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Mid Month 


Iowa Water Trails Association 
October, 2015  
Toot Your Horn! Share Your Reports on Summer 2015 Events
Oct 21-23 Iowa Tourism Conference, Ottumwa
Oct 25-28 Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference in Des Moines, Register Now!
Nov 1 Deadline for Wildlife Diversity Grant Proposals
Nov 9-10 Iowa Nonprofit Summit 2015 in Ames, Opportunity to "Network" Your WT
Nov 3 River Restoration Workshop in Oakland
Great Horned Owl Mystery Continues, Jim Pease
Iowa Wildlife Diversity Newsletter, Free Subscription
Quick Look At the Weeks Ahead
Thanks to IWTA Readers

Whether viewed from on the water or from shore, Iowa Water Trails are hosting a spectacular display of colorful fall foliage. Grab a paddle or grab your hiking boots, but definitely grab your camera, and get out there to enjoy and record Mother Nature's annual show.
CdrRvrFallColors 037
It's time to get out and enjoy the transitioning colors of October.  Remember to bring your camera!
With proper preparation, paddling will continue for many of you. The busy events calendar continues, with a variety of conferences and workshops. 

Please be careful out there!  Remember to dress appropriately, take extra clothing in a drybag, wear your PFD, paddle with others, know your capabilities, and file a float plan. 

We send our thanks to those who shared reports on their 2015 events in this issue. We encourage others to submit additional event reports for inclusion over the next couple of months. 
Toot your horn!

We do our best to include all corrections, cancellations, and reschedules ASAP in our newsletters and other materials, but the most current info on events will probably always be the Events Calendar on the IWTA Website. Please contact us with your further additions or corrections:
We're Featuring Reports on Summer 2015 Events--Toot Your Horn!
It's time to "toot your horn!" 
Reports on the summer events of 2015 will be featured in the next few IWTA Newsletters. 

We look forward to sharing your successes, lessons-learned, and maybe some new ideas to improve your programming for 2016.

We welcome emails summarizing your events from YOUR perspective. 
Contact us at

Oct 21-23; Iowa Tourism Conference, Bridge View Center in Ottumwa
Iowa Tourism Conference Logo
The Iowa Tourism Conference is Iowa's premier tourism education and networking event, an annual opportunity to connect with 300 professionals from around the state.

Event information, schedule, and registration:

Oct 25-28; Mid America Trails & Greenways (MATAG) Conference in Des Moines
MATAG Logo Cropped
Register Now for MATAG 2015!
Mobile workshops and expert sessions in the heart of Des Moines.

Bigger and better than ever before--now is the time to experience the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference!
* Come early and explore central Iowa from a horse, bike, canoe or your own two feet.
* Be a part of our mobile workshops for a hands-on learning experience.
* Listen to experts in the field of trails and greenways.
* Stay for an in-depth workshop on topics that matter most to your community.

Spots are filling up! Mobile workshops and post-conference sessions have limited space-reserve your spot today!  Register online now:

MATAG is a regional event held every other year, bringing together trail and greenway interests from 
IL, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, MO, OH and WI. The conference is intended to showcase great projects, 
share ideas, and network. Iowa is hosting the event this year for the first time. 

The conference will include a unique combination of indoor and outdoor activities, field trips, presentations, entertainment, and networking. There will be opportunities for walking, bike riding, paddling, and equestrian rides along with sessions in the areas of funding, maintenance, design, and health. Participants will have opportunities to visit the High Trestle Bridge, Jester Park, Water Works Park, or float an historic section of the Des Moines River.

The conference will be headquartered at Embassy Suites Des Moines and central Iowa trails. Visit the website for conference info, a full schedule, and registration:  Iowa's premier tourism education and networking event
Nov 1; Deadline for Wildlife Diversity Grant Proposals
IDNR Wildlife Diversity Logo Iowa's Wildlife Diversity Habitat Management Grant Program seeks to promote the state's wildlife diversity through providing small grants for habitat management projects that benefit all species of wildlife from birds to butterflies!  

Each proposal should be for a maximum of $7500 and the deadline for submittal is November 1, 2015.   Applicants should be organizations which manage land with wildlife conservation objectives.

For more info, contact Wildlife Diversity Biologist Stephanie Shepherd, 515-432-2823, or email
Nov 9-10; Iowa Nonprofit Summit 2015, Ames
Iowa Nonprofit Summit Logo
This biennial conference offers learning opportunities and resources for Iowa nonprofit & volunteer management professionals. It will include keynote presentations, break-out sessions, networking, and exhibitors. 

For the latest conference news, follow #IAnpsummit online, or visit  where you can join an event e-mail list.
If you have questions, or need more information, contact the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service at, or 515.725.3094 (toll-free: 800.308.5987).

Nov 13; River Restoration Workshop at Oakland, in Western Iowa
West Nishnabotna Haase
Late Summer Along the West Nish.
Todd Robertson photo.
A River Restoration Workshop will be held on Friday, November 13, from 9:00 am--3:00 pm, in the Oakland Community Building, 
614 Van Zee Road, Oakland, IA 51560.

Hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival, Golden Hills RC&D, and Hungry Canyons Alliance, the daylong workshop will focus on natural river restoration and streambank stabilization in Iowa. Presenters and panel speakers will discuss river restoration efforts across Iowa and provide technical how-to guidance for people interested in streambank stabilization.

The workshop is targeted towards IDALS staff, NRCS staff, SWCD commissioners and staff, county conservation boards, county engineers, consultants, and anyone else who is interested. Speakers will include staff from Iowa Rivers Revival, Hungry Canyons Alliance, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Army Corps of Engineers, and Natural Resource Conservation Service.

More information can be found at  as it becomes available. 
Watch for the full agenda in the next IWTA newsletter!
UPDATE: "Owl-y Paddling" & Request for Your Help from Jim Pease
Great Horned Owl Jim Pease
Great Horned Owl photo by Jim Pease
Jim Pease forwards his thanks for the responses he has received thus far, and would like readers to know that he is still accepting observations. He hopes to have an article for our IWTA Newsletter this winter.

Refresher re Jim's original request: 
"I have developed some ideas about just why I am seeing so many great horned owls and why they are so common along our rivers.  But, I'd like to hear about other paddlers' observations first.  Please tell me about any that you have seen while paddling.  On what rivers have you seen them?  What time of day or night?  What kind of numbers are you seeing, in say, owls per river mile paddled?  What species have you been seeing?  Be as specific as possible BUT I'll also be happy to receive any anecdotal information and stories.  Please send them to me as soon as possible at: "
Iowa Wildlife Diversity Newsletter Feeds Curiosity About Our Unique & Rare Critters
IDNR Wildlife Diversity Logo
Interested in butterfly hunting? Wonder about the age of the oldest wild bald eagle? Didn't know there is a walrus cam? Want to learn how to sight the Prairie Skink, Iowa's most common lizard?

Those items and more were included in the summer issue of Iowa's Wildlife Diversity Newsletter, edited by Emily Kiefer. The online newsletter is published four times a year (one for each season) by the Wildlife Diversity Program of the Department of Natural Resources. It's a great source of info and inspiration for curious adults, kids, teachers, and others.
Past issues are available at: 
If interested in receiving the Diversity Program Newsletter, please contact Pat Schlarbaum by e-mail, or phone (515-432-2823 ext. 104).
PLANNING CALENDAR:  A Quick Look at the Weeks Ahead
Oct 21-23; Iowa Tourism Conference, Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.  Annual educational and networking event for tourism professionals. Registration opens June 23.
Oct 25-28; Mid America Trails and Greenways (MATAG) Conference in Des Moines. Indoor presentations, outdoor activities to showcase great projects, share ideas, and network with participants from eight Midwestern states. Details and registration at:
Oct 27; Full Moon.  Sunrise 7:33, Sunset 6:08, Moonrise 6:38 CDT
Nov 1; Daylight Savings Time Ends, set clocks back one hour, replace smoke alarm batteries.
Nov 9-10; Iowa Nonprofit Summit 2015, Ames.  Biennial conference offering learning opportunities and resources for Iowa nonprofit & volunteer management professionals; keynote presentations, break-out sessions, networking, and exhibitors. 
Nov 11; Veterans Day.
Nov 13; River Restoration Workshop, Oakland. 9:00 am--3:00 pm, in the Oakland Community Building, hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival, Golden Hills RC&D, and Hungry Canyons Alliance. Focus on natural river restoration efforts across Iowa and provide technical how-to guidance. More info at
Nov 17-18; Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks.
Nov 25; Full Moon.  Sunrise 7:08, Sunset 4:39, Moonrise 4:58 CST
We Hope That You Are Enjoying the "Award-Winning" 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. That is only possible with your support and participation. Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement.

Our special thanks to:

  • Readers who forwarded info about WT-related events around Iowa.
  • Readers who provided updates to the IWTA 2015 Planning Calendar.
  • Readers who shared items they are reading, or otherwise found interesting.
  • Other groups who have added our IWTA Website link to their own website; we like to network!
Please continue to share your events, reports, ideas, quiz topics, and suggestions with us 
Constant Contact Award 2014

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Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter