Let’s Change the Landscape, For Good

When I began my role with the Great Outdoors Foundation (GOF) in 2015, I was inspired by our board’s vision. After operating as a volunteer-led organization for nearly 20 years, the leadership recognized the need and opportunity to develop into a regional organization, utilizing recreation as a catalyst for conservation.   

Since then, GOF — our staff, board, and partners — has transformed this vision into reality. Guided by our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and stewardship, we have achieved more than what was originally deemed possible. The Jester Park Nature Center, Athene Pedestrian Bridge, Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bond, ICON Water Trails, and Athene North Shore Development at Easter Lake are just a few of the many initiatives that have come to fruition as a direct result from the vision laid out nearly ten years ago, empowered by donations like yours. 

Together, with our investors and partners, we have had tremendous success, advancing conservation and recreation throughout Central Iowa. And we are just getting started. We are on the precipice of what could be the greatest realization of that vision yet — the Great Outdoors Foundation Conservation Fund 

This innovative approach to conservation will maximize public-private partnerships to significantly improve water quality across the state of Iowa, and beyond. We’ve already collaborated to identify more than 360 sites across 15 counties that are primed for conservation best practices including wetland construction or restoration, oxbow creation, erosion control, native prairie propagation, and the like. The opportunity is waiting, and GOF and our Conservation Fund are ready to enact a windfall of change unlike anything our region has seen before.  

Of course, none of this progress is possible without you. As you plan your year-end giving, I invite you to include the Great Outdoors Foundation in your generosity. Ninety-nine cents of every dollar donated to GOF is invested directly into the projects and initiatives we are harnessing to advance conservation through innovation, collaboration, and stewardship. When you give to our organization, you’re actually giving to your future — in clean water, in quality of life, and in flourishing environments for future generations to thrive. In other words, you’re investing in our shared vision.  

We have never done anything alone. At the heart of the Great Outdoors Foundation, has been you. Even before our first employee came onto the GOF payroll, you were here, championing the vision of our organization. Long after my work with the Great Outdoors Foundation has concluded, the legacy of our donors, volunteers, and partners will live on. We have so much to celebrate and be grateful for, and yet we are pressing forward with steadfast devotion to the vision that lies ahead.  

Iowa is home to some of the most stunning prairies, and in many ways, they are a living lesson to those who encounter them. Vast plains are changed by the tiniest of seeds, slowly, but surely, changing the
landscape for good. 
 

Let’s change the landscape, for good. You can donate to advance conservation here

About the Author: Hannah Inman is a dynamic leader in the conservation space who excels in cross-sector collaboration and transformational placemaking facilitation. She currently leads the Great Outdoors Foundation as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. With more than a decade of experience in advocacy and philanthropy, Inman has shepherded major Central Iowa initiatives, including Iowa by Trail — a comprehensive trail app — the Jester Park Nature Center, Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bonds, and the $30 million private capital campaign for ICON Water Trails. She has been recognized for her contributions, both personally and professionally, with esteemed awards, including the Business Record’s Emerging Woman of Influence and Forty Under 40. Inman received her B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Iowa and her Executive MBA from Iowa State University. She is an avid biker and resides in Waukee with her husband and two children.

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