Sioux City, Iowa — The Gilchrist Foundation in Sioux City has awarded a financial grant to The Nature Conservancy in Iowa that will allow further expansion of Broken Kettle Grasslands, Iowa’s largest native prairie.
The Gilchrist Foundation awarded $103,410 to the Conservancy for financial assistance in purchasing and restoring a 22-acre prairie in the northwest corner of the current Broken Kettle Grasslands preserve. The additional prairie will be used to expand the Conservancy’s growing bison herd, which plays a critical role in grassland preservation efforts.
In the grant award letter to the Conservancy, the Gilchrist Foundation expressed a shared future vision of “250 bison grazing 2,500 acres and is pleased to support plans to acquire a key inholding in the northwest corner of the preserve.”
In 1993, the Conservancy purchased three properties totaling 642 acres and, since that time, has acquired an additional 22 properties for total current ownership of 3,217 acres at Broken Kettle.
In 2008, the Conservancy re-introduced 28 genetically pure bison to Broken Kettle to keep invasive plant species in control, provide disturbance that attracts diverse prairie species and create diverse vegetative structure critical for the survival of grassland animals. With the bison herd now at more than 100 animals, the Conservancy’s long-term goal is to acquire enough land to increase the herd size to 250 animals grazing 2,500 acres.
The Gilchrist Foundation’s mission is to further the philanthropic interests of the Gilchrist family in the arts, wildlife and conservation, public broadcasting, medical care and disaster relief.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.