1919 Trans-Continental Motor Convoy – 100 Years Later

1919 Trans-Continental Motor Convoy – 100 Years Later

One hundred years ago, in what began as the idea of one man, America was shown how motor trucks could transport troops, supplies, arms, and ammunition across the nation. This was known in 1919 as the First Trans-Continental Motor Transport Convoy. The Idea and Development  Henry Ostermann, who we talked about in a previous writing, had been piloting convoys for the Army up and down the east coast in the winter of 1917, during World War I. He was also serving as Field Secretary for the Lincoln Highway Association and merged his two occupations into one idea for the convoy. In "A Picture of Progress on the Lincoln Way", published by The Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) in 1920, the LHA  officers and the General Staff in Washington held a conference in June 1919 to discuss convoy details. The success of the run was due to the LHA supplying accurate data to the Army as a "result of its years of study of trans-continental ...
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Spring, Where Art Thou?

Spring, Where Art Thou?

It's been two months since we last wrote. And were talking about Spring at that time! But Spring has taken its sweet time to get here. With snow lasting well into April, we might just jump ahead right into Summer. But we need Spring. It is an important step to transition from Winter to Summer. Although I am a huge fan of Summer, Spring has many good points we cannot overlook. We need this in-between time. Farmers might be rushed, but they need to plant their crops. The ground needs to warm up to be able to awaken seeds and dormant plants. Small producers and artisans, scrambling, will need to get ready for Farmers Markets. My house will thank me again this year as I spring clean and open the windows to let in the fresh air. Nothing like a cool spring breeze floating in. I enjoy the windows-open season no matter how short it might be before I take the plunge...
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Robin Moore to deliver keynote at Outdoor Learning Environments Conference

Happy Outdoor Fun Friday! As you may have heard, we are hosting our first Outdoor Learning Environments Conference here in Ames on June 18th. We are very excited to announce that our Keynote speaker will be Professor Robin C. Moore from North Carolina State University, College of Design. Robin Moore has worked in landscape architecture as an educator, researcher, and consultant. He is an international authority on the design of children's play and learning environments, user needs research, and participatory public open space design. Moore has been involved in many large projects for outdoor spaces including the Nature PlayScape at the Cincinnati Nature Center, the Blanchie Carter Discovery Park at Southern Pines Primary School, the Playspace family play center in Raleigh, NC, just to name a few. More information about Moore and his work can be found here. Please don't miss this fantastic opportunity to see Robin Moore and learn more about how to implement, maintain, and use Outdoor Learning Environments. Make sure to...
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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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Prairie Rivers of Iowa has moved!

We are excited to announce that Prairie Rivers of Iowa has moved to a new office! We officially moved to our new location in West Ames at the beginning of September and have since kept busy unpacking, settling into this new space, and continuing our work. Our new office is located at 2335 230th Street, which is the past residence of Kinzler Construction. It was getting a little cramped in our old office and one thing this new building offers us is plenty of space. Each program has its own area to work with plenty of room to spread out and expand, when the programs grow. Storage space on the second floor alleviates some of the workspace clutter, and between a designated conference room and a kitchenette with a breakroom, there are spaces large enough to accommodate everyone when we have large meetings. We are sharing this space with the team at EOR Iowa. Prairie Rivers of Iowa and EOR have collaborated...
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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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Local creeks can be special places

Local creeks can be special places

March 1, 2017 I spent Sunday hiking along Clear Creek in the company of a curious herd of six deer, who came within 20 feet of me.  Bigger rivers may afford more opportunities for boating.  Cold-water trout streams in the northeast part of the state may have better fishing.  But the warm-water creeks in Central Iowa have their own charms. Clear Creek starts in Boone County and passes through Munn Woods and Pammel Woods in Ames before joining Squaw Creek.  As a boy, the woods along this creek was one of my favorite places, full of interesting rocks and animal tracks and birds and crayfish, the site of both noisy stick battles with my friends and quiet contemplation. As my environmental consciousness grew, I would go to the woods to pick up litter.  At the time, I had no idea the storm drain emptied to creek, or else I would have stopped my friends from throwing pop cans down there.  A recent survey showed that 37%...
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Penny Brown Huber featured in Successful Farming

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Executive Director Penny Brown Huber was featured in the article “Eight Crops Waiting for You to Grow” found in the December 2016 issue of Successful Farming. Check out her thoughts on planting carrot crops below! Carrots in the Midwest? Absolutely, says Penny Brown Huber, president of Iowa Choice Harvest in Ames, Iowa. Her company processes and freezes vegetables for marketing in grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. She wants farmers to start at about ½ acre of carrots. “We will help you learn how to grow and harvest the crop,” she says. You would need at least a small seeder and a regular mower. A harvest digger would be ideal. “We don’t demand organic, but we prefer at least chemical-free,” says Brown Huber. Carrots can produce 13,000 pounds per acre, she says, and ICH will pay about 16¢ per pound. Farmers from Iowa and surrounding states are welcome to email Brown Huber. iowachoiceharvest.com | pbrownhuber@iowachoiceharvest.com...
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Meeting Space Cabin is Near Completion

Hamilton County Conservation Board (HCCB) now has some of the most beautiful cabins available to rent in the north central Iowa region. They started this journey over four years ago and continue to make progress by adding more cabins. Hamilton County Conservation Board will be done building their sixth cabin this summer. This cabin is at Briggs Woods Park by Webster City and has a different layout than its predecessors. This new cabin has a footprint of 25x36, with the loft being 18x46.  Whereas the Legacy and Lakeview cabins have a foot print of 25x32 and the loft is 16x30. Even just by looks the cabin seems much bigger. The purpose behind the different floor plan with an open layout concept on the first floor is to serve as a place the community and others can hold gatherings, parties, and classes in (I think I know where our next work meeting is being held!). The cabin will still serve its purpose...
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