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Iowa Water Trails Association 
January, 2013  
Jan 28 Landowner Meeting in Keosauqua re Des Moines WT
Feb 4 IRR Legislative Reception -- You're Invited!
Winter in Iowa is "Showtime"
Feb 20 Livery Training Class
2013 Canoe School Classes
2013 Dates to Embrace or Avoid
Your IWTA Newsletter Depends On Your Input



Iowa Rivers Revival, Protector of Rivers, Streams & Watersheds
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Motor Mill Winter Larry Stone
The beauty of winter at Motor Mill, along the Turkey River WT.
Photo by Larry Stone.
Yes, it is winter in Iowa, but Water Trail supporters don't have time to hibernate.
Winter is the time for us all to spend some time reflecting on what has passed and planning for what is to come.  Do you remember that old saw, "If it is to be, it is up to me?"  You can't buy a WT on ebay, they're not created by the Corp of Engineers.  WTs are created, enhanced, and maintained by people of vision who care enough to get involved.
This Mid-Mo edition of the IWTA Newsletter includes information about opportunities to meet with paddlers and other WT enthusiasts, share your WT funding concerns with legislators, engage in training classes, and outline your 2013 event calendar.

We hope that you and your WT friends will make the most of this season's opportunities for planning and promoting your WT.

Jan 28 Landowner Meeting in Keosauqua 
Pathfinders RC&D Logo


From Julie Ohde, 

Pathfinders RC&D:

Pathfinders RC&D is hosting a meeting for landowners on Monday, January 28, 7:00 p.m. at the Roberts Memorial Center, 20497 Highway 1 North, Keosauqua. 


The purpose of the meeting is to discuss plans to enhance the current water trail program with landowners along the Des Moines River (Eldon to Farmington) and gather their input about issues regarding the river.


The evening will include a presentation about the Des Moines River Water Trail project, a facilitated discussion to gather information and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. Staff from Pathfinders RC&D staff and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be present.


Invitations are being sent to landowners along the river but anyone with an interest in the Des Moines River is welcome to attend

for landowners along the Des Moines River (Eldon to Farmington) to learn about plans to enhance the current water trail program and gather input from landowners about issues regarding the river.


Find out more about the project and the Des Moines River Water Trail at 

Invitation to Feb 4 Iowa Rivers Revival Legislative Reception
IRR Logo

IWTA and the IWTA Newsletter currently have no plans to advocate for or against any bills, candidates or regulatory rules.  We will, however, encourage our subscribers to take an active interest in any such matters which may benefit or impact efforts to create, maintain, or utilize the Water Trails of Iowa.  The IRR Legislative Reception is an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss your concerns and interests.



To IWTA Subscribers, From Rosalyn Lehman, Executive Director, Iowa Rivers Revival:


You are invited to the IRR Legislative Reception, 5-7 pm, Monday, Feb. 4, in Des Moines.  The purpose of this reception is to engage our legislators, in a somewhat casual atmosphere, about the importance of river issues and funding.  Establishing and maintaining legislative relationships are key to ongoing support for river issues that can protect and improve Iowa's rivers and water quality.  With over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams in this state, nearly every legislator in Iowa is connected to one or many of these precious resources. 

You are invited to attend, and we hope you invite your lawmakers to join us whether you can attend or not.  Drop them a quick note and encourage them to attend.  Example:  "Dear Senator/Representative...I live in Cedar Rapids near the Cedar River - Iowa Rivers Revival is hosting a legislative reception on Monday, Feb 4 at the Noodle Zoo Café on E 6th and Locust from 5-7 p.m. and I hope you can attend to learn more about Iowa's river programs and the many benefits rivers provide our community.  Protecting and improving Iowa's rivers and water quality are important to me because....  Sincerely, Name, Address."  You can find your legislators' email addresses at  

When:  Monday, Feb. 4, 5-7 p.m.    
Where:  Noodle Zoo Cafe -- East 6th and Locust, Des Moines.
Open to the public.  Light appetizers and beverages provided.

Last year, IRR was successful in establishing a $1,000,000 appropriation for dam mitigation and water trail development.  This funding provided support for a range of projects that will address dam safety concerns, and assist communities interested in water trail development and continued maintenance of existing water trails.  

