Nominate your Town for River Town of the Year!

Photo by ellenmac11; Flickr

Iowa Rivers Revival — an organization committed to protecting Iowa’s rivers and streams and watersheds — invites you to nominate your city for IRR’s River Town of the Year award.

The annual River Town of the Year award recognizes an Iowa town or city for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices. Cities are invited to apply for the award, or citizens may nominate their town.

Applications are due by November 1, 2013. The award will be presented in January 2014 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the River Town of the Year community. Continue reading

On the Radio: Master River Steward Program

Cedar River – Photo by tiswango; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a portion of the Master River Steward Program’s ongoing work with rivers and communities. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

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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.

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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.

Iowa Water & Land Legacy Coalition to host public forums to discuss conservation budget

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Iowa Water and Land Legacy coalition members are hosting a statewide series of public forums to highlight the need for continued funding for water quality, soil conservation and outdoor recreation programs.

At a time when Iowa’s waters are at their dirtiest in recorded history, and the state is losing five tons of topsoil per acre each year, funding for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship are at historically record lows, making up less than one percent of the 2012 state budget.

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Environmentalists warn of dire consequences of ‘Taxpayers First’ Provision

Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center Wetland in Linn County. Photo by G-Mans Shadow, Flickr

A little-discussed provision in Taxpayers First Act would adversely affect the environment and state revenue gained from recreation, warn state environmental advocates.

The provision of the omnibus spending bill, which passed in the House of Representatives, forbids the Department of Natural Resources to buy, rent or control additional land, except donated properties. Currently, the DNR buys land from willing sellers, who typically want the department to set aside lands from flood mitigation or recreation, according to a DNR document. Continue reading