Russ Parker, who lives on a farm just north and east of Lake Miami, was named the Polaris Stewardship Award winner at Saturday’s Cedar Creek Pheasants Forever banquet.
Polaris is a national sponsor of Pheasants Forever. Each chapter is asked to identify a local person who has championed habitat work in the community.
Parker has planted over 290 acres of prairie grasses and pollinators to help the propagation and survival of pheasants and quail on his farm in Monroe County. He has also planted 200 acres of tall grass prairie for winter cover and nesting cover. Parker planted an additional 45 acres of pollinators for brooding cover and nesting cover for upland game birds as well as helping Monarch Butterflies increase in numbers.
Forty-five acres of short grass prairie was planted for more nesting cover. He maintains his prairie by doing controlled burning. His farm has many timbered draws which provide additional cover. Several acres of oak and hickory timber provide habitat for deer, turkey, and song birds.
Saturday’s banquet was the largest banquet for Cedar Creek Pheasants Forever in several years with just under 200 meals served.
All the money raised through the raffles and auction stays local for habitat projects, food plot seed, any youth projects, and any possible land acquisition projects. Cedar Creek Pheasants Forever is going to continue to do habitat improvement on the 80 acres owned by Monroe County west of Lovilia. The chapter would also like to purchase some upland bird hunting ground for more pheasant and quail hunting in Monroe County. “Our money can be leveraged several times thru numerous grants available, Iowa PF, and the Natural Heritage Foundation,” said President Jim Nelson. “We continue to support our local farm bill biologist, Shane Weinberg. He has done a superb job of increasing habitat in Monroe County. If anyone in Monroe county has a project that improves habitat or increases youth awareness of the outdoors, Cedar Creek PF has grant money available for qualifying projects.”
Contact Jim Nelson, 319-231-8976.