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The original item was published from 9/5/2012 5:06:42 PM to 9/29/2012 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: September 5, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Story County Conservation Implements Prairie Hay Program

Story County Conservation implemented a pilot prairie hay program on August 27 in two conservation managed areas.

Last week, haying took place in sections of prairie at McFarland Park and Jim Ketelsen Greenwing Marsh.

“The locations of several of our areas are difficult to manage with prescribed fire because of their proximity to Interstate 35,” Natural Resource Specialist Amy Yoakum explained. “By integrating a haying program, we can diversify how we manage our prairies.”

Yoakum said the long-term goal is to use haying as a management tool in Story County and that prairies will be put on a management schedule. Only portions of each prairie will be available for haying annually, because refuge area is needed for prairie inhabitants.

As the program expands, Yoakum said additional Story County Conservation areas such as Gladys Leui Preserve, Jennett Heritage Area, Skunk River Flats, Peterson Park, Hickory Grove Park and Dakins Lake may be added. Areas selected for the program will be identified annually through a competitive bid process.

“Story County Conservation staff will determine specific sections of park areas available for haying on an annual basis,” Yoakum said. “We will pay particular attention to management goals of each area, applicability of different management techniques, hunting use, and winter cover.”

For more information about this or other natural resource programs, contact Natural Resource Specialist Amy Yoakum at 515-232-6809 or email

Story County Conservation manages more than 3,000 acres of parks and natural areas, including lakes, campgrounds, and trails. The environmental education staff serves Story County schools and the public with interpretive and informational programs for all ages. Story County Conservation's volunteer program provides volunteer opportunities to individuals and groups interested in making a difference in local natural resources. No individual will be excluded from events conducted by Story County Conservation because of a disability or impairment. To request accommodations to participate, contact Story County Conservation.

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Amy Yoakum
Story County Conservation
Phone 515-232-6809
FAX 515-232-6989

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