Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox Workshop Registration Now Open!

Are you interested in learning about streambank stabilization and restoration techniques from Iowa experts? Do you want to learn how to use the new IDNR Toolbox to restore stream functions?

Sign up today to attend Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox Workshops hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival! Choose between the two locations so you don’t miss this great opportunity.

September 24-27
Cedar Falls

October 8-11

river restoration

Liz Juchems

Conservation Chat with Dr. Tom Isenhart, Conservation Policy Trailblazer


Tom leading a recent ILF event, River Stomping

The latest episode of the Conservation Chat podcast features Dr. Tom Isenhart of Iowa
State University. Tom is a professor in the Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management where his research interests include riparian buffers, saturated buffers, nitrogen cycling and stream ecology.

Tune in to this episode to meet a trailblazer of conservation policy in Iowa. Tom was responsible for helping to get the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program up and running. He reflected on how far the program has come, and how satisfying it is to make real change on the landscape.

“As a researcher and as an academic, you see opportunities where you can really see that you make a difference on the land and I think that [everyone involved] ha[s] to be really satisfied to see that our science is now being implemented with 77 nutrient removal wetlands out there.”


Tom leading a tour of a saturated buffer site

Tom has also been instrumental in saturated buffer research in Iowa, which can remove pollutants from tile drainage. What motivates Tom to keep doing what he’s doing? He is inspired to teach others about what he loves. He strives for students to make a connection with water quality issues locally so that they want to act locally and make a change.

“One of the days I noticed that I put up a big image of the Iowa impaired waters list . . . and all of the sudden those students who were sitting there maybe sort of passively were sitting up and were looking on the map. And what they were doing, since most of them were from Iowa, is they were looking back home, and they were looking at, what river is that, or lakes or streams or wetlands, that are on the impaired water list.”

Tom has made a big impact on water quality issues in Iowa – hear what he has to say. Listen to this episode on the Conservation Chat website, ILF website, or through iTunes. If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch where one of Tom’s favorite fishing spots is near Ames.

Julie Whitson

Dog Blog: Scoping out urban conservation practices

Join J-Dog and me on our walk as we take a look at several urban conservation practices happening in the neighborhood!

Leashed up, ready to rock and roll!

Last week, I shared my #1newthingforwater for 2015 – working with my HOA to repair several areas on the property that have experienced significant amounts of erosion, and working to get new vegetation established there. Let’s take a look at where things are at now…

We're starting to get some growth here on this slope

We’re starting to get some nice growth here –  this slope used to be completely barren!

Close-up shot

Close-up shot of new grass establishment


We have many different walking routes through the neighborhood, but one of our favorites runs along College Creek.  Iowa State University and the City of Ames partnered on the College Creek Restoration Project several years back (read more on the City of Ames Smart Watersheds page – you’ll have to scroll down a bit to get there).  Take a look at College Creek today!

A combination of trees, shrubs,

A combination of trees, shrubs, native grasses, and forbs are being used to protect College Creek from sediment and nutrient loads from the surrounding area.  In addition to stream bank stabilization, these buffers also add great beauty to the neighborhood.


Five adjacent homeowners agreed to participate in a

Five adjacent homeowners agreed to participate in a stormwater garden research/demonstration project with Iowa State University and the City of Ames.  Established in 2008, these backyard gardens help to intercept and slow the flow of water that would otherwise run directly into College Creek.

Time for a little break… as the song says, Everybody Poops!


“Dogs are poopin’ on their walks; geese are poopin’ at the beach.  All these things impact our water, that’s the reason for this speech!” – Lyrics from Everybody Poops



Scoop the poop

Scoop the poop! Did you know… 1 gram of dog waste contains 23 million fecal bacteria!

OK, time to finish up the walk…  we’ll leave you with one final view of the College Creek restoration project.


Very tempting to go for a little swim!

A beautiful walk on a beautiful evening… thanks for joining us.

Ann Staudt