The Erwin “Erv” Klaas Challenge

When you walk in step with his legacy, your footprints are doubled!
Donate today and your gift is matched by Erv dollar for dollar!

We are so close to Erv’s vision to raise $25,000 to help continue our work! With your support, we can make it!

Thanks to a generous pledge from one of Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s founders and current board member Erv Klaas any gift you make will have double the impact towards our goal of raising $25,000 to benefit our work as a not-for-profit focused on improving water quality and the survival of pollinators in Iowa.

Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the form below and submit your gift. If you rather make your gift by mail, please mail your check to, or stop by our office:
Prairie Rivers of Iowa
3116 S. Duff Ave., Suite 101, Ames, Iowa 50010

Klaas Challenge Gift Meter

With your help, our goal is to raise $25.000. This, along with Erv’s match, will generate a total of $50,000 enabling us to:

  • Improve pollinator habitat in Iowa to reverse the largest state loss of bee colonies in the country.
  • Build a robust water monitoring program that will guide us to addressing the problems in our streams in order to fix them quickly and improve water quality.
  • Conserve and restore historic properties along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway, where not just the story of Iowa is told but the story of the United States of America is told. For the first time, Prairie Rivers of Iowa has designed and launched this month a Lincoln Highway traveling exhibit called “Promise Road – How the Lincoln Highway Changed America” that will be seen in museums across Iowa.

A Respected Leader, Teacher, Mentor, Husband, Father, and Friend

Erv Klaas lives in Ames, Iowa and is a founding member of Prairie Rivers of Iowa and has served on the board since its beginning. He finished his third four-year term as a Story County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner in December 2013 and has been a member of the executive board of the Ioway Creek Watershed Coalition, a former board president of Friends of Ada Haden Heritage Park, a member of the Iowa Environmental Council, an Ames Climate Action Team member and serves on the advisory committee for the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust.

Erv Klaas Testing Water Quality

He retired in 1999 as a wildlife biologist with the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey after 30 years of federal service. He grew up on a bottomland farm along the Mississippi River in Eastern Missouri and received his Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation in 1956 from the University of Missouri, and in 1963 and 1970 respectively, he earned a master’s and a doctorate in zoology from Kansas University.

Erv was a member of the biology faculty at Rockhurst College in Kansas City before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife research biologist in 1971. His research included studies on the effects of organochlorine insecticides on bird reproduction, behavior and population dynamics of waterfowl and wild turkeys, and restoration and management of wetlands and prairies. He served as assistant leader from 1975 to 1992 and leader from 1992 to 1999 for the Iowa Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at Iowa State University where he was also a graduate faculty collaborator in the College of Agriculture. He’s now a professor emeritus of animal ecology at Iowa State University.


Story County Citizen of the Year (2017)
Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, USDA-NRCS (2006)
Volunteer of the Year , The Nature Conservancy (2004)
Ada Hayden Conservation Education Award (2003)
Outstanding Leader, IA Water Resources Research Institute (2002)


Elected to Hall of Fame, IA Chapter/The Wildlife Society (2001)
Award of Merit, North Central Section/The Wildlife Society (2001)
Olav Smedal Conservation Award (2000)
IA Academy of Science Distinguished Scientists Award (2000)


Yes, I’d Like to Make a Gift by Joining Erv in His Support for  Prairie Rivers of Iowa!

Please complete the form below to make your donation. Be sure to scroll down and click submit. You will then be directed to complete your payment information via PayPal. Please contact us if you need further assistance. 

Thank you for your support!

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