WFAN’s Iowa Female Farmer Veteran Network project

June 17 & 18th is a networking event in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids for women military veterans looking to start a career in farming. These FREE events will begin at 6pm, featuring local food and drinks. To learn more about the Women, Food and Agriculture Network’s Iowa Female Farmer Veteran Network Project here.   Pre-registration is required by Saturday June 14th at 5pm. You can register for the Cedar Rapids event online at this link, and for the Des Moines event at this link. You may also call WFAN at 515 460 2477 and leave your name. Please call the same number or email with any questions.   Tuesday, June 17 will be located at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside, 401 NE 66th Ave, Des Moines, IA, or Wednesday, June 18 will be located at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 50 2nd Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA.   Women, Food and Agriculture Network is a non-profit, educational organization formed in 1997 to provide networking, information and leadership development opportunities to women involved in all...
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Periodical Cicadas Return to Iowa in 2014

It’s been a long wait but it is almost over!  This is the year that Brood III of the periodical cicadas (a.k.a. 17-year “locusts”) will emerge from the ground and appear as adults in a significant portion of the state of Iowa.  The periodical cicadas we will see and hear this summer are the offspring of the adults that we saw way back in 1997.  For 17 years, the cicada nymphs have waited underground.  This is the summer we (and they!) have waited for! For more information check out this article from Iowa State Extension: Periodical Cicadas Return to Iowa in 2014 ...
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PRAIRIE RIVERS URBAN FORESTRY SPECIALIST QUOTED IN DES MOINES REGISTER

Prairie Rivers's very own, Shane Donegan, was quoted in a Des Moines Register article. In the article "Ash Borer Headed to Ankeny", Donegan was quoted regarding EAB and the public meetings held in Ankeny, “Most people have already heard the problem is here and that it doesn’t mean good things,” said Iowa Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Specialist Shane Donegan. “These meetings have been happening more frequently and are being pretty well attended. Instead of the info just being doom-focused, we are really trying to give people options for how they can prepare.” For the full article check out the Register's website Ash Borer Headed to Ankeny...
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See EOR’s Presentation on the Squaw Creek

Would you like to see the presentation and data that Emmons and Olivier Resources Inc. has presented to the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority?  Check out their Water Quality Summary and their Stream Assessment presentations to read about their findings thus far.   Water Quality Summary Stream Assessment   A quick summary of their Key findings of the water quality and stream assessment: ·        The hydrology of Squaw Creek has been significantly altered. Flashy: Peak flow rates in the stream can be as much as 100x the base flow. ·        Monitoring data indicates that there are very high levels of nutrients (P and N) and bacteria. Boom/Bust dissolved oxygen cycles. ·        The manner in which past monitoring has been done makes it difficult to detect any trends. Recommendation is to focus effort at one or two sites along the creek and take more frequent baseflow and storm event samples. ·        Stream is NOT healthy: unstable, degraded habitat, carries large sediment load (without flushing it downstream)  ...
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Raising Awareness and Educating with Real Time Information for the Squaw Creek

Education and awareness are key components when trying to raise awareness on any topic, this is especially true when talking about the Squaw Cree Watershed. The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority is trying to do those exact two things, educate the public and to bring awareness to the situation. They have gone about this by hosting several listening sessions in Stanhope, Gilbert, and Ames. Here the public came to ask questions about the group and what they are trying to achieve with this 20 year plan they are looking to develop.   As the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority continues to educate and raise awareness to the situation a great resource to use to keep up to date on the Squaw Creek in your area is the one-stop web-platform from the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS). Through this site you can access real time community flood conditions, forecast and visualizations, among other great information.   There are different settings and layers you can apply...
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Learning and Exploring the Outdoors

On May 6th, North Tama's 5th graders traveled to Ferguson Timbers in Marshalltown, Iowa to partake in their third and final capstone event of the school year.  The kids are in the midst of their environmental stewardship unit and are learning about the importance of certain things such as water quality.  The day was filled with learning about current environmental issues, the how to's of camping and basic survival skills, and just a general appreciation for the outdoors. The capstone event took place at Ferguson Timbers, an educational area under a conservation easement with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.  The area had everything from wooded trails to rolling prairies and even a glimpse of the powerful Iowa River.  It was the perfect place for the kids to interact with the handful of experts that volunteered to share their expertise. Marlene Ehresman is the executive director of the Iowa Wildlife Center and she took the students on a nature hike where she showed the...
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Food Waste is #1

Every year Americans throw away roughly $165 billion worth of food.  That is 40% of all U.S. food products.  These products then accumulate in a landfill emitting methane, a greenhouse gas.  Food waste is the #1 most prevalent item in landfills.  In Iowa, food waste makes up 14% of all municipal landfills.  And yet roughly 50 million Americans do not have adequate access to food. Over the past couple of weeks both the Kate-Mitchell Elementary and Sawyer Elementary Schools in Ames, IA have been participating in composting projects.  The students sort and weigh their leftovers from lunch.  Data is collected and then analyzed so students can see exactly how much food they are throwing away.  They also see how much waste can be eliminated by composting. What can you do to help reduce waste? Compost, create highly nutritious soil Share or take-home food when going out Purchase only what you can feasibly use Donate what you cannot use Resources: Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project: http://iwrc.org/services/food-waste/ Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery/ www.wastefood.com ...
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Sponsor a Camper

­­ This summer, we are hosting our second summer Day Camp called Wild Warriors Kids Conservation Camp. Our camps provide a unique and authentic learning opportunity for kids. We spend every day outside with experts in areas such as wildlife, plants, survival skills, swimming, photography and more. We will be enrolling up to 32 kids and offering up to five scholarships for children to attend camp that may not have been able to attend without this support. In order to provide this unique experience, it will cost almost $300 per student…will you help sponsor a kid to attend Wild Warriors Kids Conservation Camp this summer?  The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway is managed by Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Every day we work to support Iowa’s natural resources and educate Iowans about conservation. We know there are many worthy causes to support, and ask you to consider investing in Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Your donation will go a long way to helping us reach out...
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The Music of Trees

Bartholomäus Traubeck, has created a record player that turns slices of trees into music. The project is called Years and Traubeck describes how it works: "A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently." Traubeck has turned a handful of trees into music: Picea (spruce), Fraxinus (ash), Quercus (oak), Acer (maple), Alnus (alder), Juglans (walnut), Fagus (beech). Follow the link below to watch a video with a sample of the music. Years - Bartholomäus Traubeck  ...
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Healthier Soil, Healthier Produce

It may still surprise some folks that the nutritional value of our fruits and vegetables is dependent upon the nutrients in our soil. Donald Davis, a biochemist at the University of Texas discovered "that six out of 13 nutrients showed apparently reliable declines between 1950 and 1999.”  Those nutrients included protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. These declines were believed to be partially related to certain conventional farming techniques.  There has been a rebirth of natural weed and pesticide techniques as well as a push for farmers of all types to use cover crops to improve the nutrient levels in their soil. Reminder to folks that a healthy, sustainable food system is only as strong as the elements (soil, water, seeds, etc.) necessary to produce the food. ...
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