie Farm is located approximately 3 miles north of Monticello on Hwy 38 in Jones County. Volunteers should park along the highway just past the entrance to the field on the property.

     From Monticello, drive north on IA-38 out of town about 3 miles past Rock Rd. The property is located less than a quarter mile up on the east side of the road. A wooden sign is visible. Look for INHF event signage and staff.

     For more information, contact communications director Joe Jayjack at 515-288-1846, ext. 19.



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