On October 1, the Nature Conservancy of Iowa is hosting their first annual Swamp Stomp. Hannah Howard from the Nature Conservancy said, “We wanted to do a fun family activity to show people what we have to offer.” The event is at Arden Creek Winery and will feature bluegrass music and tours of the Swamp White Oak Nature Preserve.
Swamp White Oak is one of the best examples of a swamp white oak savanna, once common in floodplains of the Midwest. These communities host a great diversity of plant and animal species, but are now extremely rare. Most savannas like this one have either been overgrown due to lack of fire and grazing, which changes the forest composition and species, or have been cut down for agricultural purposes.
Of those that remain, few are recognized for what they are—an extremely rare type of woodland. “The preserve is home to a biodiverse population of animals and vegetation,” Howard said.