In 2013, IRR offered the Master River Steward program in central Iowa to 22 participants with a connection to the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers.
The 8-week program included indoor and outdoor sessions on watersheds, river form and function, navigating rivers, habitat and wildlife, river chemistry and water monitoring, policy impacts of water and soil management, and stream restoration. After being immersed in river details for six weeks, small groups organized to plan hands-on stewardship projects, which they reported on at a final class in September.
The program was made possible, thanks to generous support from Metro Waste Authority, Des Moines Water Works, Polk County Conservation, DNR’s IOWATER and River programs, Iowa Soybean Association and RDG Planning & Design.
IRR greatly appreciates Dr. Jim Pease, program coordinator, for his expertise and terrific support. Thanks also to the Iowa DNR, Iowa State University, Iowa Soybean Association and Practical Farmers of Iowa for instruction and support.
IRR’s Master River Steward Program (MRSP) was conceived as an opportunity for persons with an interest in Iowa’s rivers to learn and develop skills to become more effective and confident river stewards. This is the second year the program has been offered in Central Iowa. In 2014, IRR plans to bring the program to the Cedar and Iowa rivers in eastern Iowa, thanks to support from REAP.