2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

The Watersheds & Waterways Program Year in Review for 2018. It was a year full of continuing projects, new projects, and expansion of current projects. Our program has grown and will continue to grow in 2019. Check back for current programming on our website and social media!...
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Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

It is finally March and with that comes the promise of Spring! The Byway is gearing up for a wonderful 2018. We are into grant writing season and as we wait for large state-wide projects to come to fruition, we are happy to tackle  smaller localized ones. One project just completed was for the community of Westside. The residents recently developed a park, the Eugene Kock Memorial Park, in honor of a local man who lost his life in Vietnam many years ago. The park has engraved paver bricks that can be purchased, seating for visitors, and a military sculpture placed in the center. The area is flanked by flags and soon will have an interpretive panel we created about the community placed there as well. We continue to work with the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) on other interpretive panels. Three smaller ones will be placed in the City of Jefferson's east entrance as part of their improvement project. The panels will...
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Thanksgiving Season On the Byway

Thanksgiving Season On the Byway

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am reflecting on the past 3 years I've worked at Prairie Rivers and with the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway (LHHB.) I am thankful for the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) and their vision to create and promote the road in 1913 and for the Iowa leaders who re-created theorganization in 1992,  to those Iowa LHA people who applied for the Iowa section to be part of the Iowa Scenic Byway program, to the Department of Transportation for including the Lincoln Highway in their Byway program and the support they continue to give to the Byways, and to the people in the communities along the route who work tirelessly to promote and support their neck-of-the-woods with their products, services, amenities, and attractions. A few weeks ago, I drove a part of the Byway and saw farmers out harvesting their crops. Dust was flying, wagons were being filled with crops, and slow-moving vehicles with equipment and wagons slowed...
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Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway News

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway has been selected to continue on to the second round of the ArtPlace America Grant! Out of 1,000 applications, 70 were selected for a site visit and asked to submit a final application. Our Byway was one of those selected. Quite an honor! The Byway's proposed project is to work with Preston's Historic District in Belle Plaine, Reed-Niland Corner in Colo, and Youngville in rural Benton County to restore their old gas stations; add art, interpretive signs, and oral histories; and re-purpose the stations by adding electric charging stations. Many partners have gathered to bring this project together and we can not wait to know if we receive these funds. We will continue fundraising efforts to add to the overall project that will be jump-started with the ArtPlace America grant. We also have a new Recreational and Camping Brochure available. It has been placed in some Iowa Welcome Centers and a few key Lincoln Highway locations,...
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Outdoor Learning Environments Grant Program

An outdoor learning environment is a space that can enhance understanding about the natural world and provide a thinking space to explore. Greater complexities can stem from this idea, but the core concept begins with the space itself. The challenge being, how to facilitate the development and long-term maintenance of a space which is appealing and safe to inspire use and support from the whole community. These intentional spaces of learning and growth in the outdoor environment are more important than ever for people of all ages. They provide a gateway to those who are more timid to exploring in wilder spaces and provide a safe environment for learning and the developing an appreciation for our living environment. In partnership with the Iowa Living Roadways Trust Fund, we are launching a NEW Outdoor Learning Environment Grant Program. This new three-phase grant program will first help you develop a strong base of community-wide support and create a framework for planning, implementation, maintenance, and future...
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Conservation Innovation Grant

The Iowa League of RC&DS received a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) and a REAP Conservation Education Grant to create two interpretive panels for each Iowa Byway describing an employed conservation method. “The CIG program is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production”, according to the program’s website. “CIG enables the Natural Resources Conservation Service to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the Nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns.” Some of the sites that were considered for these interpretive panels along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway were bogs, wetlands, prairies, and high tunnel towers. The location needed to be where travelers could pull safely off the road and visibly see the sign. It needed to be on or near a conservation practice site. The...
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Squaw Creek receives grant from IDALS

The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Board received a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Below is the press released just announced today (March 5, 2015). Prairie River of Iowa was named as the Project Leader. This now allows the group to move forward in process with the 20 year plan that was developed by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. To learn more about the Squaw Creek visit us here... DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that three additional watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.4 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years.  In addition to the state funds, the three projects will provide an additional $1.4 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. The selected projects will join 13 targeted Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects that were previously funded to help implement and demonstrate water...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing: Dear Iowa Tourism Grants Program applicants: Thanks to each of you for your application(s) to the Iowa Tourism Grants Program. As you may know, this was the inaugural year for the program, which means we learned lessons and found many areas for improvement along the way. Please know that in FY15, the process will be much smoother and much less hurried. Thanks for your patience. The first year of the program also offered a great opportunity to take your input and craft opportunities for funding in new areas and in areas where you said financial assistance was most needed. The second page of this document shows the members of the Iowa Grant Guidelines Committee. Please thank them for their work to develop the program’s parameters. Additionally, 25 of your tourism industry peers took a great deal of time to review the grant applications and determine the successful applicants. They,...
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