In the 2013 legislative session, we will be advocating for an annual $2,000,000 investment for dam mitigation and water trail development.  Additionally, we are seeking funding to help develop a plan for a comprehensive, statewide River Restoration program that can prioritize and target resources for improving and enhancing our state's rivers relative to Iowans' changing uses of our rivers. Program goals include improving important habitats, stabilizing stream-banks in natural ways, prioritizing federal mitigation funds, and improving stream-bank and corridor aesthetics.  Just as the Lake Restoration program has benefited all Iowans, restoring our rivers would provide many economic and quality of life benefits across the state.

Please let me know if you or others can join us to support efforts to raise awareness about the importance of river funding and protecting and investing in Iowa's rivers.


Rosalyn Lehman, Executive Director, Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301
515-724-4093  | 


Winter in Iowa is "Showtime."  Will Your WT Be Playing?

Outdoor and paddling shows will begin this month and continue into spring.  Are you prepared to promote your WT?  Do you have a basic photo display?  Maps and brochures?  Volunteers?  Have you offered to do a short presentation about your developing or completed WT?  We hope that you and your WT will make the most of this "promotional" season.


Here are a few local and regional outdoor shows we have identified, but we would appreciate hearing from you about others, particularly those being held within Iowa:


January 26; Indian Creek Nature Center "6th Annual Paddle Day," Cedar Rapids, Noon-4:30 pm; featuring presentations re Iowa Mussels, Charles City Whitewater, Urban Watersport Opportunities, Lessons-learned in Developing Water Trails; presentations, exhibits, door prizes; cosponsored by Seatasea & SIW.

February 8-10; Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo at CanoeSport Outfitters, Indianola.  Informative exhibits, entertaining presentations, factory reps, show specials;

February 8-10, Cedar Rapids Sports Show, Hawkeye Downs, Cedar Rapids.

March 8-10; Canoecopia at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. World's largest paddling sports show;

April 21; Jones County Pancake Fundraiser & Earth Day Fair in Anamosa, 8:00 am-1:00 pm, exhibits, food, Lawrence Community Center, Anamosa.

April 26-28; Outdoor Adventure Expo at Midwest Mountaineering in Twin Cities, MN.   

Feb 20 IDNR Livery Training Class at Pinicon Ridge

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a training class for livery/outfitters on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013. The location will be at Pinicon Ridge Park near Central City, just north of Cedar Rapids. The class will be a one-day training session with approximate hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Goals will include understanding river management and developing risk management plans, and participants will receive updates on rule and regulation changes.


Iowa now doubles the national average for paddlers on the water at 12% of the population, and new paddlers are coming on board, seeking outfitters to help plan their day/weekend. Make sure your livery service is up-to-date on knowledge and information.  The class will be taught by IDNR River Programs Director, Nate Hoogeveen, and Outreach Coordinator, Todd Robertson. Both are certified paddling instructors through the American Canoe Association.


A complete description and registration form will soon be available on the IDNR website at then, please email to sign up. There is no fee.  The class size is limited, so sign up today!

Registration Open for 2013 IDNR Canoe School Classes

The 2013 IDNR Canoe School schedule and registration form are now available on the IDNR website. These have been very popular events, and space in these classes will be limited, so you are advised to register ASAP.

Canoe School on Boone River
Canoe School on the Boone River


Each 2 day canoe class is targeted for specific groups,

such as naturalists, trip leaders, outfitters, etc. and the cost is only $25.  


Two certified American Canoe Association/IDNR instructors teach the skills to guide a group safely downriver, along with paddling skills to share with your participants.  Each class includes classroom learning, flat-water skills, and then moving-water skills on the final day. You will learn a lot and have a blast doing it. 


Contact instructor Todd Robertson with any questions: or 515-979-9538.

Photo by Todd Robertson
A Rough Planning Calendar for 2013

They may be dates to embrace, dates to ignore, or dates to avoid, but here are a few dates you may want to note as you plan your WT events for 2013:

January 14; Iowa Legislative Session Opens; (per diem expenses end May 3).

January 26; Indian Creek Nature Center "6th Annual Paddle Day," Cedar Rapids, Noon-4:30 pm; featuring Iowa Mussels, Charles City Whitewater, Urban Watersport Opportunities, Lessons-learned in Developing Water Trails; cosponsored by Seatasea & SIW.

February 2; Groundhog Day.

February 3; NFL Super Bowl.

February 4; Iowa Rivers Revival Legislative Reception at Des Moines; 5:00-7:00 pm at Noodle Zoo,

February 9; Nick's Pre-Expo Buffet Breakfast at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, 7:00 am, annual gathering of old and new paddling friends on the way to the Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo.

