First of Two Listening Sessions to be Held to Discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed

Two listening sessions will be held to discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed on March 10th from 3:00-4:30pm at the Stanhope Community Center and then again on March 11th from 3:00-4:30pm at Gilbert City Hall. We are asking people to come and talk about the watershed and to ask questions to our board. There will also be informational material to read on the watershed.   Penny Brown Huber, Executive Director of Prairie Rivers of Iowa and a subconsultant on the project says, “Our focus in the planning project will be to engage and educate the public about the watershed.  We want to hear from all the residents in our watershed in order to create a plan that will lead us over time to make improvements in water quality while we address flooding and water quantity issues. ”   Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota was hired to facilitate the planning process.  EOR is a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm that...
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Cooking with Conifers?

Did you know you could use conifers in your cooking in a similar fashion to any other herb you might have lying around? The normal time for collecting it is in the spring when the fresh, new, young, tender tips are out, which is kind of true with most all of your plants: young, fresh, tender. These do handle themselves very well in as much as you can freeze them so you can use them later. But when you’re collecting them, you want to keep in mind that what you’re taking is that year’s growth, so you take it sparingly. You don’t just go in and ravage the tree; you take it here and there because any place you take it from a tree is going to affect that year’s growth. It’s like anything else when you’re pruning, you want to balance it. You can do something as simple as taking some white pine and infusing it, just putting it into some nice...
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Local Food 101

Defining "local food" can be a difficult task.  The Oxford American-English Dictionary defines local as, "belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so". Local food currently has no legal or universally recognized definition.  The USDA's 2010 "Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues" report, describes the ongoing difficulty with trying to define what local food is.  The USDA's definition of local food is, "food produced, processed, and distributed within a particular geographic boundary that consumers associate with their own community". The better way to approach the situation may be to look at the benefits of local food systems. Economic: create jobs, support local businesses and people, potentially reduce healthcare costs Social: increase access to healthier, less processed foods, create an interconnected, supportive community Environmental: reduce fossil fuel consumption, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, utilize more sustainable production practices   How to get involved: Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area Support your local Farmers' Market Buy local food products at the grocery store Plant a garden  ...
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Lobby for Byways

Lobby for Byways

In January we were busy getting ready to speak to our state legislators. After the Travel Federation of Iowa's Legislative Showcase, we attended Transportation Day at the Capitol. As a byway manager, we felt it was important to explain the importance of byways and the need for additional funding. We set up an Iowa Byways display with some of the other byway managers inside of the capitol rotunda and we were able to educate people about the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and the unique features byways have to offer. We attended the Transportation Day briefing at the Wallace Building which was a great event to hear a number of people speak and lobby for an increase in funding for Iowa's roads. We were able to hear from the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, Paul Trombino. There are many roads and bridges in disrepair throughout the state and the increased funding would help with some of the most critical issues...
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Byway Promotion

Byway Promotion

We are looking forward to an active and exciting 2014 on the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway! On Tuesday, January 28th, the Travel Federation of Iowa hosted a Legislative Showcase for our state representatives. All of Iowa's 11 byways were represented with byway managers from as far away as Postville, IA, attending the showcase. Representatives and byway coordinators across the state came to Des Moines to put together a display booth to speak with our state representatives and encourage support for travel and byways. Given the other 4 legislative events that night, there was a great turnout of legislators. A total of 83 of the 150 legislators were present at the showcase.   Please see below for more information on 2014 travel priorities and statistics. 2014 TFI Priorities: http://www.travelfederationofiowa.org/files/2014_TFI_Priorities.pdf 2014 TFI Fast Facts: http://www.travelfederationofiowa.org/files/2014_TFI_Fast_Facts.pdf  ...
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Iowa’s “Master River Stewards Program”

With being involved with the Squaw Creek Watershed Management we have been on high alert when it comes to water. In making contact with Story County Conservation District, this great program was brought to our attention and we want to share it with you. Iowa Rivers Revival will bring it's third year of the “Master River Stewards Program” to the Iowa River Watershed in the Spring of 2014. The program will be based out of the Iowa City area. Registration deadline is April 15, 2014.  Please respond to jdreier@iowarivers.org with interest and contact information. 2014 Master River Stewards Schedule-Iowa River Watershed The program will focus on: Watershed awareness Paddling and navigating skills River and stream dynamics Aquatic habitat Water quality and water monitoring Policies related to floodplains River protection and restoration Visit IRR’s website to view an outline of last year’s program:  http://iowarivers.org/education/river-stewards/ Registration Cost: Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials. Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be “homework” assignments following...
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Squaw Creek interview with KHOI

An interview was conducted on February 12, 2014 about the Squaw Creek Watershed Authority and what’s being done to monitor water quality in central Iowa was the topic of discussion on this past Wednesday’s Local Talk show on KHOI in Ames. Host of KHOI talked with Jerry Keys of the Story County Conservation Center about watersheds and water quality testing, as well as Pat Conrad of the EOR Water Ecology Community ,who is doing the planning for the Squaw Creek Watershed plan, about the watershed, which extends north into Webster County and includes much of Boone and Story Counties. Penny Brown Huber, executive director of Prairie Rivers of Iowa, also talks about how we are working to make more people aware of the watershed and how they can help take care of it. To listen to the interview follow this link: http://khoifm.org/node/632...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Partners with Iowa State University’s College of Business’s New CyBIZ Lab Program

Prairie Rivers of Iowa along with the Hamilton County Conservation Board have partnered together to bring a project to Iowa State University's College of Business's new CyBIZ Lab program. A team of graduate and undergrad students will be heading our project along with a couple of other projects from various companies, such as WebFilings and the Iowa Arboretum. Our project cycle will run from February to the end of April. Prairie Rivers of Iowa and Hamilton County Conservation Board are excited to see what marketing analysis and other results the team comes up with as recommendations. To read more about this new program visit the link below. http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_2c865c56-9430-11e3-9d01-0019bb2963f4.html...
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Artsy Turn on Learning History

During the winter round of the capstone events through the Kids on the Byway Program, Joyce and Bob Ausberger, members of the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association came into Kate Mitchell Elementary 5th grade classrooms to talk about the Lincoln Highway. They brought along artifacts, photos, and many very interesting stories about the history of the Lincoln Highway and its important role in the Westward Movement of North America. They also presented a contest to the students that involved some Lincoln Highway prizes. The contest consisted of the students in those two classes drawing pictures, making art projects, or anything else creative that represented the meaning of the Lincoln Highway. The capstone event was educational, and the students really enjoyed this artful of learning about history. Below is a photo of one of the entries from a Kate Mitchell 5th grade student for the Lincoln Highway contest. Click below to go to the Iowa Lincoln Highway Webpage http://www.iowalincolnhighway.org/ILHA_history           ...
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Squaw Creek Watershed held a meeting on 2/6/14

The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority group held a meeting at the Story County Administrative Building at 1:30 in Nevada. The meeting consisted of Pat Conrad from EOR presenting an overview of the watershed management, an update on the marketing plan and plans for community engagement. Meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will be held at the Story County Administrative Building at 1:30 in Nevada on April 24th. In attendance at the meeting was a reporter from the Ames Tribune. To read what he had to say follow the link below to the article on the Ames Tribune website. http://amestrib.com/news/watershed-management-authority-reviews-preliminary-squaw-creek-findings ...
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