Prairie Rivers of Iowa Featured on KCWI Great Day Morning Show

Prairie Rivers of Iowa had a great opportunity and was invited to be on KCWI Des Moines CW Channel 23 on Monday August 4th. Our Local Foods Coordinator, Ruth Powell and our Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Johnson talked about a variety of topics but their main focus was the Local Food Cycle coming up on September 7th. Their interview first started off with Jackie (Great Day show host) talking to Jessica about what Prairie Rivers of Iowa is and does for Iowans. You can view the clip below to listen to Jessica talk about our organization with the example of our Log Products Program and the cabins of Hamilton County. We then continue on with Lou (Great Day show host) asking Ruth about the Local Foods Cycle. Ruth talked about the great ride for the taste buds that we have coming up September 7th. This ride will start in Moore Memorial Park and continue on for 40 miles visiting different farms with food...
Read More

Wild Warriors Camp Week 1

We just completed the first week of Wild Warrior Camp here at Prairie Rivers of Iowa and it was a blast!  We had 9 campers total for the first week and these 9 wild warriors had the opportunity to experience a great range of things from everyday hikes to the importance of developing a sense of wonder when exploring the great outdoors. The first day they learned about the great Iowa Arboretum and its extensive history as a not-for-profit tree museum and then learned about camping and survival skills with the great help of JAX Outdoor Gear.  We got to taste test some freeze dried food first hand and learn about all the equipment needed to go camping or to survive in the wilderness.  The campers even got to meet some wildlife friends such as a brown bat that has been cared for by the Wildlife Care Clinic.  (photo 1)   The other days, the kids learned how to kayak, archery, how to...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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?...
Read More

Emerald Ash Borer Found In Johnson County

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Johnson County Posted: 06/13/2014 IOWA CITY – An adult female emerald ash borer collected by an Iowa City resident has been positively identified as the destructive beetle by a federal identifier on Thursday. A follow-up examination of ash trees growing near the area where the beetle was collected has failed to confirm an infestation. “It is fairly unusual to discover an adult emerald ash borer without any further evidence of an infestation, but it does serve as another reminder to homeowners and communities that the threat from this destructive beetle is very real,” said state entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. State experts will continue monitoring ash trees in the area looking for signs of emerald ash borers. A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was issued on Feb. 4, 2014 and remains in...
Read More

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...
Read More

Japanese Beetle Control on Trees

Many homeowners, tree care companies and landscapers are looking ahead and worrying about defoliation of trees by the Japanese beetle adults again this summer.  The Japanese beetle is "the worst landscape insect pest" in much of the eastern USA where it is established.  The adults feed on the foliage flowers and fruits of over 350 types of plants.  Favored hosts include linden trees, grapes and roses.  Foliage is consumed by eating the tissue between the veins, a type of feeding called skeletonizing. Flowers and fruits are devoured completely, often by a horde of a dozen or more beetles at a time. For more information check out the Iowa State Extension article: Japanese Beetle Control on Trees...
Read More