The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 9, 2013

Mahaska Co. Pheasants Forever celebrates 25 years

OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Pheasants Forever chapter celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday night at its annual banquet held in Penn Central Mall.

The center court at the mall was decked out with tables for the chapter’s 175 member as well as numerous booths for live- and silent-auction items and raffle prizes.

“We’ve got a lot of one-of-a-kind items that you couldn’t find except here,” Pheasants Forever President Jeff VanDerBeek said.

The Pheasants Forever chapter is having a busy year.

“We’ve expanded our work at the Hull Area where we hosted our Field & Stream event,” VanDerBeek said.

The chapter also recently assisted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources with a 160-acre controlled burn at the area this past week. Also, the chapter is assisting the DNR with an “adopt a wildlife area” project, he said.

VanDerBeek said that there are still three active members of the original Pheasants Forever committee that started the chapter and four sponsors who have helped the group for the past 25 years.

The 25-year board members are Bill Benson, Randy Walston and Dave Pfieffer. The four sponsors are Oskaloosa Hy-Vee, Pepsi, Industrial Commercial Insulation and Don Pierce, VanDerBeek said.

Some of the original Pheasants Forever members reflected on the chapter’s 25 years.

Walston remembers that the Pheasants Forever chapter met at the Eagles Club 25 years ago and there were about 12 members.

“The banquet now is four times bigger than when it started,” Walston said. “The community has really rallied around the situation.”

Walston talked about the origins of the chapter.

“A few of us decided that we as a community need to do more for pheasant and upland game habitat,” he said.

Benson was the first chapter president.

“I was president for the first four years,” he said. Then, he was state president for two years and then returned to be president of the Mahaska County chapter for two more years.

“We still have the basic concept that the money we raise stays local,” Benson said. The chapter has raised about $750,000 for habitat and youth programs, he said.

“We’ve made a commitment to young people,” Benson said. “We’ve got a good bunch of young people involved.”

Brooks VanDerBeek was involved in establishing the Oskaloosa High School Pheasants Forever chapter in 2009 — the first high school chapter in the nation. Now, he is a freshman at Iowa State University and a member of the university chapter. Brooks said that the Iowa State chapter was the first student chapter in the nation.

The Oskaloosa High School chapter had between 10 and 15 members with Mike Goudy as the chapter advisor, Brooks said.

Goudy said the high school chapter is now doing a membership drive with eighth- and ninth-grade students. The OHS chapter is continuing work on its North Slop prairie restoration project just north of the high school student parking lot. The chapter also is working with two Eagle Scouts to sponsor their community service projects. Chapter members also are working with the high school shooting team and sponsored them to compete in the Pheasants Forever Pheasant Fest, he said.

“The kids are busy,” Goudy said.

1
Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Live entertainment slated for Tulip Time This year's line-up for Festhouden, which will begin at 7 p.m. each evening of Tulip Time, has been announced. Festhouden will take place on the Tulip Toren located on the south side of Pella's square. Grandstand tickets for Festhouden and the evenin

    April 16, 2014

  • Spawning fish for better fishing The annual spring fish netting is underway at Rathbun Lake, Spirit Lake and Guttenberg and will begin Tuesday night at Storm Lake, as the spawning season picks up steam. Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources collects walleye, northern p

    April 16, 2014

  • Chronic wasting disease found in wild deer OTTUMWA — Since 2002, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has collected more than 50,000 samples of captive and wild deer in Iowa in an effort to look for cases of chronic wasting disease. On April 9, they confirmed an infected wild deer had bee

    April 15, 2014

  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response

    April 15, 2014

  • Council approves sale to Historical Preservation Society BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council on Monday approved sale of the museum property to Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The $4,000 bid submitted by BHPS was the only bid received. Terms of the bid include a clause that if at sometime the p

    April 15, 2014

  • Construction Trades pic 1 Marion County building permits on the rise

    It's expected to be a busy construction season around Marion County. According to County Zoning Administrator Missy Poffenbarger, her office has issued 17 building permits since March 18. 

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Zones photo 2 Blue Zones kicks off in Osky

    OSKALOOSA -- Blue Zones Project held its Oskaloosa Kickoff Monday evening at the Oskaloosa High School gym to help improve the community's health. Blue Zones originated with Dan Buettner of National Geographic. He was asked to find areas of the world

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Medical marijuana bill may surface in Senate DES MOINES (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he will sponsor a bill legalizing the sale of medical marijuana in Iowa, reviving an issue once thought dead this year. The persistent efforts of woman who have children with epilepsy chang

    April 15, 2014

  • Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law. The Iowa Supr

    April 15, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National