Hello Mike,

Message from our Board of Directors

Prairie Rivers is excited to announce that Katelyn Rinicker is joining our staff as Pollinator Conservation Specialist effective July 1!

Katelyn graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in environmental studies and brings a great of background with both pollinators and pollinator habitat. Our search committee spent considerable hours in sifting through information from many talented applicants to find an individual as enthusiastic and talented as Katelyn. 

She will be quickly immersed in the Ames Pollinator Plan as well as the new National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant project.

Please stop in and meet her! You will quickly understand just why we are so excited!

-Reed Riskedahl, Board Chair

Byway Buzz

Freedom Rock Tour

by Byways Coordinator Jeanie Hau

For Independence Day, visit the Liberty Rock or one of the 14 Iowa County Freedom Rocks along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and Iowa Valley Scenic Byway.

4 Minute Read

Conservation Connection

Pollinator of the Month:

American Bumblebee

Not all bees have stripes. Take a closer look at the bees visiting your garden, and you may find a variety of colors and patterns! This American bumblebee (Bombus pennsylvanicus) is mostly black (including the wings) with splashes of yellow on its back. However, in this picture you can clearly see the segments on the abdomen. Counting them is one way to tell a male (7) from a female (6)!

Witch's Butter

by Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug

A variety of slimy organisms seem to appear suddenly during wet weather. Superstitious people in medieval Europe came up with some fanciful explanations and common names like "witch's butter" or "troll's butter" have stuck! I spotted these while testing water quality on May 21, during a break in the thunderstorms. Our spring snapshot event was coordinated with several other groups, and I'm still waiting for some of their data to complete my report, but next month I hope to have a better explanation than "witchcraft" for the poor water quality we observed!

Tremella mesenterica is a mushroom that grows on dead wood.

The wet gravel at the edge of a bridge was covered with a large patch of rubbery dark green stuff. It's a harmless cyanobacteria (genus Nostoc) that is normally hidden in the soil.

Story County Water Quality Update

by Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug

After several years with little rain, we're now seeing plenty of polluted runoff: most streams we tested in June had chocolate-colored water, nitrate exceeding the drinking water standard, and E. coli exceeding the secondary contact recreation standard.

View the latest data

Watershed and Wildlife Events

Iowa Project A.W.A.R.E.

(A Watershed Awareness River Expedition)

July 7-12

Skunk River from Richland to Burlington

Over 300 volunteers will be headed to Southeast Iowa to clean up 75 miles of the Skunk River! Prairie Rivers of Iowa is sending two volunteers who will be also leading programs on Sunday at 2:30 and 4:00pm (Rick Dietz, on paddling skills) and Monday at 4:30pm (Dan Haug on water in the Skunk River). There's still room in canoes Thursday and Friday, and evening programs at the campground are free and open to the public.

For Iowa Ikes talk

Watershed Talk with Iowa Izaak Walton League

Tuesday, July 9 at 7pm

Via Zoom. Register here.

Paddlers, Pollution and Policy

How citizens can get in involved to protect their favorite waterways for both recreation and public health.

Lynne Diebel— Author, Paddler, & Clean Water Advocate

Dan Haug— Water Quality Specialist, Prairie Rivers of Iowa

Iowa Water Summit

Tuesday, October 8, 9am to 4:30pm

Izaak Walton League Des Moines Chapterhouse

Registration is now open! The registration fee is just $20. The event is coordinated with the Iowa Nature Summit.

A day of collaboration, sharing ideas, and building bonds with other water quality monitoring professionals and advocates across the state.

Byway Events

Promise Road: How the Lincoln Highway

Changed America

Continuing through July 10

The Belle Plaine Area Museum is hosting the travelling Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway exhibit until July 10. Contact Byway Coordinator Jeanie Hau at jhau@prrcd.org to be next in line to host this engaging exhibit!


Independence Day Celebrations: Lincoln Highway Nitty Gritty, Belle Plaine’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration, Clinton’s Annual Fourth of July Festival, Marengo’s July 3rd Celebration, Marshalltown’s Red White and Blue Celebration (July 3-4)

July Festivals:

Toledo Stop Light Festival July 12, Lighthouse Inn Gangster Weekend and Car Show July 12, 13, Colo Crossroads Festival July 12- 14, Heritage Days Mount Vernon July 12-13,

July County Fairs:

Carroll County Fair July 9-14, Greene County Fair July 9-15, Central Iowa Fair (Marshall) July 10-13, Cedar County Fair July 10-14, Iowa County Fair July 10-14, Harrison County Fair July 24-28, Tama County Fair July 15-21, Story County Fair July 17-21, Clinton County Fair July 17-21, Crawford County Fair July 17-22, Pottawattamie County Fair July 17-22, Boone County Fair July 18-21

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Prairie Rivers of Iowa is a federal 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization uniquely focused on conserving natural and cultural resources.

We rely in part on the generosity of our supporters. 

Your tax-deductible gift is much appreciated! 


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