Lisa Hein, Senior Director for Conservative Programs with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says this grant helped complete phase one of building the infrastructure for Gunderson Nature Trail Park. Phase one included a 1/3 mile loop trail, native prairie and tree plantings, and interpretive panels. Hein adds that the completion of phase one has helped phase two begin, which included trail extension, wetland overlook, and benches.
"Gunderson Nature Park has daily visits from neighbors and residents of Eldora. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has hosted two events in partnership with the Eldora Elementary School and Hardin County Conservation. The Park has provided a venue to weave outdoor education and art together with young students and the local art teacher. Also, the Hardin County Naturalist has discovered a new site to bring students for a variety of environmental education activities in this part of the county," says Hein, regarding how the project has impacted the way the public interacts with the park. "The primary visionaries for this project, Bob and Mary Lou Gunderson, wanted to create a place for people to enjoy nature...we have seen 3rd graders catch pollywogs, high school students help elementary school kids creating chalk art, a mom and her kids release butterflies, and senior citizens out walking with their neighbors and grandkids.
We are extremely grateful to the Barlow Family Foundation for helping us complete the vision to provide a scenic and enjoyable nature park so that all people can have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature and the outdoors."