New Online Store Now LIVE!

Prairie Rivers of Iowa has launched a new store online where you can buy products, memorabilia, or give a donation with just the simple clicks of the mouse. Right now, we offer iconic photographs of the Lincoln Highway and stunning pictures of dragonflies, taken by our very own Erv Klaas (founding member and Board Vice President). We also feature replica Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway signs and Lincoln Highway map packs detailing its route county by county.   Keep an eye on our store as we will continue to add and rotate items into our collection.   With two easy methods to pay, local Iowa-based Dwolla* or by check, you are sure to find shopping with us a pleasant experience. Share this great opportunity with your family and friends as you don’t want them to miss out on all the shopping fun!   *Curious about Dwolla? For more information visit our Frequently Asked Questions about Dwolla or their website to learn more....
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Driving toward the future with our eye on the past

A century ago, a powerful idea made its way from New York City through Iowa and finally to San Francisco: the first coast-to-coast improved highway in the country, the Lincoln Highway! Prairie Rivers of Iowa, which manages the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway is celebrating the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway’s centennial year. A proclamation by the state of Iowa was issued by Governor Terry Branstad last fall, declaring October 31, 2013 to be Lincoln Highway Day in the state of Iowa.   Iowans were instrumental in the establishment of the Lincoln Highway and the formation of the modern Lincoln Highway Association on October 31, 1913, through speeches, music, and special events throughout the state. The Lincoln Highway was one of the most significant roads for early automobile travelers and demonstrated the effectiveness of high-quality, well-maintained roads for moving people, products, and commerce nationwide.   The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway is Iowa’s longest byway, or state-designated scenic or heritage roadway. Spanning 460 miles, the byway...
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Wellmark Foundation Awards Grant Funds to Prairie Rivers of Iowa

The Wellmark Foundation and Prairie Rivers of Iowa held a check presentation on July 10th 2014 to celebrate a $49,288 grant to help fund Building a Regional Food System in Boone, Story, and Hardin Counties. The project works with local communities, organizations, and businesses to educate on proper nutrition and healthy foods. By creating a community garden, the project will build local relationships and improve accessibility to home-grown, nutritious foods for area residents.   Building a Regional Food System in Boone, Story and Hardin Counties The school serves over 600 students, 38% of whom are eligible for free or reduced lunch.  The new space will be an outdoor classroom and direct way for youth to learn about nutrition and gardening. The Central Elementary location was chosen partially due to demand.  Ruth Powell, the new Local Foods Coordinator for Central Iowa, began work on the Central Iowa Garden Project in January 2014 that works to improve citizens’ health in Boone, Story and Hardin counties by...
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Ride. Eat. Repeat. Register for the Local Food Cycle!

Prairie Rivers of Iowa and Story County Conservation are pleased to bring you a deliciously local event scheduled for Sunday, September 7, 2014.  The Local Food Cycle is a 40-mile bicycle ride celebrating healthy sustainable food systems in Central Iowa.  Riders will explore farms in Boone and Story counties and savor local foods prepared by area chefs.  From a breakfast treat made by Arcadia to a dessert created by the Café, this event will take your taste buds for a ride! Registration cost is $45 for participants who register before August 21 or $55 for those who register from August 22-September 2.  Registration includes food at the farm stops, sangria and music at Prairie Moon Winery , and a spork (spork with early registration only) to help you enjoy every fantastic bite.  To register, visit www.culinaryride.com and click on the Ames, IA ride. Any additional funds raised from the event will go to support future local food events and conservation programming for...
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Rx for Outdoor Activity

Forget about an apple a day, try a stroll a day will keep the doctor away!  Dr. Robert Zarr has started to prescribe his patients specific recommendations for physical activity and in doing so, he has started to map out all the parks in the District of Colombia, which is 380 parks so far.  He intends to have his park database eventually become a phone app where patients and doctors can search for nearby parks that are rated based on their facilities and also view patients' duration of physical activity at each location.  Prescribing outdoor activity has shown its benefits in many ways - Dr. Zarr's patients have shown results in losing weight, patient's have dismissed any discomfort they may have had with visiting parks beforehand and, Dr. Zarr hopes that in the long run, parks will become safer and better places with an increase in usage by the public. Read the entire NPR article about Dr. Zarr's simply revolutionary prescriptions...
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Red, White, Blue…and Green

This week, our nation will pause to give thanks for our freedoms. As we gather together to celebrate the 4th of July this week with our families and friends, we may enjoy a good ol’ fashioned picnic, fireworks, a parade, and even a few patriotic songs. I can’t help but think of some of the lyrics of some of those patriotic songs: from the mountains, to the prairies…and the Land of the free. It is easy to take for granted the very land we are standing on was fought for many years ago…for freedom. We are proud to be a non-profit dedicated to helping Iowa’s citizens preserve the integrity of our land. As you wear red, white and blue this week, will you also think green and make a donation to Prairie Rivers of Iowa?...
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License Plates: a brief overlook

License plates are something we all see every day.  It can define who we are by showing support for our favorite universities or used to pass the time on long road trips, counting as many different states we can find.  But how did these metal plates get started? The first required license plates in the United States were in New York in 1901.  However, these plates were not state issued, meaning they were created by the owner of the vehicle.  These first license plates often consisted of the owner’s initials, which could cause confusion amongst cars.  In 1904, Iowa entered the playing field and began requiring license plates of their own. These license plates were often fabricated on pieces of leather and consisted of a state issued number with and abbreviation of the state itself.  At first this system was effective, but as the number of cars grew these plates grew larger and larger to accommodate for the assigned number.  Standardization came...
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Attend…or help our summer daycamp

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? 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 to educate young Iowans through our Kids on the Byway program about our natural resources. Prairie Rivers of Iowa is a 501(c)3...
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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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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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