February 8-10; Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo at CanoeSport Outfitters, Indianola.  Exhibits, presentations, factory reps, show specials;  

February 14; Valentine's Day.

March 8-10; Canoecopia at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. World's largest paddling sports show;

March 10; Daylight Savings Time Begins.

March 17; St. Patrick's Day.

March 20; Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring.

April 15; Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Iowans (Iowa State Income Tax Filing Deadline is April 30).

April 21; Jones County Pancake Fundraiser & Earth Day Fair in Anamosa, 8:00 am-1:00 pm, exhibits, food, Lawrence Community Center, Anamosa (Nick Gaeta river float following event).

April 22; Earth Day, annual observance of the first Earth Day in 1970.

April 26; Arbor Day, annually last Friday in April,

April 26-28; Outdoor Adventure Expo at Midwest Mountaineering in Twin Cities, MN.  

May (dates tbd); Cross Delaware County Paddle, Ewalu Access to Mon Maq Dam; two-day, 60-mile paddle across Delaware County, email Hannah Childs

May 3; Iowa Legislative Session Target Close; (per diem expenses end May 3).

May 12; Mothers Day.

May 18; Armed Forces Day.

May 30; Memorial Day (observed May 27).

May 31-June 2 (tentative); Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend.  Kayak & SUP competition, music, food, beverages, prizes; info at

June 7-9; IDNR Free Fishing Days, many local fishing derbies for kids

June 8; 3rd Annual Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa City on Iowa River WT. Registration begins April 1; Iowa Valley RC&D;, registration & rules at

June 14; Flag Day.

June 14; Iowa Trails Summit, Cedar Falls/Waterloo, presentations re strategies, policies, & development opportunities vested in partnerships creating new trails.  Summit relates to all types of Iowa trails-water, hiking, biking, equestrian, snowmobile;

June 15; Tree Town Adventure Race, Forest City on Winnebago River WT.  Paddling, cycling, running race with wide variety of individual and group classes.

June 16; Father's Day.

June 21; Summer Solstice, 1st Day of Summer.

July 4; Independence Day, Thursday.

??July ??-??; DNR Project AWARE, annual week-long river cleanup, dates & location tbd. 

July 21-27; RAGBRAI,

August 8-18; Iowa State Fair, visit IDNR building, Rivers Program & Project Aware displays.

August 17; 3rd Annual Floatzilla in Quad Cities.  Floats, training sessions, food, live music, tee shirts, world record attempt for largest flotilla of kayaks & canoes;

September 2; Labor Day.

September 11; Disabled Veteran Kayaking/Canoeing event at Riverside.  In conjunction with VA National TEE Tournament, Wednesday, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm, across Hwy 22 from Riverside Casino, Riverside, IA; info at http://www1, & boats needed; please contact Gregg Stark,

September 22; Autumnal Equinox, 1st Day of Autumn.

October 6; Annual Jones County Conservation Dept "Fall Colors Float", route & times tbd.

November 3; Daylight Savings Ends.

November 11; Veterans Day.

November 28; Thanksgiving, Thursday.

December 21; Winter Solstice, 1st day of Winter.

Your Input Will Help Us All Continue to Enjoy the IWTA Newsletter
Purckerbrush Golf Cart
Have you seen any canoes in winter parades?
(This photo is from the July 14, 2012 Puckerbrush parade
in Forest City, courtesy of Robert Schwartz & friends.)

We need your input to meet the IWTA mission of facilitating the exchange of information, ideas and encouragement among Iowans working to create, enhance, or utilize our water trails. 


This newsletter is your opportunity to share your WT experiences and learn from others.  We want to know about your WT efforts--planning, developing, managing, promoting, hosting, partnering with other groups or agencies.    What do you wish you had known two years ago?  What would you like to know right now?  Tell us about your next scheduled event. And then report on the successes and things learned of that event.  



Right now, I'm particularly looking for your input for our regular monthly features:

  • Where Is It? Quiz
  • What Is It? Quiz
  • What WT Means to Me

If you have some ideas, I'm sure we can work together to write them up and share them with others.


Everyone involved with WTs in Iowa is working somewhere along the continuum between a WT concept and a smoothly operating WT, and we all have a lot to learn from each other.  We hope that you will continue to share your events, reports, ideas, and suggestions with us at  We look forward to sharing your stories throughout 2013!


If you are not a subscriber, please click on the "Join Our Mailing List" button to become one.  And, we would appreciate your sharing the IWTA Newsletter with your friends via the "Forward this email" or "Share on Social Media" buttons.


Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter