VAN METER – A steady stream of people found their way to Badger Creek a few years ago, not for the quality fishing or to hunt pheasants or ducks, but for the food plot planted and managed for the mourning dove season. They were here for the sunflowers.
Engagement photos, senior pictures, family portraits and a flood of selfies – taken, shared and posted to social media – all originated from Badger Creek. The acres of sunflowers brought them here, many, if not most, for the first time.
“Badger Creek became an internet sensation and we had all kinds of people here to get their pictures with the sunflowers,” said Chad Paup, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Sitting just 20 minutes from Des Moines in northeast Madison County, the 1,100-acre Badger Creek Wildlife Area, State Recreation Area and lake is popular with anglers, hunters and casual wildlife viewers. “It’s a very popular lake for fishing, ice…