American Ethanol team participating in RAGBRAI XLII

Nick Fetty | July 22, 2014
Members of the American Ethanol RAGBRAI team. Photo via
Members of the American Ethanol RAGBRAI team.
Photo via

The 42nd (Des Moines) Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa – better known as RAGBRAI – kicked off on Sunday and this year’s event features a nearly 200-person team representing American Ethanol.

This year’s route passes through “the heart of Iowa’s ethanol producing regions” and ethanol plants along the route will host various events throughout the week. The Biofuels Mobile Education Center – a 45-foot trailer with touch screen computers and other interactive equipment – is making stops in Emmetsburg, Charles City and Mason City. The No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS – driven by 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillion of Richard Childress Racing – will also make stops in Emmetsburg and Mason City as well as Sheldon.

Since 2011, American Ethanol has been a key partner in implementing green efforts for NASCAR. As of September 2012, more than 3 million miles have been fueled by Sunoco Green E15 – “a highly oxygenated unleaded race fuel that contains 15 volume percent ethanol.” Growth Energy, POET, Green Plains Inc., Monsanto and New Holland have also teamed with American Ethanol to sponsor the RAGBRAI team.

For updates from the American Ethanol team throughout RAGBRAI, follow the group on Facebook and Twitter.

Iowans have increased pride in local rivers

Paddling in the Wapsipinicon River. Photo by sundaykofax, Flickr.

An article from The Gazette indicates that Iowans have become more enthusiastic about the state’s rivers in recent years.

The report suggests that Iowans are increasingly interested in the recreational possibilities of the rivers. This increased attention has also led to an increase in clean water advocacy.

Earlier this week, we highlighted the efforts of Charles City in enhancing their section of the Cedar River. Check out a radio segment on that topic here.

Read The Gazette’s article here.

On the Radio: Charles City named Iowa “River Town of the Year”

Check out this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below.  It features our latest sustainble city – Charles City, Iowa.

After a series of devastating floods in 1999 and 2008, Charles City has rebounded to become Iowa’s “River Town of the Year”.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Continue reading

Charles City named Iowa River Town of the Year

Photo courtesy of Iowa Rivers Revival.

Earlier this month Iowa Rivers Revival, an advocacy group for rivers, awarded their Iowa River Town of the Year award to Charles City, Iowa.

IRR hailed the city’s numerous river-oriented projects, including the construction of new riverside parks, and the transformation of a low-head dam into the state’s first whitewater kayak course.

  “The city’s projects both protect the Cedar River and celebrate it as a rich source of enjoyment and civic pride,” Peckumn said.  “We commend Charles City as Iowa’s River Town of the Year.  Your efforts will be admired, discussed, and emulated by other Iowa river towns for a long time to come.”

Charles City officials say the projects have resulted in increased response to tourism and community promotional efforts.

“The Cedar River is now more than ever a valued asset for the community, making Charles City an even better place to live, work and play,” City officials said.

For more information, read the full Iowa Rivers Revival press-release.

On the Radio: Kwik Trip helps electric car owners

Photo by wd wilson, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio piece here or read the transcript below.  This week’s radio segment discusses Kwik Trip gas stations’ new electric charging ports in northern Iowa.

Imagine all our gas pumps replaced with electrical outlets. Kwik Trip gas stations in the Midwest are taking the initial step in making this vision a reality. Continue reading

On the Radio: UI students help Iowa communities go green

Listen to this week’s radio segment here.  It features the work of some UI students in Burlington, Charles City, Decorah and Oskaloosa.

For the past two school years, second-year students at the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning have helped Iowa towns plan for a cleaner, healthier future. Continue reading

Water quality improvement, flood mitigation among perks of finished Charles City paving project

Charles City, the North Eastern Iowa town, is working to reduce flooding and improve water quality through permeable pavement and improve water quality.

Charles City is working to reduce future flooding in a big way.

The city just put the finishing touches on a $3.9 million permeable paving project that aims to reduce chances of flooding and improve water quality, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports.

Rainwater can now infiltrate the ground through gaps between pavers that are not grouted together, reducing the need for storm structures.

The project, which spans 16 blocks of the city, is the largest of its kind in the state and possibly the nation, according to the report.