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Iowa Water Trails Association 
September, 2012  
Sep 22-23 Iowa Outdoor EXPO
Sep 22-23 Lower Wapsi Cleanup
Sep 27+ Skunk River WT Events
Sep 28-29 Iowa River WT Cleanup Hardin Co
Oct 6 Iowa River WT Cleanup Iowa City
Oct 6-7 Overnight on Pool 14
Oct 7 Jones Co Fall Colors Outing
Nov 3 Louisa Fall Colors Paddle
Nominate River Town of the Year
Environmental Education Grants
We Need your Input


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Your Water Trails Want (& Need) You!


Mike Delaney needs more volunteers to support growing paddling interest at the Iowa Outdoor Expo.  Volunteers are needed for upcoming cleanups on the Lower Wapsi River, Iowa River in Hardin County, & Iowa River in Johnson County.  The Skunk River Navy needs participants in events supporting designation of a Skunk River WT.  And we're coming into the season of Fall Color Floats.  So, get out there and PARTICIPATE!


Please note that the application deadline for the IRR River Town of the Year award is Nov 1.  And, the proposal deadline for  Environmental Education Mini Grants is Oct 4.


Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and especially your submissions of events, reports, photos, and ideas.  It takes a while to grow a network of Water Trail supporters, but we're on our way.  


CdrRvrFallColors 037
Paddlers' view of fall color along the Cedar River above Cedar Rapids 2011


The Iowa fall color float season will begin shortly, and we'd like to help promote your scenic WT event in our Oct IWTA Newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.


Sep 22-23 Iowa Outdoor EXPO -- MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Logo Iowa Outdoor Expo


Update & Plea for Volunteers from Mike Delaney:


I am writing about the Water Sport Village portion of the Ikes Outdoor EXPO to be held at Water Works Park (west pond) Sept 22 and 23. The DNR has really gotten behind our efforts this year. We have much more advertising going out. We could easily double the number of attendees this year. 


At this point I don't have the commitments that I had last year or the year before from paddlers. Last year we put 700 people in canoes and kayaks. We may have to scale back activity some if I can't find enough help. I could reduce the number of boats on the water at one time. I could reduce the time that each customer/paddler can be on the water. I could restrict the route each paddler takes to a circuit out and around a buoy. I hate to cut back on our very successful introduction of so many inexperienced  folks to paddling, however, there is only so much each volunteer can do and safety must be our first concern.


If you can help please contact me:, 515-277-3279 or 515-339-0438


Thanks, Mike



The Des Moines Izaak Walton League will host the fourth annual Outdoor EXPO for Children and Families on September 22-23.  The EXPO is free, and will be held at Des Moines Izaak Walton League and Water Works Park, 4343 George Flagg Parkway in Des Moines.  Hours are Saturday: 9am - 5pm & Sunday: 10am - 4pm.


Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing week by bringing the entire family for a fun day discovering new and exciting ways to enjoy Iowa's outdoors. It's an outdoor experience where visitors fish, shoot, canoe, see and touch wildlife and learn about recreation in the great outdoors.


Once again Mike Delaney will organize a water sport village.  Last year, Mike and his volunteers put 700 people on water boards and in kayaks and canoes with the help of Iowa Falls Outfitters, Canoe Sport Outfitters, Central Iowa Paddlers, Skunk River Paddlers, Iowa DNR, Polk County Conservation and the Raccoon River Watershed Association.  The EXPO drew about 3,000 attendees last year, and this year's event will be much larger. If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Mike Delaney at or 515-277-3279. 


Find an EXPO event poster, video, map, and additional links for volunteers, exhibitors, & sponsors at: 


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Sep 22-23 Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup, Clinton & Scott Counties
Tree & Tire Stark


The 2012 cleanup will be held Sep 22 & 23, cleaning up 22 miles of the Wapsi River, mostly in Clinton County, from Walnut Grove Park in Toronto, to Allen's Grove Park in northwestern Scott County.  Registration forms are now available.


