The Des Moines County Conservation Office officially opened its newest public conservation area Wednesday afternoon. The Harold and Mildred Lindner Conservation Area is located along 170th Street, near Highway 61 south of Sperry, Iowa.
Conservation Director Chris Lee said the county completed the acquisition of the 105-acre plot this year. He said it will be available for public hunting and wildlife observation.
Lee said Harold Lindner was a local conservationist who was a great friend of the conservation office.
“He was a strong supporter of conservation and natural resources,” said Lee. “He did a lot of volunteer work with our department and was friends with some of our past staff members.”
Lee said the Lindners spent a lifetime working this land.
“They farmed organically… long before organic was a buzz word the way it is today,” said Lee. “But they did a lot more than that. They propagated apple trees. They did prairie planting. They ran a greenhouse and a nursery for a while. Just any connection to the land, that very much was the Lindners.”
Lee said Harold always wanted the county to purchase the 105-acre plot for use as a public conservation area. But Lee said the money was not there at the time, so the focus shifted to other projects: Flint River Trail and Big Hollow Recreation Area.
Lee said after the Lindners' deaths, their children talked to the county about the property again, hoping to honor their dad’s wishes.
Lee said after spending a couple years working out the details, the children agreed to donate about half of the acreage to the county. He said the county used a REAP grant to purchase the other half for about $250,000.
Lee said a portion of the land will continue to be farmed, as it has been for many years. He said the family continues to own some land north of 170th Street so it remains to be seen whether that portion of the family property will eventually be acquired by the county.