TopIWTA Logo Color Border 


Mid Month 


Iowa Water Trails Association 
November, 2015  
Send us your 2016 Event Dates!
Nominate the 2016 River Town of the Year
Winter Pool Sessions--Indianola, Waverly, & now Cedar Rapids
Iowa Outdoor Magazine a Great Gift Idea
Quick Look At the Weeks Ahead
Thanks to IWTA Readers

It's been a very nice November in Iowa -- so far. There aren't many organized paddling events at this time of year, but Water Trails are about a lot more than just paddling. We would particularly like to publicize any archaeology, history, wildlife, outdoor photography, or other indoor programs you are scheduling, especially those which might relate to our 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 organized
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. 

Please contact us with your ideas, questions, concerns, or corrections:
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 2; 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

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 -- 

New Paddler Pool Sessions in Cedar Rapids; Others in Indianola & Waverly
NE Iowa PFest Siefkin in Pool
Darrin Siefkin, co-owner of CrawDaddy Outdoors, works with a pool session student.
G.Stark photo.
Cedar Rapids: The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, in cooperation with Linn County Conservation, is offering kayakers, ages ten and up, a chance to practice their skills such as strokes, rolls and safety and rescue moves in the controlled environment at Bender Pool, 940 14th Avenue SE. Drop-in Sunday pool sessions for kayakers are being offered each month from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on November 22, December 6 and 20, January 3, 17 and 31, February 14 and 28, and March 13. The sessions are practices, not lessons, but experienced paddlers will be available to help. The fee is $10 per person per visit. No advance registration is required.
Participants bring their own kayaks and equipment and wear proper swim attire and clean life jackets. A helmet is required for those practicing rolls. The kayaks must be rinsed, inside and out, with the hose just outside the door before they can be placed in the pool. Youth must be supervised by an adult. For more information, call Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation, (319) 286-5731.

Cedar Falls: As noted in our November Newsletter, the January pool sessions held at PEET Pool in previous years, have not been scheduled for 2016. Anyone willing to step up and sponsor the sessions is encouraged to contact Al Donaldson at

Waverly: Formal paddling skills classes are offered by CrawDaddy Outdoors at the Waverly "W" Pool. Visit their website for dates and details: CrawDaddy Outdoors,

We would be glad to publicize any additional off-season opportunities to develop or practice paddling and safety skills. 
Please forward your information to
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 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

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!
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

If you are not one of over 1,200 Iowans who currently subscribe to this free, monthly email IWTA Newsletter, please click on the convenient "Join Our Mailing List" button to get on board.
And, please share 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