The first Europeans to visit the area were the French explorers in 1673. The U.S. obtained control of the area in 1803, and during the first half of the 19th century, there was heavy fighting between white settlers and Indians. Lands were taken from the Indians in 1832 and again in 1836 and 1837. Iowa became a state in 1846.
Iowa soil supports tumblegrass, western beard-tongue, and prickly pear cactus. Other notable plants are twinleaf, pink lady’s slipper, arrowgrass, royal and cinnamon ferns. More than 80 native plants can no longer be found. The federal government classified 5 plant species as threatened. Among these are the wild monkshood and fringed orchids.
Iowa mammals include red and gray foxes, raccoon, woodchuck, muskrat, common cottontail, gray fox and flying squirrel.
Listed as threatened or endangered are the Indiana bat, the bald eagle, piping plover, Iowa snail, gray wolf and least tern.
Iowa Green Initiative programs are developed with a simple mission to provide all Iowans (businesses, non-profits, schools, churches, sole proprietors, etc.) with an affordable, effective and practical platform of programs specifically designed to help make Iowa the nation’s leader in sustainable practices and green business operations.
Iowa Health System’s focus on the community extends beyond patient care. It has launched several initiatives to eliminate waste, reduce pollution and lower costs, including plastic, paper and cardboard recycling; energy efficiency; food waste reduction; and recycling medical items.
Iowa Green Team is adopting green business practices with economic and environmentally sustainable business practices. The Green Team is dedicated to providing Iowans with a professional platform of services, programs and events to help lead the Iowa Green Revolution.
Iowa State funds green energy initiatives. Iowa Sustainable Energy Center focuses on wind, solar and hydrogen energy. Iowa Department of Transportation trains in the installation of fuel conversion equipment. Iowa State Fair Association has installed renewable energy features like solar cooling benches, photovoltaic array, solar lighting, etc. Iowa Utilities Board has installed integrated energy management system which controls non-critical power usage when individual workstations are not occupied. University of Iowa, Medical Research Facility, has replaced standard air make-up ventilation air handling unit with a new system that incorporates energy recovery wheels to reduce energy consumption.