The Formation and Sustainability of Iowa’s Loess Hills

Mar 15, 2021  | 2 min  | 

A working landscape is an approach to managing land that balances social, economic and ecological needs of the area. The issues facing working landscapes are especially evident in the fragile Loess Hills of western Iowa. Loess (pronounced "luss") is a German word meaning "loose" and it is the name of a type of soil. Loess is a deposit of fine, yellowish-gray, clay-like sediment which can be found from north central Europe to eastern China and in the American Midwest.

As our population grows, so do the demands we put on our natural areas. From houses to farms, landfills to hiking trails, working landscapes are a way of sustaining the land by balancing the social, economic, and ecological needs. Can we protect our natural areas and still use them?