Prairie Rivers of Iowa is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to strengthening Iowa’s communities and small businesses through the responsible stewardship of our natural and historical resources.


  • Our Core Values

    We respect and elevate the integrity of the natural, historical and cultural resources in Iowa and advocate sustainability for present and future generations.

    • Advocate: We support ecological and natural resource integrity by advancing sustainable stewardship practices.
    • Partner: We engage and empower people and organizations with a diversity of skills and expertise to accomplish together more than we can do separately.
    • Educate: We foster the environment by learning, and educating Iowans to activate and engage in cultivating an environment of conservation.
    • Assessment: We support a consistency of actions and methods through ongoing assessment of our programs.
  • What do we do?

    We are experts in bringing the right people together to make great ideas a reality across Iowa. Our three program areas reflect our commitment to Iowa’s natural heritage and people:

    • Regional Food Systems
      • Grow Your Small Market Farm™ helps new and existing local food and farm producers learn the business skills needed to build successful farm business ventures.
      • School and Community Gardens help students and community member’s plant, harvest, and learn about garden produce at school, becoming healthier eaters, better consumers, and more engaged citizens.
      • Natural Resource-Based Business Support helps new and existing businesses, organizations, and co-ops develop their business and marketing plans and maximize their potential.
    • Log Products sells milled and molded native Iowa red pine and oak logs for construction projects to benefit County Conservation Boards, businesses, and private individuals.
    • Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway is Iowa’s longest and most diverse byway. We manage the byway to protect its historical and natural resources and promote economic development in its communities.
  • What critical needs do we meet?

    Prairie Rivers of Iowa plays a unique role in Iowa. As one of the only nonprofit organizations focusing on both conserving our natural resources and building stronger businesses and communities, we bring unique expertise to creatively address some of Iowa’s most challenging needs. From assisting small communities in marketing themselves to travelers, to supporting students in becoming environmentally-literate citizens, to training the next generation of responsible farmers and producers, Prairie Rivers of Iowa helps Iowans create a stronger and healthier state.

  • What is the history of Prairie Rivers of Iowa?

    We were founded in 2001 and initially affiliated with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, providing services in Boone, Hardin, Hamilton, Marshall, Story, and Webster Counties. Now an independent nonprofit organization, we have expanded our programs and services across Iowa.

  • How are we funded?

    Our programs are funded through a combination of individual and corporate donations, grants and state contracts, fees for support and training services, and through the sales of log and other products.

  • How do we define conservation?

    We define conservation as the protection, management, and restoration of natural resources for current public benefit and sustainable social and economic utilization.

  • What is our mission?

    Our mission is to promote awareness and build respect for the ecological integrity of our natural resources.

  • How can you learn more about Prairie Rivers of Iowa?

    Email us at You can also visit us here online or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and our Blog.

  • What does it mean to be a 501(c)(3) organization?

    Nonprofit means the entity, usually a corporation, is organized for a nonprofit purpose. 501(c)(3) means a nonprofit organization that has been recognized by the IRS as being tax-exempt by virtue of its charitable programs.

  • What is strategic planning?

    Strategic planning is a management tool. As with any management tool, it is used for one purpose only: to help an organization do a better job - to focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organization are working toward the same goals, to assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. In short, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.

  • Is there a minimum donation?

    You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback as someone who gives more. Any amount given is received with gratitude and goes towards fulfilling our mission.

  • Are gifts tax-deductible?

    As a 501(c)(3) charity, donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. We can give you our federal tax ID number when we receive your in-kind or monetary gift.