Iowa Women for Water

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IRR is excited to partner with Iowa Environmental Council and Des Moines Water Works to bring you Women for Water!


The goal of this program is to build a bipartisan network of women who care about water quality and the pollution of Iowa’s rivers, lakes and streams. Provide opportunities for these women to connect with one another and build advocacy skills in order to amplify voices that have been missing in conversations about water quality in Iowa.


Check our our new website below:

Whitewater Iowa

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Molly recently had an opportunity to talk about dam mitigation and the AWESOME opportunities it can bring to communities around the state with the folks at Gear Junkie!  You can watch the finished video below and read the article on GearJunkie. Have you checked out one of Iowa’s Whitewater courses?






Adopt a stream Four-Mile Creek clean-up

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June 25th the IRR and IEC Service Squad went all in and cleaned up our adopted section of Four-Mile Creek. The cleanup was featured on IPTV’s Iowa Outdoors! Please watch our Facebook page for information on our August 26th clean-up – hope to see you there.


Watch IPTV’s feature here!

Water trails funding needs your help!

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Action Alert!

The Water Trails and Low-head Dam Mitigation (DNR River Program) is under threat of being zeroed out…again.

  • Dam Mitigation serves communities and state interests for safer, ecologically sound approaches.
  • Water Trials serves recreational river and lake users.
  • Team has grown abilities in stable channel design/river restoration.

We need your help to fund important projects in Iowa!


Iowa has 177 low-head dams in 57 of the state’s 99 counties. “Low-head” dams span the river and are less than 20 feet high (many just 2-5 feet high).  The dams often are deceptively dangerous “drowning machines.”  Since 1900, at least 163 people have been killed in the deadly recirculating currents that form below these dams — 31 since 1998.

Most of these dams were constructed in the 1930’s and are in need of repair.  Modification projects provide the opportunity to engage the community and reconnect citizens to the resource in a meaningful way.  Whitewater courses, fish passage and improved angling opportunities, expanded water trails and access points, handicap accessibility and native plantings for improved habitat provide multiple benefits but most importantly-these projects provide economic development to revitalize Iowa towns and cities.

“The whitewater project was promoted by the Manchester Good to Great organization as a means to continue to be aggressive in the improvement of our community with a mindset that a recreational/tourism-focused project would help draw people to our community.  Not only is this project an attraction for visitors, but an additional quality of life factor which we know will make Manchester a place people wish to consider when looking to expand their business or relocate their families.  We feel this project will have a long-term positive impact on our community, and the fishing is great!”

~Ryan Wicks, Manchester Good to Great River and Recreation Committee Chair

This work provides value to communities all across our state and there is so much more work to be done!  This money helps communities supplement the costs of these unique projects-bringing people together to solve complicated problems with win-win solutions.
Contact your legislator TODAY and ask them to fund the Water Trails and Low-head Dam Mitigation program
within the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF)

Clive named “River Town of the Year”

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Clive, Iowa named “River Town of the Year”


Clive is a western suburb of Des Moines, population about 17,500.  Clive is about a mile wide and eight or nine miles long, with a major stream – Walnut Creek – running through the center of much of the community.  [Click here for map of Clive.]

“Walnut Creek is a defining element of the community,” said Molly Hanson, Iowa Rivers Revival Executive Director.  “Like other Iowa river cities we have recognized – from Dubuque to Council Bluffs, Charles City to Clinton – Clive is celebrating its past, present and future with Walnut Creek.

“From its beginning, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Clive recognized that the Walnut Creek greenbelt had great potential for recreation, parks, green space, and natural beauty.  Greenbelt Park was established early on and became the dominant feature running through the middle of Clive,” Hanson said.

“Today, the Greenbelt’s bike trail and walkways, parks and playgrounds are highly popular and well-used by Clive residents and visitors.

“But Clive still has an eye on the future – and on Walnut Creek itself, its waters and streambanks, not just on the Greenbelt and flood plain beside the Creek,” Hanson said.

 Clive earned the River Town of the Year Award especially for its efforts to:

  •  Stabilize streambanks of Walnut Creek using state-of-the-art “bio-engineering” techniques instead of leaving steep, erodible banks, or “hard-armoring” banks with concrete “rip-rap”.  [Click here for streambank stabilization Before and After photos.]
  • Adopt a watershed-wide approach and planning with all its neighbor communities.
  • Acquire more floodplain acres to ensure adequate stream buffers and flood flow capacities.
  • Invest $80 million in public and private funds over 25 years in a Greenbelt Master Plan, more than half for environmental enhancements.
  • Protect drinking water for 500,000 people – the Des Moines Water Works intake valve is located just a mile downstream from where Walnut Creek flows into the Raccoon River, not far below Clive.
  • Lead the way in organizing technical training for communities on stream restoration strategies.
  • Collaborate with resident volunteers who formed Green and Sustainable Clive to remove invasive species, plant trees, and clean up the Creek.

“Clive is leading the way in focusing on water quality as well as water quantity and flooding — on the Creek itself as well as the Greenbelt where it runs,” Robin Fortney, IRR board member said.

“In short, Clive is doing river restoration we think is so important in Iowa,” she said.   “We are very pleased to recognize Clive as Iowa River Town of the Year.”


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