Izaak Walton League volunteer

Earth Action Hero: Izaak Walton League conserves two times over

Ever heard a rusty patched bumblebee buzz? They’re endangered, but making a comeback in reestablished native pollinator plants at Bush Lake with the help of Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) volunteers. Bloomington has two such chapters—Bush Lake, 7515 Izaak Walton Road West and the Minnesota Valley Chapter, 6601 Auto Club Road—a rarity for any city.

Both have origins in the early 20th century when Bloomington had hunting lodges for city dwellers to take a respite. IWLA evolved into conservation. Today, efforts are still going strong with wilderness and wetland protection, water quality monitoring and conservation-based community events, to name a few.

For some public outreach efforts, the Bush Lake Chapter partners with the Bloomington Sustainability Commission. Events cosponsored with the City include the Winter Fete Ice Fishing and Bloomington Kid’s Fishing Fair.

While the Izaak Walton League chapters have memberships with yearly dues, some events are free and open to the public. The Minnesota Valley Chapter has a free public-access hiking trail that leads down to the Minnesota River Valley Trail. It’s easy to get in step with nature here. For information, visit blm.mn/iwla-bushlake or blm.mn/iwla-mnvalley.