Friends of Marshall County Conservation forms new group

Mission is to support Marshall County Conservation Board

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ
Carrie Grimes Barr, far left, with the help of like-minded individuals, recently established the Friends of Marshall County Conservation, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the operations of the Marshall County Conservation Board. It held its first public meeting June 15 to elect a board of directors. The group’s goal is to: support the mission of the Marshall County Conservation Board (MCCB) through volunteering time, talent, fundraising, leadership and ideas.

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Carrie Grimes Barr, far left, with the help of like-minded individuals, recently established the Friends of Marshall County Conservation, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the operations of the Marshall County Conservation Board. It held its first public meeting June 15 to elect a board of directors. The group’s goal is to: support the mission of the Marshall County Conservation Board (MCCB) through volunteering time, talent, fundraising, leadership and ideas.

“This is something we have wanted to form since my parents donated the land, but we just never got around to forming a group until now.”

These are the words of Carrie Grimes Barr, whose parents, Leonard and Mildred Grimes, donated the land which became known as Grimes Farm and Conservation Center. Barr, with the help of like-minded individuals, recently established the Friends of Marshall County Conservation, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the operations of the Marshall County Conservation Board.

After forming the group in March, the organization held its first general meeting on June 15 where a board of directors was established and the bylaws were adopted. Its goal is to: support the mission of the Marshall County Conservation Board (MCCB) through volunteering time, talent, fundraising, leadership and ideas.

“The Friends of Marshall County Conservation will be a support for our general operations that will allow us to complete certain projects in a more timely fashion,” said MCCB Director Mike Stegmann. “Being a private non-profit support group, they will be able to leverage sources of funding we as a government agency cannot.”

The organization hopes to:

• Preserve the area’s natural beauty, resources and wildlife;

• Promote healthy recreational opportunities;

• Provide educational programming that encourages visitors to make a personal connection with nature; and

• Offer opportunities to discover, experience and enjoy nature’s message of harmony.

Seven people were elected to serve either one-year, two-year or three-year terms on the board during the initial meeting. The board will meet at least on a quarterly basis. The first board meeting will be held July 20 at 7 p.m. at Grimes Farm. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings.

“We have modeled it after the Friends of the Marshalltown Public Library,” Barr said. “I called the library’s director, Sarah Rosenblum, for advice and she provided information.”

Forming the organization is a win-win situation for both the MCCB and the general public.

“We [the MCCB] will also be able to have more of a presence through their volunteering at community events like the Linn Creek Arts Festival and environmental education programming we do,” Stegmann said. “Small work tasks that are sometimes put on the back burner due to time constraints will be assigned to volunteers through the ‘Friends’ group. They may be as simple as weeding the flower beds in park areas or invasive weed control in the wildlife management areas under our jurisdiction.”

Membership rates are: $10 for a student, $20 for an individual and $30 for a family, with supporting membership costing $50, sustaining costing $100, benefactor costing $250, and corporate costing $500. Make checks payable to: Friends of Marshall County Conservation, 1508 W. Lincoln Way, Marshalltown.

“My parents gave their farm because they loved this area so much, they hoped other people would enjoy it. This group seems like a really great addition for that,” Barr concluded.

For more information, contact Barr at: 641-750-2890 or email at: grimesbarr@gmail.com

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com