Benton County Conservation is partnering with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to more than double the size of the Wildcat Bluff Recreation Area near Urbana. With beautiful woodland, upland and lowland habitat, and the chance to protect even more of the Cedar River's bank, the addition allows Benton County to add unique outdoor recreation as well as increase important wildlife habitat.

Benton County Conservation is more than halfway toward their fundraising goal for the Wildcat Bluff expansion. Recently they received a special challenge opportunity for this project from the Myers' Family Conservation Fund to allow donations to go even further.

The Myers' Family Conservation Fund is supported by the proceeds from the estate of Tom and Marge Myers. Tom and Marge raised their three children in eastern Iowa before retiring to the Southwest after his long career with Deere. Prior to that relocation, Marge founded and ran a technical illustration business. In retirement, Tom served multiple terms on the New Mexico state board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy, while Marge took great pleasure in the outdoors, working cattle roundups on horseback.

Prior to her death in 2013 and Tom passing away in April of 2023, they toured extensively with The Nature Conservancy, generously supporting projects in Chile, Argentina and New Zealand, along with conservation research along the Gila River Preserve in New Mexico. Their son, Mike Myers, administers the fund, and has lived in the Vinton area since 2005, with his wife, Dr. Alice Timmerman, the owner of the Vinton-Urbana Veterinary Hospital.

"The opportunity to help secure the Wildcat Bluff Expansion property to support recreation in Benton County was irresistible, and we welcome and challenge others to join us in doing so. In addition to our most recent direct support to the project, the fund is offering to match up to $100,000 in donations to the Benton County Conservation Foundation in support of the expansion," said Myers.

Benton County Conservation is excited to be creating more recreation opportunities in our county. "We've had amazing support and can sense the community's enthusiasm. We're rocketing toward our fundraising goal and have a chance to get even further thanks to this special challenge opportunity from the Myers' family. If you're wanting to be part of Wildcat Bluff's expansion, now is the time to give while your gift will be doubled," said Shelby Williams, Director of Benton County Conservation.

Williams invites anyone interested in learning more about the Wildcat Bluff expansion to email, call 319-472-4942, or go to

Pictured: Randy Scheel (BCCB), David Coulter (BCCF), Dr. Alice Timmerman (Donor), Becky VanWey (BCCB), Mike Myers (Donor), Shelby Williams (BCC), Dale Henry (BCCF), Cecilia Dirks (BCC), Mike LaGrange (BCCB), Samantha Hunter (BCCF)


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