November birthdays: Karin Franklin

President’s Remarks:

In honor of election day,  antecdotes and remarks pertained to politics.  The word politics is made up on two words.  First is “poli” meaning many and the second is “tics” meaning blood sucking parasites.  We were reminded that our founding fathers excluded from voting women, catholics, non-protestants and those owning less than 40 acres of land.   Two of the members present would have been eligible to vote under those rules.

John Schultz was recognized as a new member transferring from the Iowa City Club.  Chris Knapp was recognized as a rotary benefactor meaning that  he had included Rotary Foundation as an estate beneficiary of at least $10,000.  He also commented that he marked “share” as a donor which will provide income to the district as well.

Guests:  Amanda McFadden guest of Jim Peterson

Rotarians in the News:

Mike Messier – ribbon cutting for Iowa City Hospice

Chris Ockenfels- Pumpkin toss for United Way


Keep the Novaks and Romanowskis in your thoughts and prayers. 

Project Warm- there will be coat distribution at the Children’s Museum Thursday, November 13 from 4:30 to 6.  Members are welcome.  Contact Deb Dunkhase.

District Rotary Foundation Dinner- November 8th at the Holiday Inn Coralville.

FAMSCO workday-  Sunday, November 16, from 1 to 3.

December Month Opener-  December 8 at Peggy Doerge’s house.  Chili provided – bring cornbread, wine, etc,


Deb Dunkhase introduced our speaker Connie Mutel, a plant ecologist trained in Colorado.  She and her husband, a University of Iowa astronomer, live on 16 acres of timber on Sugar Bottom Road 37 years ago.  It had been used as a woodlot rather than grazed so retained a number of native plants.  They have been working to improve the property and restore the biodiversity.

She noted that 200 years ago the Iowa landscape burned regularly due to lightning or native Americans.   With burning, oaks flourished and were 80% of the forest.  Without that burning since, other trees and plants have thrived replacing the oaks which do not due reproduce in shaded environments.  She described the use of burning on their property and the benefits.  With burns the forest is more conducive to grasses and wildflowers and oaks.   Without restoration, a number of animal and plant species will disappear.  She indicated that after restoration, milkweed, red headed woodpeckers have reappeared on their property.  She also noted that restoration provides better soil protection from heavy rains.  Due to climate change, the Midwest including Iowa has been experiencing 45% more heavy rains particularly in the spring.

If you have any questions or would like to see her woodland property she can be reached at  The state forestry department has foresters who will help you assess woodlands for you at no charge.   She also recommended the Burr Oak Land Trust organization for those interested in joining a group focused on woodlands.


Phil Peterson