On behalf of the Iowa Rivers Revival board of directors, I would like to announce that Molly Hanson is resigning as our executive director effective at the end of this month. Molly let us know in June of her plans to leave IRR in order to pursue a new employment opportunity.
While we are sad to see Molly leave, we are proud of the amazing work she has done in realizing our important mission during her tenure and wish her the very best in her new position. The board would like to thank Molly for her steadfast leadership over the last 3-4 years.
During this transitional period, IRR will continue our important programming, outreach, and advocacy for Iowa’s rivers. IRRs board of directors are working with Molly and other partners in transition planning and we are actively engaged in finding an interim executive director/program manager, along with beginning the search for our next executive director.
We are committed to a seamless transition process and continuing our current programs without interruption during this transition period. Moving forward, we will keep everyone apprised of transition developments. Should any of our valued supporters, partners, or the public have any questions or concerns, please reach out and contact IRR. The board of directors appreciates your ongoing support during this leadership transition.
My name is Clarissa Klostermann. I’m the second half of the Green Iowa AmeriCorps Summer Land & Water Stewards Team working with Iowa Rivers Revival this summer.
Here’re some fun facts about me:
I grew up on a small farm in northeast Iowa, and I like to say I’m from The Field of Dreams.
Puns and Dad Jokes are two of my favorite things.
Ducks are 100% the best animal (in my humblest of opinions).
I graduated from the University of Iowa in December with majors in English & Creative Writing and American Studies. I’m super passionate about food, food security, and food sustainability. So, this summer, for my independent project through Green Iowa, I decided to try to spend the month of July eating only locally grown and produced food (I wanted to see if it could be done, what the environmental affects were, how expensive it was, and so on). If you’re interested in seeing how that process is going, you should check out my blog. It’s very exciting, and it’s very informative.
Other things I’ve been up to since being with IRR:
Erin and I have interviewed fifteen great people for the Master River Stewards Program (and we have our last interview coming up next week). As a reminder, we’re turning the lesson on Agricultural Practices, Policies, and Iowa’s Rivers into podcasts and videos which will be available for the general public right here on IRR’s website (which means all of you get to access the plethora of information we’ve been gathering). We’ll continue to keep you updated as things progress throughout the month of July!
I’ve been learning SO much. And I’ve pretty well come to the conclusion that the best way to learn something is to talk to the folks doing exactly what I want to learn about (groundbreaking stuff, I know). So, to bring it back to my blog again real quick, I think the best way to learn about our food (how it’s grown and produced) is to talk to farmers. And there’s quite of few of them around, which makes it nice. All that is to say, I’ve been talking to farmers this summer because they’re really great teachers. And, next week, Erin and I will be headed to western Iowa to visit some farmers in Sutherland. Also, y’all are invited!
And one last exciting opportunity for y’all: Tomorrow, you can catch Erin, Molly, and I out at Sleepy Hollow doing a creek cleanup for a stretch of Four-Mile Creek. We’ll have sunscreen and bug spray, and it’ll be a great time. We’d love to see you there! It’s from 10AM – 12PM, and there’s parking available at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Park (4051 Dean Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa). And if seeing us there isn’t enough, REI is providing us all with one free drink ticket at 80/35 afterwards. So, free beer. Also, Erin made a great flyer, which y’all should check out.
So, join us tomorrow morning if you can. We’d love to see you. If you’re up to learning from farmers, definitely check out a field day (did I mention they’re free?). And, if you’re curious at all about what I’m eating, where I’m buying it, and what I’m learning this month as a locavore, check out my blog. It’ll be a great time.
PS–There was an ice cube chilling in a tall glass of water. Under it’s breath, the ice said, “I was water before it was cool.”
My name is Erin Atchison and I am one of the Green Iowa AmeriCorps Land and Water Steward Members serving with Iowa Rivers Revival this summer!
My fellow AmeriCorp member, Clarissa Klostermann, and I are working to make the Iowa Rivers Revival’s Master Rivers Stewards program more accessible and user-friendly by changing some of the material into podcasts and videos. Currently we are working on turning the Agricultural Production, Policies, and Iowa’s Rivers into podcasts and videos.
As part of being a AmeriCorp member, both Clarissa and I get the privilege of working on an independent project with IRR (look out for an update on Clarissa’s project next week!). For my project, I am organizing Iowa Rivers Revival’s Four Mile Creek Clean Up Event this year.
*The Service Squad at the Four Mile Creek Clean Up Event in 2018*
The Four Mile Creek Clean Up Event will be on July 13th from 10 AM – 12 PM. We will be meeting at the parking lot of Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, located at 4051 Dean Ave, Des Moines, Iowa. This event is also in collaboration with the Polk County Conservation and REI.
Following the Four Mile Creek Clean Up Event on July 13th, we will be having an after party at the 80/35 Music Festival! There will be free beer tickets for those who helped clean up Four Mile, so definitely make sure to sign up using the link below!
There will be a Green Drinks Event, tomorrow, June 20th from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at Peace Tree Brewing Co. located at 317 E Court Ave, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Our very own, Molly Hanson will be presenting about IRR’s year of clean water advocacy and successful programs engaging Iowans to protect our waterways.
Registration is open and spots are filling up for the second workshop of the year! This program is a partnership with Iowa Rivers Revival, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership, and Stantec.
We will be hosting another Level 1/Base Training River Restoration Toolbox Workshop in partnership with our friends at the Johnson County Conservation Board June 24-27!
We are thrilled to continue our important work in river restoration with the help of our friends at the McKnight Foundation and REI. However, as an advocacy group, we know that good policy is necessary to support meaningful work throughout Iowa. With the help of our lobby team and various partners, we secured $500,000 for low-head dam mitigation and water trails up at the Capitol this legislative session.
We did it! This vital funding to support the DNR Rivers Program is a top legislative priority of Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) and allows for unique river opportunities with multiple benefits. Thank you! Your support is what makes it all possible. You are making a difference for our 70,000 miles of rivers and streams when you speak up, contact your legislators, and share YOUR story.
Over the last year, IRR has built strong coalitions and collaborative relationships with elected officials, city administrators, business owners, environmental professionals, state agencies, landowners, and recreational enthusiasts to help expand the story of our rivers and streams. A culture shift is occurring across the state, with powerful voices, like yours, helping to tell the story of the important role rivers play in supporting rural economic development, improved recreation, and enhanced quality of life. IRR is at the forefront of this work and will continue to be the voice for policies that support healthy rivers now and in the future.
As our state recovers from disastrous flooding, we are poised to show the value of strategic, watershed-based river restoration. In 2018, we filled two river restoration toolbox workshops and trained over 50 professionals. As interest grows, we are hosting two more workshops this spring. In addition, an IRR-led technical advisory team is working to outline a river restoration framework for the state that boosts floodplain resilience, streambank stabilization, habitat improvement, and recreational opportunities for all Iowans and throughout the region. We need your generous support to sustain this effort. It’s going to take all of us coming together to make the impact that will make a difference for future generations.