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Mid Month 


& Updates 

Iowa Water Trails Association 
October, 2016  
Oct 18-19 "Stream Bank & Natural Channel Design Workshop" at UNI
Nov 1, Apps Due for Two Wildlife Diversity Grants
Nov 5 "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa CCB
Nov 8 Vote in Elections, National, State, Local
Retailers Offer Fall Trips & Sales, Prep for Winter Classes & Trips
What Readers are Following & Recommending
A Look at The IWTA Planning Calendar
Thanks to IWTA Readers

"We need to hear from you. . ."

Each year, IWTA helps publicize hundreds of WR-related events, observances, holidays, celestial occurrences, and more via the IWTA Newsletter and IWTA Website Calendar. We identify many of these through research, but for many more, we rely on you, our subscribers.

We're starting to gather info for our 2017 IWTA Planning Calendar, and we welcome your input. If you have a firm, or even tentative date for a 2017 event, we hope you will send it along. Please contact us at

Iowa is definitely looking, feeling, and even smelling like fall.  Mother Nature shared frost with much of our state, and the transition to fall colors is peaking--a great time to visit an Iowa Water Trail.

Iowa paddlers are probably familiar with a relaxing float past multicolored slopes and emerging rock outcroppings. But those without a boat, or without an interest in paddling, can enjoy much of the same by just visiting a WT access, with lawn chair or fishing pole optional. If your favorite river isn't cooperating, try a local lake. 

For weekly updates on fall color around Iowa contact the DNR fall color hotline at 515-233-4110. A pdf version of the weekly updates along with other fall color information can be found at  For fall festivals, scenic byways, places to stay and other ways to enjoy fall in Iowa, visit

It's also the season to contact your legislators and share your concerns/ideas/opinions about improving water quality, funding the Water and Land Legacy, or other issues of interest to WT supporters. Most proposals or initiatives will be developed well before the legislative session begins on Jan 9, 2017. It's best to speak up now.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the IWTA Newsletter.
To keep your newsletter relevant, please keep your info coming. 
Contact us at
Oct 18-19; Classroom & Field Venue Workshop at UNI--
Natural Channel Design & Urban Streambank Stabilization
Iowa Storm Water Ed Partnership Logo
Learn about urban stream bank stabilization techniques from Iowa and Minnesota experts. This workshop will include both classroom and field time. Participants will visit recently-constructed stream bank projects and likely be able to follow a local bank reconstruction project. Please dress for field visits.

Featured speakers will be Nate Hoogeveen and Jon Lore. Hoogeveen is the director of river programs for the Iowa DNR, and oversees river science evaluations, surveys, stream bank stabilization, data & mapping dam mitigation and planning. Lore is a Senior Watershed Specialist with the Minnesota DNR, and assesses the stability of southern Minnesota rivers, correlating that with water quality and biological impairments.

Additional speakers include Amy Kay (City of Cedar Falls), Monica Smith (Robinson Engineering), and Joshua Balk (NRCS).

This workshop will be of particular benefit to stormwater managers and technical staff, consulting engineers and landscape architects, watershed coordinators, contractors, and others interested in stream bank stabilization and habitat restoration.

There is a fee for this workshop.  Download a pdf event flyer and registration info at:

Nov 1; App Due Date for Two Wildlife Diversity Grants
IDNR Wildlife Diversity Logo
Stephanie Shepherd, Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the Iowa DNR, has shared the announcement of two separate grant programs of possible interest to our readers. Deadline for submittal of each is November 1, 2016. 
1) Small Research and Education Grants:  The maximum ask is $2500 and is for small wildlife diversity focused research and education projects.  Organizations that do environmental education or which have a small research question to answer should apply.  
2) Habitat Management Grants:  The maximum ask for this project is $7500 and is for on the ground habitat management projects that will benefit wildlife diversity.  Applicants should be organizations which manage land with wildlife conservation objectives.  .

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie via email or by phone 515-432-2823.

Nov 5; "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa County
Louisa CCB Logo
Louisa County Conservation will host a "Migration Paddle," along the Mississippi River Backwaters, from 9:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday, Nov 5.
Iowa's fall is filled with sunny days, beautiful colors, and migrating animals.  Where better to experience all three than in a boat floating along the Mississippi River?  This paddle will start at the Port Louisa Access and end at the Toolesboro Boat Access.  Participants will paddle mostly backwaters, staying close to the Iowa shoreline.  There is a short portage around the spillway at Lock and Dam 17. 
 A shuttle service will be available to participants.
Registration is required for this event, and participation is limited to twenty boats.  Canoes and kayaks are available for rent. The canoe rental fee is $20 while the kayak rental fee is $15. If participants are bringing their own boat, the registration fee is $5.  Due to the intensity of the river, this trip is open to experienced paddlers only. 

To register please call 319-523-8381 or email Lana Artz-McComb at 
More info at:

Nov 8; Elections at National, State, Local Levels. Prepare to Vote!!!
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Americans will have the right, opportunity, and responsibility to vote for candidates at the national, state, and local, along with bond issues and/or other initiatives.

On the national level, Iowans will be voting for President/Vice President, one U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representatives in all 4 Iowa districts.

On the state level, Iowans will be voting for State Senators in even-numbered districts 2-48, and State Representatives in districts 1-100.

On the county level, Iowans will be voting for some members of county boards of supervisors, county auditor, county sheriff, and any vacant offices needing to be filled.

Ballots may also include some township officers, public hospital trustees, soil and water conservation district commissioners, county agricultural extension council members, or judges standing for retention.

Find information about voter registration, important dates, absentee voting, candidates, sample ballot, voting sites, special elections, links to political parties, etc. on your county's election web page.
Example: Linn County Auditor's Election Web Page:

Enter your address on the Iowa Legislature "Find Your Legislator" web page:  to identify the districts for your residence, and the state senator or representative currently representing you. This site will also indicate current state senators/representatives by county, and U.S. senators and representatives.

General information about the Iowa 2016 elections, key dates, voting provisions for persons in the military, disabled, or absent on Nov 8, candidate filings, etc. can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State website at:

Retailers Offer Fall Trips & Fall Sales, Prep for Winter Indoor Classes & Winter Trips to Warmer Climes.
Iowa Paddle Shops offer great opportunities to expand your knowledge of boats, gear, and skills.
While the seasons for warm-weather paddling may come and go, our paddle shop friends always maintain an inventory of information, advice, and encouragement to help you enjoy your time on the water and in the outdoors. When you're ready to upgrade your boat, your gear, your paddling skills, or your paddling horizons, they're great places to start. 

Crawdaddy Outdoors in Waverly organizes outdoor adventure trips year-round, hosts special in-store events, and offers indoor classes at the Waverly/Wartburg "W" facility. Learn more about demos, classes, trips, and sales at

Canoesport Outfitters in Indianola maintains an online list of new and used boats, hosts special off-season promotions, offers classes at the Indianola "Y", and organizes winter trips to warmer areas like Louisiana and Georgia. Find details at
Find info on event schedules, skills class content, fees, pregistration on the CSO website
G.Stark photo.  
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 summaries and links to items that your fellow readers find interesting.