On Saturday, volunteers will paddle 14 miles from Walnut Grove Park to Sherman Park, with an extra trash drop-off point at Syracuse Wildlife Area.  Syracuse is 8 river miles from Walnut Grove, and shuttles will run from Syracuse to Sherman Park for anyone who wishes to end their day at that point.  Saturday evening, the Clinton County Conservation Board naturalists will offer some interesting, fun, and free environmental education programs about the river and the land around it.


On Sunday, volunteers will paddle 8 miles from Sherman Park to Allen's Grove Park.  There may be an extra trash drop-off point midway.


Participants can bring their own food, or pay for catered meals in advance with their registration.  Organizers will offer all three meals on Saturday, and breakfast & lunch on Sunday.  You may choose any or all of the meals.  There are also convenience stores and restaurants in the surrounding towns that you can drive to in the evenings.  A limited number of canoes, paddles, and orange "keyhole" PFDs will be provided free if you don't have or don't want to use your own.


T-shirts will be offered for sale, which you would pay for in advance with your registration and pick up the Saturday morning of the event.  More details to follow as they become available.  Please note the new domain name: and new coordinator email address: 


Photo by Gregg Stark

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Sep 27 & Beyond--Skunk River WT Designation Project--Fall 2012 Events

From Mimi Wagner, Skunk River Water Trail Designation Project:

Attached is a list of events organized for the Designate the Skunk project. There are two more events that will likely be added, and I will forward those as soon as they are available.    


These seven events are opportunities for the people of the Story County community to (re)connect with the Skunk River. Each program or activity includes a topic of discussion that local residents and landowners mentioned in landowner listening sessions earlier this spring. Note that some are activities while others are purely listening. Fishing demonstrations and teaching is also included where possible. Participants at the events will also provide feedback and direction about use of the Skunk as a state designated water trail. 


Once this schedule of events is completed, in early November, a vision for the water trail in Story County will be finalized. These events are co-sponsored by Story County Conservation, Skunk River Navy, Skunk River Paddlers and Iowa DNR.

Thanks to everyone who's been active and helpful with this project. Also--thanks to Story County Conservation, we may be the first state designation effort with our own banner!! See the group photo from the event at Soper's Mill.

Skunk River Water Trail Designation Project 
Fall 2012 Confirmed Public Events


(Completed) Sunday, Sep 16, 1:30 pm @ Soper's Mill: Dr. Jim Colbert and the Skunk River Navy. Meet at the rock dam. Fishing demonstration & assistance provided.


Thursday, Sep 27, 5:15pm @ River Valley Park: Hydrogeologist Dr. Bill Simpkins discusses the drought, groundwater, flooding and the low head dam on the Skunk River. Meet at the dam near the east shelter at 5:15pm. Fishing demonstration & assistance provided.


Saturday, Oct 6, 2:00pm @ General Filter / Hannum's Mill site: Local historian Jim Graham discusses the history of the dam and interprets remaining elements visible due to low water conditions. Meet at the Sleepy Hollow Boat Launch on Riverside Drive at 2pm for the 10-minute hike to the site. Closed-toe shoes and long pants recommended due to poison ivy. Fishing demonstration & assistance provided.


Sunday, Oct 14, 2:00pm Float the Skunk: Skunk River Paddlers (SRP) organizing a public float trip between Sleepy Hollow Access and River Valley Park. Participants bring their own boats and life jackets. Meet at 2pm at Sleepy Hollow Access on Riverside Drive; plan on a 5pm end time.


Sunday, Nov 4, 2:00pm near Anderson Access: DNR State River Programs Director Nate Hoogeveen interprets the oversized log jam (the largest anyone can remember on the Skunk) on the Skunk and DNR's recent work to alleviate impacts of the jam. We will also transplant trees, prepare the site and seed native grass on the banks. Meet at 2pm at the parking area at the end of xxxx.


Photo by Marty Jacobs

Sep 28-29 "Hey, We Missed a Spot!" Iowa River WT Cleanup, Hardin County
River Cleanup Nick w Refrig
"Leave no trash" paddling ethic

Invitation from Mary Hyland:


Project AWARE 2012 on the Iowa River in Wright, Franklin, Hardin, and Marshall County was a huge success with over 1,300 tires and 60 plus tons of trash, of which 86% was recycled.   However, due to low water levels and high trash levels we had to skip a section of river between Eldora and Union. 


The Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust is hosting a "Keeping It Clean" event for this section on September 28th and 29th.  Eldora City Ramp to 290th Street Bridge (North edge of Daisy Long Park).  Register by September 18th to avoid a late registration fee.  Information and registration materials are at     


Schedule for Iowa River "Keeping It Clean," September 28 & 29, 2012:

Friday September 28th

4:00 pm/ongoing     Arrive at Daisy Long County Park, set up camp & register

Ongoing - Registration 

7:00 pm - Dinner    Catered by Camp David Restaurant - Iowa Falls

8:00 pm - Welcome & Introductions

Saturday September 29th   (8 miles)

Eldora City Ramp to 290th Street Bridge

7:00 am - Breakfast and lunch distribution

8:00 am - Plan for the day and safety talk

8:30 am - Shuttle (Rock-n-Row Adventures) from Daisy Long to Eldora City Ramp

8:45 am - Depart


Halfway point & trash pickup location (if available) to be determined

8 miles - Arrive at 290th Street Bridge (approx time on river 5 to 6 hours depending on water levels)

Pack, say goodbye, and depart for home.

Volunteers arriving on Saturday morning - please be on site by 7:00 am to register.

Daisy Long County Park amenities include modern restrooms, running water, electricity, & shelter.  Emergency Storm Shelter - Hardin County Savings Bank, Union


Who gets credit for this photo of Nick & friend? --editor 

Oct 6 Iowa River Cleanup, Iowa City, Johnson County

Iowa River Cleanup
Dan's partially-loaded canoe

Mark your calendar for a Saturday, October 6 cleanup along 9.5 miles of the Iowa River WT from Sturgis Ferry Park to Hills Access.  There will be free primitive camping at the Izaak Walton League access for the weekend, more details coming soon.  More info at 


Photo by Dan Ceynar

Oct 6-7 Clinton County Overnight on Pool 14, Lock & Dam 13, Mississippi River
Logo Clinton Co Con

Paddle campers will meet at Lock & Dam #13, load boats and depart downstream by 9 AM. The group will cover approximately 15 miles of the Mississippi River's gentle, mainly backwater, currents, and travel through its largest island. We will camp in the vicinity of the mouth of the Wapsipinicon River and continue on early Sunday morning to L&D 14.


We have a limited number of paddle craft and equipment, 2 person tents, dry bags, cook sets and mess kits, free for your use. Call 563-847-7202 to register/reserve county equipment 


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Oct 7 Jones County Annual Fall Colors Canoe Outing, Maquoketa River
Invitation from Michele Olson, Jones County Naturalist:


Sunday, October 7, Maquoketa River, Pictured Rocks to Hwy 136 Access.

8:30 AM:  Meet to shuttle vehicles to take out.

9:30 AM:  Introductions, orientation, and launch from Pictured Rocks Access.


Pictured Rocks Access at 2010 dedication

This year's outing will cover approximately 12 river miles on the scenic Maquoketa River.  You will pass boulders, cliffs, and forestsrested limestone bluffs as you travel through the Pictured Rocks and Indian Bluffs Wildlife Areas. 


Participants will need to bring lunch and snacks, beverages, camera, warm aquatic footwear, dry-bags, extra clothing, sunscreen, etc.  


Paddlers will also need to bring their own canoes and kayaks or contact local canoe outfitters to inquire about canoe rentals and shuttle service.  Maps, information on rental businesses, etc. can be found at by clicking on conservation and downloads and links.  


Anyone planning on attending should contact Michele (by noon October 4) at (319)481-7987 or to pre-register. 


