Five favorite photos

We’ve collected a lot of photos over our Initiative’s first three years – Climate Land Leaders hot and sweaty planting trees, exploring the diversity of a prairie, nervously speaking at events, reflecting with each other on their conservation progress. Here are five that always make us smile.

Jackie Armstrong, photo by Ruth Rabinowitz

First: Climate Land Leaders bring wide and rich life experiences to our work. Iowa farmland owner Ruth Rabinowitz spent years as a professional photographer, and she shared those skills at our March 2021 retreat. Here’s her portrait of Jackie Armstrong, St. Ansgar, IA, that captures Jackie’s wonderful presence and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s lovely winter wonderland that provided us inspiration during the retreat.


Peg Bouska and Sylvia Luetmer

Second: Nothing can beat the cozy comradery conveyed by this photo of Peg Bouska (Iowa City, IA) and Sylvia Luetmer (Alexandria, MN). They had just built a fire at the lodge at Osprey Wilds Environmental Center, after Climate Land Leaders spent a damp afternoon visiting the Center’s farm.


Jane Shey

Third: With cheeks ruddy from the winter cold, Jane Shey almost looks like she’s photo bombing in this pic of her tree plantings on her family’s Algona, IA, farm.


Meg and Glenn Nielsen

Fourth: Put them in period clothing and hitch them up to a horse, and this shot of Meg and Glenn Nielsen could be a 19th-century buggy ride. Meg and Glenn were about to get muddy planting trees on their farm near Glenville, MN.


Sylvia Spalding

Fifth: This photo of Sylvia Spalding on her land near Oskaloosa, IA, reminds us of the best of Southern Iowa—open skies, grasses swaying in the wind, trees in the distance for protection from the sun.