Caldwell Park Map
Wildlife Habitat Improvement
Need help with your wildlife habitat improvement projects? Call the MCCB! We have both information and equipment available for your habitat projects. Equipment for rent includes:
Your plans may range from adding a food plot or Indian grass to increase pheasant population, to restoring the land to its original prairie, forest or wetland ecosystems. Landowners may envision a prairie flower garden or may aim for shrubs and trees in windbreaks. You may want use a controlled burn as a management tool or convert a sod-bound CRP field to a quail-haven.
Restoring wetland areas has many benefits. Wetlands filter water and improve water quality as it flows through to nearby streams and rivers, improving these habitats for fish and other aquatic species. They provide nesting and escape cover for waterfowl and other game birds and mammals. They also supply food, shelter, and nesting sites for dozens of species ranging from snails, dragonflies, & turtles to muskrats, otters and birds.
Timber stand improvement on your forest land can promote the growth of desirable trees, such as oaks, hickories and walnuts that provide food and shelter for many types of wildlife. White tail deer, wild turkeys, squirrels woodpeckers, owls, wood ducks, raccoons, and scarlet tanagers will all benefit from a properly managed forest.
Food & Cover Plots
Many people plant food plots (corn, sunflowers, legumes) and grasslands to provide winter food, spring nesting areas and cover for game birds, such as pheasants. Success or failure of spring nesting and raising of young often has the greatest impact on populations. Harsh winters, with long periods of snow cover and icy conditions and very wet springs can reduce nest success and increase mortality of young.
Shelterbelts & Windbreaks
Without dense woody cover, winters can be deadly for farmland wildlife. Shelterbelts and windbreakers not only provide protection for animals but also can help improve home energy conservation, snow control, air quality and soil conservation.
These are just a few ideas of improvements that can be made to help maintain healthy wildlife populations. If your plans call for planting trees, native grass or food plot seed, cost-share, or technical assistance is available. The MCCB can connect landowners to free seed, funding and programs through organizations such as NRCS, Pheasants Forever and the Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, call the Mahaska County Conservation Center (at the Russell Wildlife Area) (641) 673-9327.
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