Upcoming Cedar River Watershed Coalition Meeting in Parkersburg Oct 28.
The Cedar River Watershed includes a wide swath of our state, and both impacts, and is impacted by, a large number of communities and citizens, as well as agricultural, environmental, and economic interests. The CRWS Coalition coordinates and supports the many governmental entities, agencies, and groups working to address and manage these impacts. The Friday, October 28 meeting is free, open to the public, and will be held in Parkersburg. More information will be posted on the CRWS website:

Nearly 50 watershed supporters attended the group's June 10 meeting in Grundy Center. Read the meeting summary at:   or watch a video (thanks to Robin Kash, Neighborhood Network News) at:

Linn County Conservation Board Works to Gain Support for $40 Million, 20 Year Bond Proposal; Will Need 60% Approval in Nov 8 Vote. Could Be Model for Other Counties.  
A Sep 25 Cedar Rapids Gazette editorial mixed support for the proposed bond issue with concern regarding the lack of specific project targets, funding priorities, and partnerships: "But the board, despite its lack of polish, has identified a genuine need, especially when it comes to the critical work of protecting our land and water. A majority of our editorial board feels that the final product is too important to be scuttled because of a lackluster sales pitch. This majority urges Linn County voters to approve the conservation bond." Read the full CR Gazette endorsement at:
Water and Land Legacy Logo

IWLL Statewide vs. IWLL by County.  If passed, the proposal would be only the third such conservation bond in the state, joining similar bonds in Johnson and Polk counties. While such efforts may reflect citizen impatience with the legislature's unwillingness to fund the statewide Iowa Water & Land Legacy Fund, the local entities would still be eligible to participate in that larger funding mechanism, if and when it becomes available. In 2008, Johnson County voters passed a simi
lar conservation bond issue - of up to $20 million - with a narrow 61 percent approval. Of the $5.6 million of bond funds spent so far, another $4.7 million has been leveraged from grants.

The "Linn County Water and Land Legacy" proposal would fund water quality and land protection, park improvements and trails. Responding to concerns regarding a lack of specifics on project funding, the Conservation Board approved a resolution establishing percentages - 55 percent for water quality and land protection, 30 percent for parks and 15 percent for trails. The proposed bond would cost the average Linn Co homeowner $27 per year in increased property tax.

A Quick Look At the IWTA Planning Calendar!  
Have We Missed Something for the Balance of 2016?  
Do You Have Any Event Dates for 2017?

Oct 15; Full Moon (Super Moon). Saturday, Sunrise 7:20, Sunset 6:24, Moonrise 6:29   CDT
Oct 15; Best Time To View Planet Uranus. Blue-green dot visible all night.
Oct 21-22; Orionids Meteor Shower. Average shower, peaking at 20 meteors /hour. 
Oct TBD (Late Oct or Early Nov); "Dennis Wendel Mussel Move," Waterloo. Annual event to move mussels to deeper water following seasonal deflation of the downtown bladder dam on the Cedar River. City of Waterloo decides on date of reduction each year. Over 1,000 mussels were saved in 2015 by Cedar Valley Paddlers working withthe Chris Wendel family and mussel expert David Kesler.  CVP Coordinator Pam Wolter at 319-231-0541 or
Nov 4-5; Taurids Meteor Shower. Minor shower (5-10/hour) but long-running (Sep-Dec).
Nov 5; "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa County. "Migration Paddle" will be held 9:00 am-Noon, launch at Port Louisa Access, and takeout at the Toolesboro Boat Access. Experience crisp fall day, beautiful colors, migrating animals as you paddle mostly backwaters, close to Iowa shoreline. Short portage around spillway at Lock & Dam 17. Shuttle service available. Registration is required, participation limited to 20 boats.  There is a fee, and canoes and kayaks are available for rent. Due to the intensity of the river, this trip is open to experienced paddlers only. Registration at 319-523-8381, info packet at
Nov 6; Daylight Savings Time Ends, set clocks back one hour, replace smoke alarm batteries.
Nov 8: National, State, Local Elections. Vote!
Nov 11; Veterans Day.
Nov 14; Full Moon. Monday, Sunrise 6:56, Sunset 4:46, Moonrise 5:24   CST
Nov 17-18; Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks. Average shower, peaking at 15 meteors/hour.
Nov 24; Thanksgiving, Thursday.

Do you have more WT-related events or planning info for 2016? 
Or tentative or firm event dates for 2017?
Please contact us at

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 providing & updating 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