On March 22, Rotarian Stacy Brewster featured club presenter Anita O’Gara, VP Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and on March 29, Natalie Job featured Mindi Sudman from the recently opened restaurant 111 Main.

What was inspirational to hear from both was the dedication and desire to feature and restore nature and natural beauty of land and building. Each shared their interest and love of what they do and why.

O’Gara shared how the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation serves to protect and restore Iowa land, water and wildlife. Examples of such include 60 trails, new public places to experience nature, Gladys Black Eagle Refuge and Hickory Ridge Wilderness Area. Restoring the land there are many partners and donors partnering including city, county, state and federal agencies called “interior ownership."

Landowners have an option to safeguard Iowa’s natural resources for the future. Some of those that use the landowner's option include the Hertz Family Woods & Nature Preserve. More information can be found at www.iowalandoptions.org.

Sudman on March 29 shared how Scott Ziller and she went through the process of restoring and protecting 111 Main building, originally built in 1887, giving Knoxville and surrounding citizens another restaurant option. The brick and ceiling are all original with the addition of bringing the building up to code.

They are offering new adventures for connoisseurs, such as scotch and bourbon tasting events and a pub crawl in the spring.

Rotary members remarked on the incredible cuisine including the Brussels sprouts, hometown-like meals, use of local food producers and distributors including Bluegate Farms and Hometown Meats. 111 Main’s chef is from Indianola Country Club.

Above the restaurant, an apartment is being renovated and many other changes will be made. There are many possibilities that will be offered by these unique owners in the future.

Rotary meets every Wednesday at noon at the Red Rock Grill and Still, except for May 10. For more information call Jason Maasdam at 641-891-1607.

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