Help us find our next River Town of the Year!

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Photo courtesy of Northeast Iowa RC&D


Iowa Rivers Revival is now accepting nominations for the 2019 “River Town of the Year” Award. 

The deadline for submission is January 4, 2019.

The annual “River Town of the Year” Award recognizes and celebrates an Iowa community for exceptional efforts to reclaim its river and river-front as anchors for economic development, good ecological practices, and enhanced recreation.  Cities and towns are invited to apply for the award, or citizens may nominate their town.

The award recognizes efforts such as:  dam-safety projects, river clean-up projects, Water Trail designations, innovative storm water and river protection projects, river-oriented tourism efforts, walking/biking trails along the river, education and advocacy by local river or watershed groups, and efforts to enhance river use and appreciation (river events, restaurants, bed & breakfasts, bait shops, boat rentals, etc.)

The River Town of the Year Award highlights a city’s outstanding work to enhance connections to its river.

We are excited to learn about what communities are doing across the state to protect and enhance their local rivers and streams.  The award provides an opportunity to showcase local stewardship, and inspire other cities and towns.

The award will be presented in spring of 2019 at reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the “River Town of the Year” community.  IRR also will work to provide additional opportunities to promote and recognize the “River Town of the Year” through media and river-related events.

You can download the application here.

For information on previous winning cities’ applications, IRR news releases, and news coverage check out our River Town of the Year page!

Questions?  Please email us at, or call 515-724-4093.

2019 Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium

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The 2019 Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium
is going to be here before you know it!

Important dates:

  • October 26, 2018- Oral Abstracts due, Early bird registrations open
  • December 28, 2018- Regular registration opens
  • February 8, 2019- Poster Abstract Deadline and Registration closes
  • February 24-27, 2019- PRRSUM @ Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, WI


Oral Abstracts are due THIS FRIDAY and on that same day, early bird registration opens!

The Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium (UMSRS) presents a unique opportunity to bring together regional stream restoration practitioners so they may share experiences and expertise with colleagues working within similar environmental and land-use conditions. Attendees from multi-disciplinary backgrounds will hear about innovative restoration designs and approaches as well as have the opportunity to network with the region’s leading stream restoration practitioners.

UMSRS looks to provide a collaborative environment which will allow an interdisciplinary approach to stream restoration and other related watershed sciences, hence a broad range of speakers and topics are actively encouraged.   We seek session proposals and abstracts for both oral and poster presentations that address topic areas related to stream restoration, including:

  • Stream restoration design and alternative analyses
  • Restoration design implementation and response
  • Restoration project and design monitoring
  • Presentations geared toward the planning, regulatory, and funding context under which stream restoration occurs.

Selected presentations will be grouped into topical sessions.

Learn more at:

Episode #16 of Our Water Our Land is all about rivers!

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Thanks to our friends at Drake University Agricultural Law Center!  Episode #16 of Our Water Our Land is all about rivers!    Please watch, enjoy and share this video!


“Today our over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife, provide water for many of Iowa’s citizens, and help fuel our economy.  Most of the time our rivers and streams are gentle corridors of nature but as our recent floods show they can also become destructive illustrations of nature’s power.  In past decades the relation of most Iowans to our rivers and streams have waned and the lack of connection has contributed to our neglect and disregard for waterways.  This neglect in turn has contributed to the water quality challenges we face.

The good news is there is an increasing recognition of the value and potential of our rivers and streams – as sources of economic development, natural beauty, and recreation.  As you will see in this episode many people are contributing to this rediscovery but one important organization is Iowa Rivers Revival which is helping spearhead efforts to reconnect communities with their rivers.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is also implementing important programs to increase the safe use of rivers and streams.  The even better news is an increasing number of communities have seized on their rivers and are using them to create exciting new opportunities for citizens to use and enjoy the river.  This episode was filmed in Charles City – a great example of this process – but other communities like Des Moines are exploring how our rivers can be harnessed as engines of development and sources of natural beauty and enjoyment.”

~Neil Hamilton


River Restoration Toolbox Level 1/Base Training is open for registration!

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) River Restoration Toolbox is LIVE on the website and Iowa Rivers Revival is a proud partner of this work!

Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox is a series of best management practices developed to assist designers in stream stabilization and restoration projects in Iowa with proven techniques with emphasis on incorporating natural materials, such as logs, stone, and live plantings.  Rivers and streams, their channels and valleys, are a defining feature of Iowa’s landscape.   They have formed and evolved over thousands of years, in response to the climate, soils, and geologic setting of their watersheds.  Human modifications to the landscape, and to the rivers themselves, have altered these waterways contributing to problems including bank erosion, habitat loss, flooding, reduced water quality, and challenges to boater safety.  River restorations are designed to overcome the effects of these alterations and improve the function and value of our waterways.

Projects such as dam removals and mitigations, bank stabilizations, and installation of riparian buffers have been shown to improve the health of aquatic life and increase fish populations, benefit wildlife, reduce flood damage, protect agricultural land, increase recreational opportunities and make them safer and more enjoyable, and bring economic benefits to nearby communities.

To promote this important work and the reinforce practical applications of the best management practices (maximizing multiple benefits) in the Toolbox, IRR is partnering with Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership, The State Revolving Fund, the Iowa DNR and Stantec to bring two Level 1/Base Training Workshops to a location near you this fall!

If you are someone you know might be interested in participating in one of our fall workshops, please check out the registration options and choose from the Clive or Cedar Falls location.

REGISTER NOW!  Classes are limited to 24 participants per class so sign up TODAY!



Looking for things to do the rest of this summer? Here are some suggestions to keep you busy!


Try it before you buy it!

Crawdaddy Outdoors Kayak Demo DaysAugust 4, 9 & 23
Try out different kayaks before you commit to a purchase!  Avenue of the Saints Lake, rural Waverly.  This is located 1 mile west of the Hwy 3 and Hwy 218 intersection.  Turn south on Aspen Avenue and follow the gravel until you reach the lake.

Take a trip down a beautiful River!

The Great River Rumble– July 28 – Aug 4
Join other river lovers and travel 102 miles down two Midwestern Rivers!    Paddle the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers from Keosauqua, IA to Hannibal, MO.  July 28 -August 4, 2018

Learn some new skills and Appreciate Nature!

Full Moon Float – July 27 & August 26
Des Moines Parks and Recreation is offering opportunities to float on Gray’s Lake under the stars and listen to the calming sounds of the night. Rentals are offered 8:30 – 11 p.m. and are $6 per boat per half hour.

Stand up Paddleboarding– August 1, 9, & 21
Join Des Moines Parks and Recreation at Greys’s Lake and learn the skills and knowledge needed to SUP in a flat water setting.

Prairie Lakes Conference – August 9-11
Take part in a unique opportunity for lake management professionals, citizens and researchers to come together and focus on improving the water quality of the outstanding lake resources found in the Midwest.  Stay for the weekend and take in the all-day event at the Okoboji Blue Water Festival. Find out more information at:

Help clean up our waterways!

Yeader Creek CleanupJuly 28
Join INHF, United By Blue, Active Endeavors, City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Polk County Conservation and Polk Soil and Water Conservation District for a creek cleanup at Ewing.

River Run Garbage Grab August 10
17th Annual River Run Garbage Grab gives volunteers the opportunity to remove trash from the river or along its adjacent trails–paddlers, rowers, power boaters, walkers, hikers, bicyclers, mountain bikers, birders, etc are all welcome!

4 Mile Creek Clean up August 10
Polk Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a clean-up site along Fourmile Creek as part of the Annual River Run Garbage Grab. Meet at the Fourmile Community Recreation Center and then walking along and in the creek (depending on water level) picking up trash.


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