Conservation Station visits Lake View and RAGBRAI

The Conservation Station was in Lake View to greet cyclists as they made their way in from Cherokee. We arrived in Lake View at noon and were astonished to see hundreds of cyclists that had already made the 62-mile trek, many of whom told us they started riding at 4:30 in the morning to beat the heat!  The record-breaking heat however did not diminish people’s curiosity about the Conservation Station.

Jessica is asked a question about how long it takes for the Earth to make an inch of soil.

Many of the people we talked to were from all over the country. California, New York, Maryland and Wisconsin to name a few. It was interesting to learn about what conservation efforts other states were doing and how unique the Iowa Learning Farms really is! Several folks wished their states had similar programs and encouraged us to keep up the good work.

The Learning Lab had information about Black Hawk Lake, including some vintage photographs. People left knowing more about the lake as well as the on-going improvement project.

The Conservation Station had a great lake-side location!

I have to give credit to all the cyclists who braved the heat and still had enough energy to learn. Maybe next year the Iowa Learning Farms will have our own RAGBRAI team… yeah and only if it is 75 degrees the whole week!

Have you ridden RAGBRAI? Feel free to comment about your experience.

~Nathan

P.S. Due to the 100 degree heat conditions, many of these bicyclists jumped in the lake for a quick cool down immediately upon arrival in Lake View. Some of them changed into swim suits; however, a good portion of the swimmers just jumped in the lake in their riding gear! Also, a fair amount of them decided the beach was too far to walk and just climbed right down the rocks and got in the water to cool down!

Free popcorn at the Conservation Station and NRCS tent next to us made our lakefront area very popular. ILF staff talked to a total of 253 people of all ages, and hundreds more saw the Conservation Station as they arrived in Lake View and explored the city. RAGBRAI XL was a great event, with the many people we talked to and also the beautiful location of the Conservation Station.

-Patrick Kelly, ILF student intern

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