Woodlands are an interdependent system consisting mostly of trees and also containing plants, shrubs, animals and microorganisms. A woodland can vary greatly based on its
- and soil content
Within this large system are small vertical systems known as: the Basement (underground), floor, understory, and canopy. The topography provided by the Iowa River Greenbelt gives way to many old growth woodlands throughout our entire county. Prime examples of Hardin County woodlands can be found at Anders Wildlife Area, Pine Ridge Park, and Ruby Woodland.
Why manage woodlands?
Water and Air Quality: Forests have the capability to filter both air and water. Carbon sequestration is when carbon is stored within the biomasses of both living and dead things. Trees are particularly good at storing carbon dioxide. Similarly woodlands store large amounts of water due to tree processes. As trees absorb water they also filter the water of chemical and nutrients.
Habitat: Woodlands are habitats for many game species including large groups of deer that largely impact Iowa’s natural economy effecting over 600 million dollars in a ripple effect of tax revenue and jobs. The species of the woodland also provide homes and food for many other species of birds, insects and mammals.
Recreational: Along with quality and habitat woodlands provide they also give the public recreational opportunities. Hunting is one of the most popular while deer may contribute majority of the kills there is also turkey, rabbit, and squirrel that make great game. Along the lines of hunting is fishing a recreational opportunity indirectly effected by woodlands because of the water filtering as well as shading by trees. Here in Hardin many fishing sports very in the type of catch they can provide based on how trees around it effect lighting and temperature. Hiking and camping are another big recreational opportunity people all over the state of Iowa take advantage of. At all-time s of the year guest can find wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife.