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Iowa Water Trails Association 
February, 2016  
And the Winner of the Sassafras Canoe Is. . .
Feb 5-7 Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo in Indianola
Feb 7 Winter Waters Fun Fest in Camanche--Free Display Space!
Feb 27 Iowa Games Indoor Paddling Competition in Charles City
Innovative Orientation Program Assists Eagle & Silver Award Scouts
Now That You Have Your New Boat Registration Decals. . .
Tax Time--Time to "Friend" Our Wildlife!
Winter Pool Sessions Around Iowa Sharpen Paddling Skills
What Readers are Following & Recommending
A Look at Feb-Mar-Apr on the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar
Answer to Where Is It? Quiz
Answer to What Is It? Quiz
Thanks to IWTA Readers

We thoroughly enjoyed the Jan 16 ICNC Paddle Day, with excellent presentations, exhibits, & socializing with attendees, including many IWTA Newsletter subscribers.
CSO Co-Owner Jeff Holmes during pool demo at 2015 Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo. G.Stark photo.

The "Show Season" continues, with more indoor 
events of interest to Water Trails supporters, paddlers,
 and other outdoorsy folks. Next up is the Feb 5-7 Paddle & Pedal Expo in Indianola, then a new Feb 7 Winter Water Fun Fest in Camanche, followed by the renamed Apr 2 Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo /Cedar Falls. We encourage you to support these events and their organizers, learn about trips/gear/skills, and spend time with folks who share your interests.

This issue includes two feature articles--one about an innovative program working with Boy Scout and Girl Scout volunteers, and another about the green decals due on many boats by April 30. We hope that you find these articles to be helpful.

It is time to renew memberships in the paddling, photography, and environmental or advocacy groups which rely on our support. And remember the "Chickadee Checkoff"---the "Fish and Wildlife Fund" line--on your Iowa State Income Tax form.

Put simply, it's winter in Iowa , and hypothermia is a very real risk. Proper training, necessary gear, a paddle plan, and the buddy system are especially important for winter paddling. Be careful out there.

Your info and support makes this newsletter relevant, so please keep it coming.
Where Is It? Quiz
Terry Trueblood Area Bob Sessions

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

What Is It? Quiz
Iowa Capitol Bldg Reflect Wallace G.Stark
What Is It?
Make your best guess, then click on: 

And the Winner of the Sassafras Canoe Is Lance Looney!
ICNC Paddle Day 2016 Canoe Winner Lance Looney G.Stark

Just so you know, the winner of the Sassafras solo canoe, raffled off during the recent Indian Creek Nature Center Paddle Day, is Lance Looney. Looney traveled from Alaska to join Corey Smock for their presentation, "Paddle for Prevention: A Mississippi Voyage." Smock and Looney paddled the length of the Mississippi River in 2015 to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. (See

Shown in the photo, l to r, are Lance Looney, Bill Schoon (who constructed and donated the Sassafras), and ICNC Paddle Day coordinators Andrea Stohler and Jan Aiels.   

Photo by G.Stark
Feb 5-7; Annual Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo in Indianola--Happy 20th Birthday!
Join your paddling friends, and find a boat to love,
at the Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo.

The annual "Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo" will celebrate its 20th birthday as paddlers from around the state gather February 5-7 at CanoeSport Outfitters in Indianola. Jeff, Casey, Shireen, and the rest of the CSO staff and factory reps will be ready to answers your questions and share their knowledge. Presenters will broaden your skills, share their experiences, and inspire you to get out and paddle. Exhibitors will help connect you with places to paddle and groups which share your interests.

The 3-day schedule of presentations and pool demos, along with presenter bios and information about boats, gear, and the deals is now posted on the CSO Website. Check it out:

Half of the $7 admission fee will support the highly-regarded Iowa Rivers Revival "River Rascals" youth program.
It's all good--good info, good gear, good people, and good deals. 
Hope to see you there!

And we hope you will also consider joining us at:

Feb 6: Nick Gaeta's Annual Pre-Expo Breakfast has moved to the Indianola HyVee at 8:00 am. The Indianola HyVee is located on the east side of Hwy 69 as you enter from the north--5 minutes from the Expo. No reservations, just show up and buy your own breakfast, make some new paddling friends. 
Questions? Contact Nick at 

Feb 6; Iowa Whitewater Coalition (IWC) Annual Meeting at CSO Paddle Expo in Indianola, 5:00-6:00 pm. Meeting will include election of officers, discussion of issues, plans for 2016 activities.  The meeting is open to visitors, but only IWC dues-paying members may vote. 

G.Stark photo.  
Feb 7; Winter Waters Fun Fest at Mississippi River Eco-tourism Center near Camanche
Logo Clinton Co Con
A new "Winter Waters Fun Fest" will be held at Rock Creek Park & The Mississippi River Eco-tourism Center near Camanche on Sunday, February 7.
Hours of family fun awaits those who will brave the cold. Winter sports equipment will be available free of charge from 3:00--6:00 pm, a chili/mac & cheese supper will be served from 5:00--7:00 p.m. and naturalist Chuck Jacobsen and his adventurous friend Jim Schnitzmeyer will present their mid-summer trip to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Refreshments will be available and we've invited other paddlers to promote their favorite trip at booths that will be set-up for viewing throughout the event. Display space is free to paddlers.

The entire family is welcome. This is a free event although donations to support the center are always welcome.
For more information, contact Chuck Jacobsen, Clinton CCB, 563-847-7202, Cell: 563-357-0759
Feb 27; Iowa Games Indoor Paddling Competition, Charles City
Iowa Games Logo
The competition will be held at Charles City Middle School, 500 N Grand Ave., Charles City, IA 50616. Registrations will be accepted ONLY on the day of the event, and Check-In/Registration will be onsite from 9:00 - 10:00 am.
The Indoor Paddling Competition will allow paddlers to participate in time-based competitions in Canoe, Kayak and Paddle Board events, with many age and male/female divisions. Competitions will include a hanging gate slalom, self rescue swimming, boat towing rescue and more! Rope throw rescue skills will also be tested. Participants will be limited to a maximum of 4 events for the day.
This event will be a great opportunity for paddlers of all ages and abilities to compete and improve their skills. Canoes, Kayaks and Paddle Boards will be available if needed, but correct sizes cannot be guaranteed. 

Commissioner: Piper Wall, 515-708-6695,
Innovative Orientation Program Assists Eagle & Silver Award Scouts with Projects at Indian Creek Nature Center
ICNC Volunteer in Wetlands ICNC
Scout works on a wetlands conservation project
at Indian Creek Nature Center.
Volunteers play important roles in supporting the educational, recreational, and conservation programming of many public and private organizations across our state.  Their contributions of time, skills, funding, and other resources magnifies the effectiveness of limited revenue and paid staff.
Critical to the success of volunteer support is the matching of the organization's needs with the interests, abilities, and motivations of volunteers.  Some volunteers may prefer hands-on projects in the outdoors.  Others may have skills or physical limitations best matched in a clerical setting.  Some may have the technical skills to support online newsletters, websites, or social media.  Some may have a specific, once-a-year event interest, while others may look for activities year-round. Some volunteers appreciate public recognition, while others prefer anonymity. Volunteers span a wide age range, from experienced retirees to energetic and enthusiastic teenagers.
One valuable group of potential volunteers, whose needs and motivations are often misunderstood, are Boy Scouts seeking to earn their Eagle Scout Award, as well as Girl Scouts seeking their Silver Award.  Media reports often indicate that the Scout earned the award by constructing a bridge, clearing invasive species, painting a building, etc.  In reality, the service project (only part of the total requirements) is a test of the Scout's ability to demonstrate leadership, organization, and management skills. Simply wielding a hammer or brush is not enough. The Board of Review looks favorably on project organization, recruitment of peer and adult volunteers, and total hours invested. For the Scout, and any potential partnering organization, this calls for more advance planning, longer lead times, and greater flexibility.
Indian Creek Nature Center (ICNC) in Cedar Rapids has a long history of working with local Boy Scouts via programming for merit badges, conservation service projects, and Eagle Award projects. Recently-retired Executive Director Rich Patterson and current Executive Director John Myers both have significant experience in the Boy Scout movement. Copper leaves on a recognition "tree" in the ICNC entryway trace many Eagle projects completed at ICNC beginning as early as 1980.
In the fall of 2014, ICNC implemented an innovative "Eagle Scout Orientation" program. Hosted twice a year (Spring and Fall), the 1-2 hour meetings reinforce the Scout's responsibilities for planning, leadership, and accountability, while stressing the importance of two-way communication and respect. Handouts include brief summaries of several potential ICNC projects or needs, accompanied by a site map highlighting a specific area related to the project's details.
The next step for an interested Scout is to meet with ICNC Trail Specialist/Naturalist Andrea Stohler, coordinator of the Eagle Scout Orientation program. Stohler and the Scout will work together to better define the project, its scope, and a rough timeline. There will be constant support and guidance through the project's entirety.
Stohler indicated that ICNC averages about 4 to 8 Eagle projects each year.  "The introduction of the Eagle Scout Orientations has improved project clarity, communication, and timeliness for all parties involved." She noted that ICNC is introducing similar "Girl Scout Silver Award Orientation" sessions in April and October of 2016. "Projects we offer can be very similar between both groups, but the uniqueness of their requirements justified separate orientation sessions. We hope that these new orientation sessions will increase participation and success for all aspiring Scouts."
Stohler summarized, "Participants in either the Eagle or Silver Award orientation programs will impact and benefit the Nature Center in fulfilling our mission while we help provide life skills to each individual who chooses to complete this honor with us."
For more information, contact:  ICNC Trail Specialist/Naturalist Andrea Stohler,

Photo courtesy ICNC
Now That You Have Your New, Green Boat Registration Decals. . . 
Iowa DNR Logo
So you have received your boat registration reminder, supplied any additional info required, visited the County Recorder's Office or mailed in your payment, and you have those two green decals in hand. Those decals have very aggressive adhesive to withstand water, sun, and weather but that also means you get one chance to locate them properly. Here are a few hints when applying your decals or boat numbers:

Refer to pages 6-8 of the Handbook of Iowa Boating Laws. It's a cumbersome pdf, but here's the link:

Key points regarding decal location:
1. The number and decal must be displayed on the forward half of each side of the boat.
2. Note that the decal is displayed 4" aft (toward the back of the boat) from the number. This means that the decal will be to the right of the number when viewing the left side of the boat, but will be to the left when viewing the right side of the boat. (If this is confusing, check the Handpook pdf)

Suggestions when applying your decals:
  • It's generally best to remove the previous decal to avoid the challenge of aligning the new one exactly over the old.
  • A good clean surface and a final alcohol wipe will help ensure that your decal stays on for the next 3 years, but alcohol may not be friendly to all boat materials.
  • Allow a little space between the decal and the gunnel to minimize the appearance of any misalignment.
  • A light pencil line provides alignment if you're trying to be extra-precise.
  • With the backing still attached, place the decal in position.
  • Using painter's tape, attach one side of the decal to the boat.
  • Confirm that the decal is oriented correctly. (Is your boat hanging upside down?)
  • Confirm that the decal is in the correct position relative to the number, and 4" away.
  • Fold the decal back gently at the break line in the backing. Begin peeling the backing off from the middle, pressing down on the decal, working outward to avoid wrinkles and chase out air bubbles.
  • With one half applied, remove the tape and repeat the process in the opposite direction.
  • Ensure that all edges of the decal are securely adhered to the boat.
  • A similar process may be used to apply new or replacement numbers. A single decal, including your entire number, may be purchased at a sign shop or online, greatly simplifying the installation. In this case, the supplier may provide instructions for applying the number decal.
A few more details regarding registration, decals, and numbers:
  • Kayakers might want to ensure that their kayak is registered as "Boat Type 10." The Type 10 was recently created for kayaks, which were previously registered as "Boat Type 9" for "Other." Having all kayaks registered as Type 10 would provide a more accurate number of kayak enthusiasts in Iowa. (Canoes are "Boat Type 2.)
  • Numbers must be at least 3" high, block, colored to contrast with background, and read left to right..
  • Letters must be separated from numbers by a space or hypen; examples IA 3717 ZW or IA-3717-ZW.
  • Sailboards and paddle boards are not required to display the registration number, but the decal must be placed on the bottom surface of the bow of the board.
  • Registration is not required for inflatable vessels 7 feet or less in length, canoes & kayaks 13 feet or less in length with no motor or sail, and vessels properly registered in another state and using Iowa waters for 60 days or less.
Boat registrations are good for three years. The fees go to support water trails, navigation enforcement, aquatic invasive species, boater education and safety, and the registration system.
Please notify us of any errors in the above so we can issue a correction as necessary.
Taxes May Be a Given, But Keeping Our Fish and Wildlife Friends Requires Your Help
Chickadee Checkoff Logo
Since the 1980s, thousands of Iowans have supported Iowa wildlife by making donations when they prepare their taxes. Today, 100 percent of those dollars go to the state's Wildlife Diversity Program, which protects nongame and vulnerable species through habitat development, data collection and research, education and much more.
Donating is easy. Simply enter your donation amount in the Fish and Wildlife Check-Off contribution line (usually between lines 55-59 on form 1040), and the sum is either automatically deducted from the refund or added to the amount owed. As with all charitable contributions, these dollars are deductible from next year's taxes.  Don't forget to talk to your tax preparer if you have your taxes done professionally - many tax preparers forget to mention donation opportunities. 
If every Iowa taxpayer donated just $1 on the Fish and Wildlife Check-off, it would mean $1.5 million for natural resource conservation!  So, if you're able, take a moment this tax season to get a little wild and consider making a donation.  The 1000+ species of birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, toads, turtles and dragonflies that call Iowa home will thank you.    

Winter Pool Sessions Continue at Cedar Rapids, Indianola, Waverly
Winter Pool Sessions are a great opportunity to
practice and perfect your rescue skills.
G.Stark photo.
Cedar Rapids at Bender Pool: 
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 (remaining dates) February 14 and 28, and March 13. The sessions are practices, not lessons, but experienced paddlers will be available to help. Fee is $10 per person per visit. No advance registration 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.
Indianola at Indianola "Y" Pool: 
Formal paddling skills classes are offered by CanoeSport Outfitters at the Indianola "Y" Pool. Visit the CanoeSport Outfitters website for details:  
Waverly at Waverly "W" Pool: 
Formal paddling skills classes are offered by CrawDaddy Outdoors at the Waverly "W" Pool. Visit the CrawDaddy Outdoors website for dates and details:  
We would be glad to publicize any additional off-season opportunities to develop or practice paddling and safety skills. Please forward your information to
What IWTA Newsletter Readers are Following & Recommending
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:

Bald Eagle Watch Events Are Being Held Around the State.
Several such events were held in January, and the opportunities continue.

Feb 6; Coralville Bald Eagle Watch. Outdoor viewing at Tailwater West Picnic Shelter downstream from dam at Coralville Lake, Indoor programs at North Central Junior High in North Liberty, 319-338-3543 or 319-430-0315.
Feb 12-13; Des Moines Bald Eagle Days. Outdoor viewing at Grays Lake on Friday, Indoor programs at Fellowship Baptist Church, 515-248-6369.
Feb 26-27; Effigy Mounds Bald Eagle Watch. Outdoor and indoor programs at Prairie Du Chien, WI, 563-873-3491 or 608-326-8555.
Feb 28; Saylorville Bald Eagle Watch. Outdoor viewing at selected sites around reservoir, start at Visitor's Center 11 am - 4 pm, 515-276-4656.
Mar 6; O'Brien County Bald Eagle Watch. Prairie Heritage Center with elevated viewing deck, in Peterson, 2 pm live bald eagle program, 712-295-7200.
Mar 12; Sioux Rapids Eagle Watch. Outdoor viewing at selected sites, live eagle programs at American Legion Building in Sioux Rapids, 10 am-2 pm, lunch at noon, 712-296-4920

For more info about Eagle Watches and other wildlife events, 
visit the Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Program website:

Watch For Release of The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) State of the Waterways Report. The MPO continues to lead a planning effort for water trails and nearby greenways in Greater Des Moines. Over the last seven months the MPO team compiled information about the current state of our waterways and the priorities of community members. A draft of the report went to the steering committee in January and the report should be released to the public shortly.

A "Slices of Time" Photography Workshop will be held in the Quad Cities on March 5, 9:00am-3:00pm, on the St. Ambrose campus.  Five morning presentations include weather, photojournalism, sports, art, on-water, & documentary; plus afternoon demonstrations & exhibits. The workshop addresses interests of novice to professional.

Iowa Environmental Council encourages you to "Save the Date" March 22 for the annual Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the State Capitol.  Each year, organizations and individuals from across the state come together at the Iowa State Capitol to speak with legislators about the importance of protecting Iowa's natural resources at Environmental Lobby Day. Speaking face-to-face with legislators and showing that there is a broad base of support for a healthy environment is one of the most important ways to help advance programs and policies that protect Iowa's water, land and climate. More info at:

10th Annual Iowa Water Conference, March 23-24, announces agenda and program information.
"AtTENtion - EnlighTEN - InTENsify: TEN years of the Iowa Water Conference" is set for Mar 23-24 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa Water Conference is IWC's largest outreach and collaboration effort, designed to bring together multi-disciplinary organizations and institutions to discuss relevant water issues in Iowa. Inaugurated in 2006, today's conference draws nearly 400 attendees and still strives to encompass the whole of Iowa's water landscape including expanding into realms of education and outreach, conservation, policy and regulations. View the full agenda, plenary topics, and program information at: 
And get your cameras ready! The 2016 Iowa Water Conference Photo Contest is up and running, with an entry deadline of March 1, 2016. See the full rules at: 

Organizers of the April 2-3 Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo/Cedar Falls have announced confirmed presenters. In addition to Saturday's keynote speaker, Dr. Jim Pease, who will address the "Status of Iowa Rivers," additional confirmed presentations will include Bill Schoon "Views from the Cockpit," Prairie Rapids Audubon Chapter "Birding in Iowa," Kip Ladage "Nature Photography of Iowa," and Vern Fish (Topic TBD). An optional outdoor float will be hosted on Sunday. Find event info at:

A Look At Feb-Mar-Apr On the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar!
Piper Wall & Dave Hillman demonstrate bracing
skills at Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo.
G. Stark photo.

Feb 1; Iowa Caucuses.
Feb 2; Groundhog Day.
Feb 5-7; Canoesport Outfitters Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo, Indianola. Three days of presentations, exhibits, dealer reps, spring deals, pool demos, & socializing.
Feb 6; Nick's Pre-Expo Buffet Breakfast Moved to Indianola HyVee, Hwy 69, 8:00 am. Annual gathering of old & new paddling friends enroute to Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo.
Feb 6; Iowa Whitewater Coalition (IWC) Annual Meeting at CSO Paddle Expo in Indianola, 5:00-6:00 pm. Elections, discussion of issues, 2016 plans. Open to visitors, only IWC dues-paying members may vote.
Feb 7; Best Time To View Planet Mercury. Low in eastern sky just before sunrise.
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
Feb 7; NFL Super Bowl 50, San Francisco.
Feb 7-10; Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium, Milwaukee, WI. Presentations, exhibits, project sharing. Info at
Feb 14; Valentine's Day.
Feb 15; Presidents' Day.
Feb 22; Full Moon. Monday, Sunrise 6:53, Sunset 5:48, Moonrise 6:00 CST
Feb 27; Iowa Games Winter Events. Includes indoor paddling in Charles City.
Feb 29; Extra Day for Leap Year.
Mar TBD; Tree Day at the Iowa State Capitol, 9:00 am, discussion with legislators, sponsored by Trees Forever.
Mar 5; "Slices of Time" Photography Workshop, Quad Cities, 9:00am-3:00pm, St. Ambrose campus. Five morning presentations include weather, photojournalism, sports, art, on-water, & documentary; plus afternoon demonstrations & exhibits; for novice to professional.
Mar 8; Best Time to View Planet Jupiter. Jupiter and 4 of its moons visible with binoculars.
Mar 11-13; Canoecopia at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. World's largest paddling sports show; several Iowa exhibitors.
Mar 13; Daylight Savings Time Begins, set clocks ahead one hour.
Mar 17; St. Patrick's Day.
Mar 19; Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring.
Mar 22; IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the Capitol, Des Moines, 9:00 am-1:00 pm, sponsored by Iowa Environmental Council, REAP Coalition, et al.
Mar 23-24; Iowa Water Conference in Ames; annual gathering of water professionals, researchers, educators and students from across Iowa and surrounding states. Event agenda, registration, & photo contest rules at
Mar 23; Full Moon. Wednesday, Sunrise 7:04, Sunset 7:23, Moonrise 7:46 CDT
Apr TBD; Jones County Earth Day Fair & Grant Wood Trail Pancake Breakfast, Anamosa. Times TBD, exhibits, food, Lawrence Community Center. Jones CCB is one of the sponsors
Apr 2-3; Outdoor Adventure Fest, Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Saturday's keynote speaker, Dr. Jim Pease, will address the Status of Iowa Rivers, and presentations will include Bill Schoon "Views from the Cockpit," Prairie Rapids Audubon Chapter "Birding in Iowa," Kip Ladage "Nature Photography of Iowa," Vern Fish (TBD). An optional outdoor float will be hosted on Sunday. Info at:
Apr 2; Iowa River Friends (IRF) Annual Meeting, Marshalltown. Presentations, release of first Annual Iowa River Report; open to public, only members may vote. This "Whole Watershed Gathering" will be held in Marshalltown, with major presenters on water quality, making change, and enjoying the River. Opportunity for people of common purpose & vision to begin to strategize for the River's betterment.
Contact Mel Schlachter or visit
Apr 7; CrawDaddy Outdoors "season-opener" Kayak Demo Day, Ave of Saints Lake, Waverly. Free. Full calendar of demos, classes, trips at
Apr 9; Canoesport Outfitter DemoFest, Lake Ahquabi, south of Indianola. Fee, preregistration. Full schedule of events on website
Apr 18; Best Time To View Planet Mercury. Low in western sky just after sunset.
Apr 18; Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Iowans (Iowa State Income Tax filing deadline Apr 30).
Apr 19; Iowa Legislative Session Target Close; (Day 100 of session, per diem expenses end).
Apr 22; Full Moon. Friday, Sunrise 6:15, Sunset 7:56, Moonrise 8:29 CDT
Apr 22; Earth Day. Annual observance of the first Earth Day in 1970.
Apr 22-23; Lyrids Meteor Shower Peaks. Average shower, peaking at 20 meteors/hour.
Apr 22-24; Outdoor Adventure Expo, Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis, MN.  
Apr 23; Linn Area Photo Club Seminar, Nikon Ambassador Moose Peterson, Cedar Rapids. 8:30am-5:00pm. See Peterson's aviation & outdoor photography at
LAPC Seminar & hot catered lunch registration info at
Apr 29; Arbor Day, annual observance last Friday in April,
Apr 30; Iowa State Income Tax Filing Deadline. Remember the Chickadee Check Off.
Apr 30; Iowa 3-Year Boat Registrations Expire. Remember to apply those decals.

Do you have WT-related events or planning info for 2016?
Contact us at

Where Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Terry Trueblood Area Bob Sessions
Winter View of Terry Trueblood  Recreation Area
near the Iowa River in Iowa City. Photo by Bob Sessions.

Freelance photographer Bob Sessions provided these photos from the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area near the Iowa River in Iowa City.  Along with the pure enjoyment of natural beauty, we hope that they will inspire our reader/photographers to also get out and capture some unique winter images.

In addition to his photography interests, Bob is a strong supporter of Iowa River Friends (IRF), and edits the group's newsletters.  More about IRF at

Iowa City's Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 15 years in the making, was officially opened in 2013.

The park is located near Sand Road and McCollister Boulevard on the city's South Side. The recreation area was created from a 207-acre former sand and gravel quarry. It boasts a marina, 150 person lodge, 2-mile-long trail, park shelters, and a 95.5-acre public lake. 

Terry Trueblood Lake is located 1.5 miles south of Hwy 6 on Gilbert Street in Iowa City. Amenities include a boat access, a fishing jetty, boat rental, trails, accessible facilities, restrooms, concessions, a hard surface boat ramp, and accessible shoreline. 

Wave Patterns Bob Sessions
Photo by Bob Sessions exhibits unique patterns of ice and water in winter.

Concessionaire Fin & Feather H2O provides everything you need to enjoy a local adventure: watercraft, life jackets, drinks & food, sunscreen, and bug spray.  Throughout the summer, they rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards.

Lacy Trees Bob Sessions
This Bob Sessions Photo Composition Can Inspire Your Creativity.

Photos by Bob Sessions 
WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER

Yes, you probably guessed that you were viewing the Iowa State Capitol, even as a surrealistic image reflected in the windows of the Wallace Building.  The photo at right is much more realistic.  It's a beautiful old building, inside and out, an interesting place to visit, and a frequent target of school tours.

At this time of year, with the legislature in session, it can be very busy, and finding a public parking space may present a challenge. Downloading a map of the area and restricted or public parking lots can be helpful.

Various groups will each host their special "day" at the Capitol, and some will host evening receptions nearby. The Iowa Environmental Council will host its annual "Iowa Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day" at the Capitol the morning of March 22. Trees Forever usually hosts an annual "Tree Day" at the Capitol, but a date is still TBD. A host of educational, agricultural, business, government, and other special interest groups will host events throughout the session.

It appears that Iowa Rivers Revival may not be hosting its popular "IRR Legislative Reception" during this session.

Whether this session takes up any bills, rules, or funding changes relating to watersheds, water quality, soil conservation, or water recreation remains to be seen. One way to stay in contact with your legislators and in tune with the key issues being discussed, debated, or considered, is to attend events sponsored by your local chapter of the League of Women Voters. You can identify your local chapter via the state LWV website, then visit the local chapter website for event info.  Start at
and click on "local leagues."

Visiting the Capitol, for any reason, can be an interesting and enjoyable experience, but it is helpful to know that access is through screening procedures similar to that used at airports; minimize the metal pens, buckles, pocket knives, etc.  More info about the Capitol building, grounds, historical monuments, tours, etc. can be found at:

Photos by G.Stark
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:
  • Bob Sessions for sharing his photos for the "Where Is It? Quiz."
  • 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
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Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter