Trees For Kids Grant Applications Now Available

Trees For Kids applications are available online for schools and communities to involve youth in planting trees on School grounds and other public property. In 2014, Trees For Kids Grants were awarded to 40 schools and communities which planted more than 1,600 landscape trees, and involved over 5,200 youth. Trees For Kids Grants pay up to $5,000 for landscape trees and mulch for schools and other public areas.  Trees may be planted in either spring or fall.  The deadline for submitting a spring application is March 2, 2015. Each planting project is required to have an educational component with the youth, and Project Learning Tree training is also provided to educators to create lesson plans and utilize curriculum with the planted trees. Trees planted around schools and in neighborhoods have been shown to give youth increased levels of concentration, lower levels of aggression, lower levels of obesity, and fewer symptoms of ADHD. Communities are made more livable by having a healthy, diverse tree canopy. The Trees...
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Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed In Five Southern Iowa Counties

EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN FIVE COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN IOWA For Immediate Release: Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 Contacts: Dustin Vande Hoef, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, 515-281-3375 Kevin Baskins, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-8288 Laura Sternweis, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-0775 EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN FIVE COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN IOWA Larvae discovered in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, and Monroe counties; brings total to eighteen counties with confirmed infestations DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion and Monroe counties in southern Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. The discovery of this series of infestations started when forestry contractor found many dead ash trees with heavy woodpecker flecking while completing a timber stand improvement project on privately-owned woodland on the far eastern edge of Lucas County.  The infestation appears to have been in place for several years. The larvae...
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Lifted On Giant Inner Tubes, An Old Tree Moves In Michigan

For as many as 250 years, a bur oak has been growing on what is now the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. The big tree stands in the way of an expansion of the Ross Business School. But instead of cutting it down, the university is moving the tree. It's not easy, it's not cheap, and it's definitely not fast. All this know-how, labor and equipment is expensive. The move will cost about $400,000, money that came from $100 million donated for the expansion by philanthropist Stephen Ross, for whom the business school was renamed. University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says the school has never moved a tree this large before. "We didn't know if it could be moved," Fitzgerald says. "We started exploring options, and come to find out there are companies that do this and have been successfully moving large trees for decades." Follow the link to find out exactly how they completed this massive undertaking: Lifted On Giant Inner Tubes, An Old...
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Barn Owls May Be Coming Back to Iowa

Written by our Board Vice President, Erv Klaas   I just finished reading the Fall 2014 issue of the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Newsletter in which biologist Bruce Ehresman wrote an article entitled “What’s Happening With Iowa’s Barn Owls?”  It brought back nostalgic memories of my own encounter with Barn Owls more than 40 years ago.  It was in the early years of my career as a research biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.  I was conducting studies on the effects of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides on Barn Owls.  The Chesapeake Bay was dotted with numerous off-shore blinds built by duck hunters.  These were often elaborate structures consisting of a large wooden rectangular box mounted on stilts in shallow water.  A partial roof projected over a bench for 3 to 4 hunters to sit inside.  A rough lean-to on the blind provided a place to hide a boat.  The outside of...
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The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority has Adopted a Mission and Goals

Ames, Iowa (October 23, 2014) – The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board (SCWMA) has been meeting to place the final touches on their watershed management plan with the help of Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota (a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm). At the Board’s last meeting, they adopted a mission and set some specific goals to achieve in the Squaw Creek Watershed.   The newly adopted mission statement is as follows: The mission of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board is to engage, educate and encourage all citizens to improve the health, stewardship and resiliency of our watershed resources.   The goals of the SCWMA are to work on restoring hydrology, improving water quality, creating recreational opportunities and increasing wildlife habitat within the watershed through an active watershed educational campaign and relying upon building partnerships. Pat Conrad, project manager with EOR stated, “The ultimate goal of the WMA is to transform Squaw Creek into a resource...
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Why Are Pine Nuts So Expensive

If you like making delicious dishes like pesto you might have wondered to yourself, "why are pine nuts so expensive?". It's mostly because pine nuts are not grown on farms or plantations they're collected in the wild. "Pine nuts don't generally come from orchards, or fields, or plantations. They come from pine forests. (And pine nuts are expensive because most of these areas are so remote.) The nuts are hidden inside the cones of certain species of pine, such as the mighty Siberian pine, which covers thousands of square miles of Siberia. A few pine nut plantations have been set up in Spain and Portugal, but they produce only a tiny portion of the world's pine nuts." To learn more about the fascinating pine nut industry check out this article from NPR: Love Pine Nuts? Then Protect Pine Forests...
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Thankful for our Partnerships

We recently published our 2013 Annual Report. It is full of great information on all of our accomplishments last year. Every program area was expanded, more people were engaged in participating and our projects received more attention than ever before. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of our financial partners. Take a minute to review our 2013 Annual Report and pay close attention to page 28 which highlights our 2013 financial supporters. As we enter into the last quarter of 2014, we are seeking partnerships for our ever growing programs. Please let us know if you or your company would consider being a partner to Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Thank you!...
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In Honor of National RC&D Week

Almost 50 years ago, Congress established a unique program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowered rural people to help themselves. The USDA focus was to assist local people by providing tools and technical support to stabilize and grow their own communities while simultaneously protecting and developing natural resources. The program is called the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program. To carry out the RC&D concept, diverse groups of local volunteers (the RC&D Council) are brought together in a unique partnership to find solutions to their problems. Local people are best able to determine needs and create solutions for their communities. The focus on local direction and control has made RC&D one of the most successful rural development programs in the country. The week of September 21-27, 2014, has been designated as National RC&D Week. Prairie Rivers of Iowa RC&D Council was organized in 2001 as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Our mission is “To promote opportunity-based stewardship that will improve the...
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A fun way to give back

Prairie Rivers of Iowa has launched a new store online where you can buy products, memorabilia, or give a donation all online. Currently, we offer a selective collection of inventory including replica signs of the historic Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and stunning pictures of dragonflies. What a wonderful way to purchase a gift for a loved one while giving back to Prairie Rivers of Iowa - a non-profit making a difference for Iowa's natural resources. Visit our store here: https://www.prrcd.org/new-online-store-now-live/ Or to simply make a donation: https://www.prrcd.org/donate/...
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