Partners Membership

Connecting people with nature and improving natural resources – making Story County a great place to live, work, and recreate.

Partners are people who want to see Story County Conservation (SCC) achieve its mission.

Partners are people -- people just like you who want to make a difference. When you become a Partner, you are joining a group that is willing to get involved to help complete goals which could not be accomplished without additional financial and volunteer support. Your tax dollars have built a terrific program and will continue to maintain it. But, in order to grow and complete new, larger projects, extra dollars are needed.

In FY24, our Partners went above and beyond their pledge of $45,000 to help purchase the Deppe Family Conservation Area. This is a significant achievement for Story County Conservation, and your support played a crucial role in making it a reality. We sincerely appreciate your generosity. Moving forward, the money raised by our Partners during fiscal year 2025 will be utilized to fund the restoration of up to five oxbows at Wicks Wildlife Area, located just north of Story City. This is a crucial step towards advancing SCC’s greenway mission to preserve essential habitat along the South Skunk River, and we are grateful for your ongoing support.

Be a part of It! Join Story County Conservation Partners today!    

Partners levels:
Red-tailed Hawk - $1,000 or more
Great Blue Heron - $275 to $999
Red Fox - $125 to $274 
Goldfinch - $70 to $124 
Otter (Family) - $35 to $69 
Great Horned Owl (Individual) $30      

Partners Corporations and Business Levels:
Monarch $250 to $999
Eagle - $1,000 or more

Each Partners membership receives invitations to the Partners meetings, a magnet chosen each year from the annual photo contest, and 10% off program registration fees and reservations paid online (some trips excluded). Red Fox membership level and above will be recognized on the wall in the conservation center.

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Donations (Memorial and other)

The Friends of Conservation Trust Fund allows you to donate to SCC in a variety of ways. You may choose to donate a particular item on our wish list or give a gift of money for a larger project. Commemorate a special occasion or remember a loved one with a gift.

Direct gifts of land or conservation easements are also welcomed and both are a great way to protect your wild areas from future development.

At checkout, please describe in the comments box any specific requests for how the donation is to be used. If it is in memoriam, please name the individual. 

 Your gifts to the Friends of Conservation Trust Fund are tax-deductible under U.S.C. section 170(c)(1). We recommend that you confer with your tax preparer for information on tax-deductible donations.

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Help Pave the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail

Your donations will be used as matching funds in grant applications.

A 32-mile segment of the former Milwaukee Railroad from Slater to Melbourne forms this recreational trail corridor. The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail begins in Slater at the junction of the High Trestle Trail and continues on into Marshall County, with future connections to the Iowa River Trail & possibly the Chichaqua Valley Trail. Currently, 24 miles of the 32-mile rail corridor are developed. The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail master plan lays out a phased approach to paving the trail.

Phases 1 (Slater to Huxley) and 2 (Huxley to South Skunk River Scenic Bridge) have been paved and were largely funded by grants leveraged by donations and other local funds. 

Phase 1: Total paving cost $724,000, $500,000 secured in grants

Phase 2: Total paving cost $1,048,500, $730,000 secured in grants


We are currently seeking cost share for Phase 3 (South Skunk River Scenic Bridge to S-14) of the master plan.

Phase 3: Estimated total paving cost $1,102,000


Donations are an integral part of securing grants. This paving project depends on your support! Plans are also underway for future phases. 

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Development for Deppe Property

A new park is coming soon near Ames and you can be part of it!

The Deppe Property, located immediately south of McFarland Park, is a 124-acre tract recently purchased Story County Conservation at a bargain price. With timber, a small stream, more than 90 acres of open field, this property will complement the neighboring offerings at McFarland Park. As a wildlife refuge, the Deppe Property will add an increased buffer for species like wild turkey and whitetail deer from development as Ames continues to grow.


Now that this land has been secured, SCC is in the first of a multi-phase habitat restoration plan for the property to bring back native prairie to the landscape. Your donation will help fund restoration efforts and the development of a trail system and other site amenities - like a parking area, wayfinding signage, and interpretive features.


 Your gift now brings this park closer to completion and closer to opening. Please give to be part of adding this new park to your neighborhood!

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Walleye Rearing Pond at Hickory Grove Park

Help Story County Conservation build a walleye rearing pond at Hickory Grove Park!

The lake was stocked with walleyes when the recent lake renovation was completed. Walleye habitat was a high priority during this lake renovation with numerous rock structures installed that walleye prefer. We are unable to receive additional walleye for the lake until this rearing pond is completed. We are searching for funding, while we await completion of the rearing pond, to purchase young walleye to create a balanced year class structure ensuring a healthy population of walleye into the future.

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