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: https://www.okobojibluewaterfestival.com.

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.


Join us for Plastic Free July

posted in: Education, Outreach | 0
Illustration photo: Colourbox


It is not the plastic in the oceans we should be worrying about the most,” says Martin Wagner, an associate professor at NTNU’s Department of Biology, “but the stuff that ends up in rivers and lakes.”


We are joining our friends at Urban Ambassadors for Plastic Free July by NOT using plastic straws and encouraging the restaurants and bars we frequent to do the same.   If you want to join us is removing single use plastics from your life, check out the links below for tips to get started:


“In many cases, it’s society and not research that contributes to the biggest difference when looking at solutions. We’re seeing an ever-increasing political and social movement to combat plastic waste,” Wagner says



Extra Extra – Read All About It!

posted in: News, Outreach, Volunteering | 0

We have been hard at work, putting all of our media in one place!  Everything can all be found on our new Photos and Media page under News!  We are still working on cataloging 10 years of Media – so keep checking back now and then.  In the meantime, here are some great things you might see:

Newspaper Clippings – Articles you may have missed, or want to read again:

Photos from one of our many events (are you in there?):

Great Video Presentations and Clips:

Your Projects – Their Funding!

posted in: News | 0

Opportunities for state funding are available now!


West Nishnabotna River

Thanks to YOUR advocacy, OUR voices for Iowa rivers was STRENGTHENED this session and a budget line item was restored to support mitigation and enhancement efforts around the state!

If your community is looking to revive the riverfront, consider applying for a Dam Mitigation Grant or a Water Trail Enhancement Grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Rivers Program.  Projects like these can spearhead economic development, workforce development, recreational opportunities and tourism.

For more information, visit the Iowa DNR’s website.

Dam Mitigation Grants
Application deadline is Sept. 14, 2018

The Iowa Legislature appropriated funds for fiscal year 2018 for the development of dam mitigation and water trail projects. A portion the funds ($200,000 for this fiscal year) are available competitively for dam mitigation cost-share grants. Dam owners and other eligible entities are encouraged to apply for cost-share assistance for projects that reduce recreational hazards and enhance aquatic species connectivity.

Water Trail Enhancement Grants
Application deadline is Sept. 14, 2018

The Iowa Legislature appropriated funds for fiscal year 2018 for the development of dam mitigation and water trail projects. A portion of the funds ($130,000 this fiscal year) are available competitively for water trail enhancement cost-share grants. Local divisions of Iowa government are encouraged to apply for cost-share assistance for infrastructure or infrastructure improvements along state designated water trails or water trails on track for state designation.


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