Eby's Mill Wildlife Area
This beautiful tract of land was previously owned by the Arnie Bruggeman family. Through a donation/purchase agreement, the land was sold to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation at a bargain price. After the initial sale to the INHF, Mary Ellen and Mark Stinski, made a very generous donation to buy down the purchase price even further, making it available for public use through a REAP grant.
Dolomite rock outcrops, bluffs, and scenic river views dominate this predominately wooded area. Over the years, the Bruggeman family used timber stand improvement management on this site, encouraging a high-quality woodland community dominated by oak, hickory, and walnut. One 18 acre walnut planting was added in 1989. Some areas of the woodlands include hard maples and linden trees.
What's been happening at Eby's Mill Wildlife Area? Timber Stand Improvement, or TSI. TSI occured as part of an ongoing management plan to promote the healthy growth and regeneration of a hardwood forest. Jones County Conservation is specifically working to provide relief to valuable species including oak, hickory, and walnut by removing shade tolerant understory trees, such as maple, hackberry, aspen, and basswood. Thinning and removing these species frees up resources in the soil and sunlight real estate in the canopy for the more desirable black walnut, white oak, and shagbark hickory, for example. This process is similar to pulling weeds from your garden; removing competition from around the vegetation that you want to grow and produce as much as possible. And much like a garden, in several years when the trees have fully matured, they too can be harvested.
This management plan is a continuation of work that had been done over many, many years under the previous ownership: the Arnie Bruggeman family. They managed much of the land for the same species, thinning the woods from year to year to reduce competition, harvesting when acorn and nut crops are high, replanting and so on. They even developed a simple method of harvest and regeneration, known to many as the Bruggeman Method.
- Bird watching
- Cross country skiing
Maps & Rules
Park Hours4:30am to 10:30pm
Located west of Hwy 136 on Eby's Mill Rd. East of Pictured Rocks and the Indian Bluffs Wildlife Area.