Photo by Gregg Stark

Nov 3 Fall Colors Paddle on Mississippi Backwaters, Louisa County

Invitation from Katie Hammond, Director, Louisa County Conservation Board:


Odessa WT Brfg
Julie Ohde briefs Odessa paddlers in 2009

Fall Colors Paddle on the Mississippi from 9-3pm starting at the Port Louisa Access and going to the Toolesboro access.  View the splendor of the fall colors as we paddle down the Mississippi River Trail of the Odessa Water Trail.  We will stay near the Iowa shoreline and paddle mostly backwaters, away from the main channel.  There is a short portage around the spillway at Lock and Dam 17.  This beautiful stretch of the Mississippi River will offer great wildlife viewing and scenery as we pass behind several islands.  Bring a sack lunch and plenty of water to drink.  A shuttle will be provided, but you must register for shuttle service. Registration available online at 


When: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm 
Where: Odessa Wa
ter Trail - Mississippi River Route, put in at Port Louisa NWR and take out at Toolesboro Landing 

Who: Experienced paddlers 
Cost: $20/kayak (solo) or $25/canoe (double) includes shuttle; no fee if you bring your own boat but donations are accepted 
To regist
er : Registration required if you want to borrow a boat or need a shuttle. Register online beginning October 1 or call 319-523-8381


Photo by Gregg Stark 

Nominate the Next IRR "River Town of the Year"-- Applications due Nov 1
Charles City Overview
Charles City Whitewater Kayak Course

Iowa Rivers Revival -- an organization committed to protecting Iowa's rivers and streams and watersheds -- invites you to nominate your city for IRR's River Town of the Year award.


The annual River Town of the Year award recognizes an Iowa town or city for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices. Cities are invited to apply for the award, or citizens may nominate their town.  Applications are due by November 1, 2012. The award will be presented in January 2013 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the River Town of the Year community.


For a detailed application, please go to   The web site has examples of towns' applications for the award, IRR news releases, and news coverage.  Previous "River Town" award recipients are Webster City, Elkader, Coon Rapids, Cedar Falls, and Charles City.


The River Town of the Year award recognizes a city's outstanding work to enhance connections to its river.  For example, Charles City was honored for responding to severe floods in 1999 and 2008 "by embracing the Cedar River with new ideas and bold projects," including transforming a low-head dam into Iowa's first whitewater kayak course and installing the state's largest permeable paving system.


Applicants must demonstrate commitment to protecting and maintaining river water quality, and promoting the river as an asset to the town.  Examples might include: dam-safety efforts, river-oriented tourism efforts, river clean-up projects, Water Trail designation projects, innovative storm water and river protection projects, walking trails along the river, education and advocacy by local river or watershed groups, and efforts for river use and appreciation (restaurants, bed & breakfasts, bait shops, boat rentals).


Photo by Charles City Press

Environmental Education Mini Grants Available--Proposals due Oct 4

Info from Rebecca Kauten, Senior Research Associate, Office of Recreation Resources, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0241, 319-415-0476


Since 2008, the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition (ICEC) has been an active partner in a four-state initiative to advance environmental literacy in K-12 formal and non-formal education. This coalition recently was awarded a grant from the EPA which enables a series of mini-grants up to $5,000 each. The goal of these grants is to forward the respective mission, goals and objectives related to environmental literacy in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri as defined by each state's stakeholder groups.


According to the Iowa Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP), Iowans should have, upon high school graduation:

  • A fundamental knowledge of natural world systems and human impact on the environment.
  • The ability to identify and analyze environmental issues and use evidence to defend personal judgments and resolve issues.
  • The confidence, motivation, and personal responsibility to engage in civic action for the environment.

Eligible applicants may receive up to $5,000 to advance environmental literacy in our state(s). Proposals are due October 4, 2012.  The request for proposals and other information are available via the KACEE website at:  Page 6 specifies key priorities and objectives for Iowa-related proposals.


If you or someone you know might be interested in serving as a proposal reviewer, please let me know and I can pass along information on that as well.


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We Appreciate Your Support of the IWTA Newsletter

The mission of the IWTA is to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and encouragement among Iowans working to create, enhance, or utilize our water trails.


Logo Wear It

This is YOUR opportunity to publicize YOUR WT events, share YOUR WT ideas, and secure answers to YOUR WT questions and concerns.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Our October issue will highlight the remaining "Fall Color" WT floats and outings around the state--please let us know about yours!

We're always looking for more subscribers, so please share the IWTA Newsletter with your friends via the "Forward this email" or "Share on Social Media" buttons. To subscribe, they just need to click on the "Join Our Mailing List" button. 


Thank you for your support and encouragement.




Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter