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Iowa Water Trails Association 
November, 2015  
Send us your 2016 Event Dates!
Nov 9-10 Iowa Nonprofit Summit 2015 in Ames, Opportunity to "Network" Your WT
Nov 13 River Restoration Workshop in Oakland
Nominate the 2016 River Town of the Year
End of Winter Pool Session Tradition in Cedar Falls
Report; Mussel Move along Cedar River in Waterloo
Report; IEC Conference in Des Moines
Report; Iowa River Cleanup Project
Report; Vets Paddle at Riverside, Leadership Transition
What Readers are Following & Recommending
Iowa Outdoor Magazine a Great Gift Idea
Quick Look At the Weeks Ahead
Answer to Where Is It? Quiz
Answer to What Is It? Quiz
Thanks to IWTA Readers

It's November in Iowa, so yes, we're slipping toward winter, but we will still have some warm days. November, like March, is a "transition month," offering a mix of warm sunshine, rain and cold, clear and dry, and certainly the possibility of snow flakes. It's just a matter of choosing the right day for the right activity.

Photographers can still find pockets of fall color, or a mixture of color and black and white. Mother nature reveals more of our topography and geological features, and animals may become more visible. 
At this time of year, there isn't much in the way of WT paddling events on the events calendar, but there are a number of conferences and workshops of interest to our readers. We would particularly like to publicize any archaeology, history, wildlife, or other indoor programs you are scheduling, especially those which might relate to Iowa Water Trails. 

For a small percentage of paddlers, those properly prepared with the necessary gear and skills, the paddling season continues year round. If you want to learn more about how to safely paddle when icicles are forming on your paddle, we recommend contacting paddle shops (such as CanoeSports Outfitters or CrawDaddy Outdoors) or the more experienced paddlers within org
anized groups (Central Iowa Paddlers, Skunk River Paddlers, Cedar Valley Paddlers). While not for everyone, the challenge of cold weather or winter paddling provides special experiences in a unique environment, and another way to enjoy our Iowa WTs.

We continue to welcome reports on your 2015 events, even as we gather events and dates for 2016 events. As on-water events fade from the schedule, we can devote more space to indoor events and the sharing of ideas and questions. 

Please contact us with your ideas, questions, concerns, or corrections:
Where Is It? Quiz
Quaker Mill Dam and Downstream G.Stark

Where Is It?
Make your best guess, then click on:

What Is It? Quiz

"Out where the rivers like to run, I stand alone, and take back something worth remembering."

What Is It?
Make your best guess, then click on: 

We're Gathering Info for the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar!
Calendar photo 2016
As 2015 winds down, we're already gathering event information for the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar. Whether you have firm dates and complete details, or tentative dates and a rough outline, we would like to hear from you. Even if you just share an "inkling," we will have a reminder to follow up with you as the year progresses.

Among the dates/events we have already received:
Jan 16; ICNC Paddle Day, Cedar Rapids.
Feb 5-7; CSO Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo, Indianola.
Feb 7; Winter Waters Fun Fest, Rock Creek Park & The Mississippi River Eco-tourism Center, Camanche. Presentations and displays about paddling trips, free use of winter sports equipment, chili/mac supper, free display space to paddlers; free family event. Chuck Jacobsen, Clinton CCB, 563-847-7202, Cell: 563-357-0759
Mar 5; Outdoor Photography Workshop, Quad Cities.
Mar 11-13; Rutabaga Canoecopia, Madison, WI.
Mar 22, IEC Environmental Lobby Day, Des Moines.
Apr 27; Northeast Iowa Paddlefest, Waterloo/Cedar Falls.
Jun 16-17; Iowa Trails Summit, Cedar Falls.
Jul 31--Aug 6; Great River Rumble, route TBD. 
Sep 14; VA Vets Paddle, Riverside.
Sep 17; IARVCP Iowa River Cleanup, Iowa City.
Contact us at

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; Technical River Restoration Workshop at Oakland, in Western Iowa
West Nishnabotna Haase
Late Summer Along the West Nish.
Todd Robertson photo.
A Technical 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. Natural river restoration practices can be an affordable and practical solution for addressing streambank erosion issues in our state. Understanding river dynamics can lead to much more cost-effective, fish and wildlife-friendly redirective techniques, which will also look more natural. 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. There is a $25 fee for the event; Iowa Corn Growers will provide the included lunch.

Please note that the website has changed. An event flyer with detailed agenda can now be accessed on

Now Thru Dec 15; IRR Accepting Applications for 2016 River Town of the Year Award
IRR Logo
Iowa Rivers Revival is now accepting applications for the 
2016 "River Town of the Year."  The deadline is December 15, 2015.

This annual award recognizes and celebrates 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. 

We are excited to learn about what communities are doing across the state to protect and enhance their local rivers and streams.  This award provides and opportunity to showcase local stewardship and inspire others. 
Examples of award criteria include, but are not limited to these activities:
Manchester WW Park Oct 2015 G.Stark
Manchester (whitewater park shown above) and Council Bluffs were both recognized as River Towns of the Year in 2015.  G. Stark photo.
  • Innovative storm water controls and river protection measures.
  • Efforts to improve water quality. 
  • Efforts to protect and enhance greenbelts and/or ecosystems. 
  • Protection of threatened riparian habitat and species. 
  • Participating with Iowa Water Trails program. River tourism efforts. 
  • Providing river access (programs, trails, portages, guide info).   
  • Annual or seasonal river clean-up or event.
  • Partnerships to protect and enhance local river or stream.
  • Dam mitigation and/or safety awareness.
The award will be presented early 2016 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the "River Town of the Year" community.  IRR will also work to provide additional opportunities to promote and recognize the "River Town of the Year" through media and river-related events.

Previous "River Town" award recipients are Webster City, Elkader, Coon Rapids, Cedar Falls, Charles City, Central City, Dubuque, Decorah, Manchester, and Council Bluffs.

Visit the Iowa Rivers Revival website  to access the award application, view previous winning cities' applications, IRR news releases, and news coverage. 
Please email or call 563-425-5233 with questions or a contact recommendation.

Iowa Rivers Revival is a non-profit organization committed to protecting Iowa's rivers and streams.  For more information, please go to the website -- 

COMING IN DECEMBER: Report on 2015 "Shores of Clinton County Paddles"
Logo Clinton Co Con
Clinton County Conservation organized a series of "Shores of Clinton County Paddles" throughout the spring-summer-fall of 2015. Participants had the opportunity to experience the variety of paddling experiences available in the county, including small rivers, Mississippi backwaters, Mississippi big waters, and even overnight camping.  

We asked Interpretive Naturalist Chuck Jacobsen to summarize the goals, challenges, and successes of this interesting programming approach. 
Watch for Chuck's report in the December IWTA Newsletter!

Likely End of Winter Pool Session Tradition in Cedar Falls/Waterloo
NE Iowa PFest Siefkin in Pool
Darrin Siefkin, co-owner of CrawDaddy Outdoors, works with a pool session student.
G.Stark photo.
In mid-October, Al Donaldson informed past participants that he would not be organizing pool sessions for January 2016. Thanks to Al's efforts, area paddlers have been able to hone their paddling and safety skills, and enjoy a respite from snow and ice, during 4 or 5 weekly sessions at PEET Pool in Cedar Falls over the last few years. Scheduling the pool at off-peak hours, and providing only informal volunteer coaching, made the sessions very inexpensive.

Al did not completely close the door on the possibility of future pool sessions, stating, "If anyone else would like to step up and sponsor the sessions, I would be glad to share the contacts I have for setting the sessions up and renting the pool space (sponsor need not be from Cedar Falls.)

Contact Al Donaldson at

CrawDaddy Outdoors, Waverly

We would be glad to publicize any additional off-season opportunities to develop or practice paddling and safety skills. 
Please forward your information to
REPORT; "Dennis Wendel Mussel Move" Along Cedar River in Waterloo
Mussel Variety at CVP Mussel Move Dave Kibbee
Examples of the variety of mussels rescued during the Dennis Wendel Mussel Move. Plus a small black leather back turtle at top.
Photo by Rick Kibbee.
The "Dennis Wendel Mussel Move" project honors the memory of Dennis Wendel, a long time Cedar River enthusiast who was involved in the annual Cedar River clean up projects for many years.   He passed away suddenly this past year. Dennis and his wife Chris first realized that thousands of mussels are left stranded and die when the bladder dam is reduced each fall. 

Pam Wolter and other organizers decided to attempt the mussel rescue this fall, and if it was successful, plan to make it an annual event. Mussels are currently one of the most imperiled species across North America, and at least three mussel species were known to be impacted by the bladder dam reduction.

Report from Pam Wolter, Cedar Valley Paddlers:

A total of 995 mussels were saved by moving them to deeper water during the bladder dam reduction that began Monday, Oct 26. In all, 15 people participated. The event was called " The Dennis Wendel Mussel Move" Conservation Project and organized by Cedar Valley Paddlers Club and the Dennis (deceased) and Chris Wendel Family and assisted by: Cedar Valley Walleye Club, West High School students, Black Hawk County Conservation, and Mussel expert, David Kesler.
Four Mussel species were found along on the Cedar River sections in Waterloo, from Exchange Park, then up river to George Wyth State Park River Access. The species found were the Black Sandshell, Plain Pocketbook, Fragile Papershell and the Pimpleback. I have a species count breakdown, if anyone is interested.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who donated their time and talents. We are so appreciative that you all contributed in making a difference to our Cedar River Watershed and these imperiled creatures, as well as honoring the memory of Dennis Wendel.

Editor--Find more info, photos, even a video, in an online Waterloo Courier story at
REPORT; Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) Annual Conference, "Elevate," Des Moines
IEC Conf 2015 Chad Pregracke G.Stark
Chad Pregracke provided an informative, inspiring, & humorous keynote presentation.
Over 200 environmental advocates, professionals, community, business and industry leaders, students, researchers, lawmakers and more attended October's IEC Annual Conference. Titled "Elevate: Creating an Environment of Action," the event also celebrated the organization's 20 years of growth and success.

Keynoter Chad Pregracke, president and founder of Quad Cities-based river cleanup organization Living Lands & Waters, recounted his Mississippi River cleanup journey from a solo effort to the current coordination of local groups in multiple states, and from one boat to a collection of barges and a tow boat. His organization has led more than 800 cleanups on 23 rivers in 20 states, removing an estimated eight million pounds of garbage. It's quite an inspiring story, made even more enjoyable by Chad's sense of humor.

Other speakers included natural resource, energy, agricultural, social science, communications, legal and advocacy experts including Jacqui Patterson (NAACP), Jerry Hatfield (USDA-ARS), Cara Pike (Climate Access). Concurrent panel discussions provided opportunities to connect big ideas with the specific challenges and opportunities in Iowa.

IEC Conf Exhib Area 2015 G.Stark
A broad range of organizations and issues
were represented in the exhibit area.

The conference included networking opportunities, top-notch exhibitors and a delicious lunch featuring seasonal produce.

Find more information about the Iowa Environmental Council, its member organizations, group or individual membership, current issues and future events at or contact Communications & Outreach Director Katy Heggen at 515-244-1194 x210.

IEC Conf 2015 Full House G. Stark
Excellent attendance at the IEC Annual Conference from across Iowa and beyond.
Photos by G.Stark
REPORT; Iowa River Clean-up Project Hits Another Home Run
IARVCP 2015 Boats Along Shore Dave Ratliff
Report from Dan Ceynar, IARVCP

With great weather and lowa River flows (thanks to the USACE closing down the Coralville Lake dam for us and making the 2015 event possible), the 09/12/2015 Iowa River Clean-up was another home run. 

Not only were there 2 mid-points and a backhoe to assist bringing trash up the river bank, there was a free sack lunch. There were 30 canoes on the water and a total of 100 volunteers bringing in 6.2 tons of trash, 1 ton of metal, and ~ 1 ton of tires for total of 8.2 tons (16,400 lbs) of material removed from the 9.5 mile Iowa City to Hills section of the Iowa River. This brings the total 4-year effort to 40 tons (80,000 lbs), and 717 tires removed. 

The good news is that the annual totals have been dropping and the river is looking much better. We will be back next year on Saturday September 17, 2016 to continue the effort.

IARVCP 2015 Boats and Backhoe Dave Ratliff

Pictures of the clean-up can 
be viewed from the link on 
the IARVCP website:  

IARVCP stands for 
"Iowa River Clean-up Project"

As with all sponsor-supported river clean-ups, please visit our sponsor page  and take time to thank them for their support.

Photos by Dave Ratliff
REPORT; Successful Vets Paddle at Riverside, Leadership Transition
VA Vets Paddle 2012 Woody G.Stark
Volunteer Woody Woodburn (yellow kayak) works with a Veteran during 2012 Vets Paddle.
September 9 dawned sunny and clear, with an expected high of 75 degrees. Weather is always a concern for the annual VA Vets Paddle, since participants travel from across the country, and there is no possibility of a rain date. The Vets Paddle is an "alternative activity," (others include bowling, horseback riding, and fishing) to expand the variety of experiences offered to the Veterans participating in the VA National TEE (Training Exposure Experience) Tournament beyond the core activity of golf. 

By 8:00 am, 24 volunteers had erected a sun shelter and carried 45 kayaks and canoes to the edge of a small lake formed by a former sand pit across Hwy 22 from Riverside Casino. Paddles were placed in each boat, and stacks of PFDs were at the ready. Several VA staff people were on hand, with medical supplies and plenty of drinking water. The first shuttle bus arrived, and Veterans, partnered with a support person (spouse, family member or VA staff person), began making their way across a short stretch of sand to the launch area.

Volunteers greeted the Vets, helped fit their PFDs, encouraged them to leave electronic items on dry land, discussed the options of kayaks, canoes, solo, tandem, and assisted the Vets into the boats of choice. As needed, foot pegs were adjusted, basic paddling technique was explained, and the boat was floated. If all appeared to be going well, the boat was launched into the lake, where the Vet was joined by a volunteer in a boat. This volunteer provided guidance, coaching, a safety presence, and some very rewarding social interaction.

In the early years of the paddling event, organizers tried to provide more structured instruction in discrete groups. Since the Vets have a tremendous range of challenges, capabilities, and paddling experience, the approach has evolved to working with one Vet at a time, whenever they arrive, whether they prefer to paddle solo or ride tandem with a volunteer, paddle for 15 minutes or for two hours. An adequate supply of caring, committed, and alert volunteers enable this informal approach to work so well.

Preregistration for the Vets Paddle activity is usually limited to about 50 Vets. Weather, fatigue, health issues, etc. seem to always hold participation below that number, which allows many spouses and other support persons to also experience paddling. Perhaps the best measurement of success is the appreciation expressed by the Veterans as their PDFs are removed and before they head up to the shuttle bus. The volunteers indicate that those comments, time spent paddling with the Vets, and the camaraderie of like-minded volunteers make this a highlight of their year.

Several members of the paddling community have been instrumental in recruiting and coordinating volunteers and boats since 2010. The Volunteer Coordinator for the Sep 14, 2016 VA Vets Paddle is Tom Sabotta of Cedar Rapids. To be placed on an email distro for additional info and updates, email Tom Sabotta at

The first TEE Tournament was held in June 1994 in Nauvoo, Illinois, drawing 36 legally blind Veterans from six Midwestern states. The event was moved to the Iowa City area in 1995. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) endorsed this event in 2008 and it became one of VA's six national rehabilitation programs for Veterans. The event has expanded to include not only Veterans who are legally blind, but also amputees, those who use wheelchairs, and Veterans with other disabilities. 

The VA introduced the paddling activity in 2009, with equipment contracted from out of state. Beginning in 2010, the event became a totally volunteer effort, combining the resources of Seatasea Watersports and members of the Saukenuk and Sticks In the Water paddler groups. Volunteers are now compromised of paddlers from many parts of Iowa, linked via email, recruiting friends to maintain the "pool."
Vets Paddle Riverside Launch GStark
The TEE Tournament provides eligible Veterans with an opportunity to participate in therapeutic adaptive sporting activities which demonstrate that having a visual or physical disability need not be an obstacle to an active, rewarding life. While organized by the Veterans Administration, the event relies heavily on the support of volunteers and financial donations from groups and individuals. For more information about how you or your organization can help, contact VA TEE Tournament Coordinator Kirt Sickels at

More info about the VA TEE Tournament can be found at:http://www1, 

G.Stark photos 
What IWTA Newsletter Readers are Following & Recommending
Beaver gnawing on large tree G.Stark
IWTA does not advocate for positions on issues, but readers occasionally ask questions or share articles about issues which may be of interest or concern to other readers & WT supporters.  To balance IWTA neutrality, reader participation, and the exchange of potentially useful information, while minimizing the impact on IWTA Newsletter space, following are brief comments and links to items that your fellow readers find interesting:

Only a Few Days Remain to Vote For Your Favorite Iowa Tourism Guide Cover
Which view do you think will best represent Iowa and help shape the way travelers view our state? The nominees are: Preparation Canyon State Park, Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Bridges of Madison County, and Effigy Mounds National Monument. Voting closes at 10:00 am on Wednesday, Nov 4:

Access Free River Restoration Webinar At Your Convenience
An Iowa Learning Farms webinar about natural river restoration, originally hosted on October 21, is now available for free viewing whenever it fits your schedule. The presenters are Rosalyn Lehman with Iowa Rivers Revival, and Nate Hoogeveen with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Lehman and Noogeveen discuss how river restoration, used in other Midwestern states, improves water quality, reduces streambank erosion, reduces flooding, improves habitat, and enhances economic development.  They also provide information about stream restoration design and project examples that demonstrate processes and outcomes. Access this webinar at 
IRR is advocating for an Iowa River Restoration program. Currently, Iowa lacks the resources and expertise to offer natural river restoration opportunities to landowners and communities across the state.  An Iowa River Restoration Program (comparable to the Iowa Lakes Restoration Program) would provide guidelines, criteria, funding, training, and expertise necessary to offer cost-share opportunities for protecting Iowa's landscape, streambanks and river ways. 

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website:  The website hosts over 55 webinars on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, cover crops, buffers, bioreactors, and farmer perspectives.

Nov 13 Cedar River Watershed Meeting to Host Iowa Homeland Security Director, Include Floodplain Management Panel, Area Updates, and Bus Tour, in Cedar Falls
The Fall Meeting of the Cedar River Watershed Coalition, Friday, Nov 13 in Cedar Falls, will focus on floodplain management in urban & rural areas. There will be a welcome address from Director Schouten of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and a panel will discuss tools and resources for managing floodplains and other flood-impacted lands: 
  • Cedar Falls: Richard McAlister, City Administrator & Ron Gaines, Community Development
  • Waterloo: Aric Schroeder, City of Waterloo Dept. of Planning & Zoning
  • Black Hawk Co. SWCD: Shaffer Ridgeway, NRCS District Conservationist
  • Iowa Fllodplain Managers Association: Mark Land, Snyder & Associates
Following the panel, there will be time for updates from around the watershed and discussion on Coalition priorities for the coming year. In addition, there will be an optional bus tour of flood buy-out properties in Cedar Falls & Waterloo.
More information on the Cedar River Watershed Coalition, including the full meeting agenda, can be found at

Nov 20; At the Crossroads of Places, Plants and Pollinators: Iowa's Living Roadways Annual Celebration & Luncheon, in Ames
Each year, Trees Forever, Iowa State University, and the Iowa Department of Transportation invite communities from across Iowa to a celebration of their achievements within the Iowa's Living Roadways Program. These Iowa towns have made significant strides in moving ahead with planning along their transportation corridors, engaging with other community members in trail visioning projects and adding green infrastructure with native plants and trees. Event-filled day of engaging speakers, idea sharing and tips for making your community's project a success. Keynote Speaker for the luncheon will be Jennifer Hopwood, Xerces Society Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Midwest. Event will be held at the Gateway Conference Center in Ames. More info at

Dec 10; Our Woodland Legacy (OWL) Symposium by Trees Forever, in Cedar Rapids
9th annual event features Dr. William Sullivan addressing evidence of the hidden benefits of urban green spaces, and BlueZones® and walkability expert, Dan Burden speaking on local policies and how to bring the natural world into our neighborhoods and communities. Share your ideas during a roundtable discussion, and discover how to integrate nature into your health, community, buildings and more during one of the workshops. Info at
or contact Dustin Hinrichs at 319-373-0650 x 124.

Outdoors and Mental Health--Just 5 Minutes Outside Can Improve Your Health; Cedar Rapids Gazette Article
"If adults could structure their day so they could have recess, I think we would see a lot less issues with mental health," Vaske says. Although it's especially challenging to get out year-round with Iowa's bitter cold winters, Bartlett encourages people to try get out, even for just five minutes each day."  (More support for the potential health benefits of water trails.)

Iowa Outdoor Magazine Subscription a Valued and Convenient Gift for Young of All Ages
The editorial mission of Iowa Outdoors magazine is to strive to open the door to the beauty and uniqueness of Iowa's natural resources, inspire people to get outside and experience Iowa and to motivate outdoor-minded citizens to understand and care for our natural resources.

This magazine frequently includes interesting stories and beautiful photos relating to our water trails and the myriad of interesting activities along our waterways.  Whether you're looking for places to visit, things to do, ways to interest students or grandkids in the outdoors, answers to outdoor questions, human interest stories, or even recipes, you can find it in the pages of Iowa Outdoors. A great gift for active families, grandkids, retirees, or those wanting to stay in touch with their home state.  Subscribe or extend your subscription at
PLANNING CALENDAR:  A Quick Look at the Weeks Ahead
Nov 1; Daylight Savings Time Ends, set clocks back one hour, replace smoke alarm batteries.
Nov 3; Local Elections. Exercise the valued right to vote your conscience.
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
Nov 26; Thanksgiving, Thursday.
Dec 7; Pearl Harbor Remembrance.
Dec 13-14; Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks.
Dec 22; Winter Solstice, 1st day of Winter.
Dec 25; Full Moon. Sunrise 7:33, Sunset 4:41, Moonrise 5:25 CST

Where Is It? Quiz ANSWER

Quaker Mill Upstream G.Stark
During a recent tour, members of IDNR Water Trails Citizen Advisory Committee view the now-dry bed of the Quaker Mill pond, looking upstream from the dam.
The Quaker Mill Dam is (was) located on the Maquoketa River, at the northern edge of Manchester The dam's history dates back to a crib and rock dam structure in the 1800's, eventually becoming the concrete structure we see today. Originally constructed to perform grain milling, its most recent purpose was generation of a small amount of electrical power.

The Quaker Mill pond was created and controlled by a combination of the dam and a dike running along one side of the pond. Floods opened holes in the dike on several occasions. During the flood of 2010, the Maquoketa River cut an opening through the dike, and now bypasses the area of the pond and the dam. As shown in the photos, this creates the unusual views of a dam with water below it, but only vegetation growing in the bowl of the former pond above the dam.
Quaker Mill Hole in Dike G.Stark
Nate Hoogeveen & Larry Gullett stand in the latest breach of the dike, viewing the Maquoketa River following its new path to Honey Creek.

The river's new path cuts to Honey Creek and under a bridge only designed for the flow of the creek, before rejoining its original channel. Efforts are currently underway to develop a plan which will prevent destruction of the bridge, protect hom
es from flooding, avoid future washouts of the dike, and incorporate appropriate modification of the dam for safety and recreation.

Quaker Mill Cabins G.Stark
Looking upstream, we see the Maquoketa River flowing past homes (many flooded in 2010) before it takes a sharp left turn through the opening in the dike.

A likely scenario could include meandering the river back through the former pond area, reduction of impounded water, partial lowering of dam height, addition of rock rapids, and returning the river to its old channel below a bridge (see photo below) which was designed and constructed for its flow.

Quaker Mill Dam and Downstream G.Stark
Setting sun creates havoc with the camera lens, but the beauty of this unique spot on the Maquoketa River still shines through.

Photos by G.Stark 
WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER
It's World Series time, so we're throwing you a little curve. The quote comes from the song "Out In The Country," recorded by Three Dog Night/Dunhill, written by P. Williams and R. Nichols). Cory Wells, co-founder of Three Dog Night, passed away last month at age 74, triggering some quotes in the media, and this one seemed to speak to Iowa Water Trails people. Three Dog Night had a long string of hits, beginning in 1969 and running into the mid 70's. Among them were songs still heard on radio and during piano bar sing-alongs, including Mama Told Me Not To Come, Joy to the World (Jeremiah Was a Bull Frog), and An Old Fashioned Love Song. You may be surprised by how many of their recordings you recognize on youtube.

Cory Wells Three Dog Night
Cory Wells, one of 3 cofounders of Three Dog Night, passed away at age 74 on October 20. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary. In the world of rock music, his age and the length of his marriage are worth noting.
Whenever I need to leave it all behind
Or feel the need to get away
I find a quiet place, far from the human race
Out in the country.
Before the breathing air is gone
Before the sun is just a bright spot in the night time
Out where the rivers like to run
I stand alone
And take back something worth remembering.
Whenever I feel them closing in on me
Or need a bit of room to move
When life becomes too fast, I find relief at last
Out in the country.
Before the breathing air is gone
Before the sun is just a bright spot in the night time
Out where the rivers like to run
I stand alone
And take back something worth remembering.

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 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 are already providing items for the IWTA 2016 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!
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 continue to share your events, reports, ideas, quiz topics, suggestions, and corrections with us at
Constant Contact Award 2014

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Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter