Conservation Efforts

By UMRI's Outreach Coordinator, Christine Curry and Iowa's Conservation Director, Mike Delaney, and other Iowa Izaak Walton League chapter members

We continue to be grateful for those who advocate for the conservation of our land and water….

Iowa Heroine—


Denise O’Brien is one example of an individual who has dedicated her life to organic farming and empowering women to use their voices not only at their farm table but at the policy level to ensure healthy food and farm systems. She is one of the founding mothers of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Denise continues her contributions with her family’s organic farm at Rolling Acres Farm in Atlantic, Iowa.  We are pleased to have Denise participate in our June Series on Soil and Water Conservation “Thinking Like a Watershed” program.

Iowa’s Conservation Heroine, Denise O’Brien, Photo provided by Denise O’Brien

Join us for another extraordinary presentation—Register in advance for our June 2021 Series on Soil and Water Conservation “Thinking Like a Watershed” program…

“Heartland Heroines” Tuesday, June 1st @ 7 pm Central Time

How two savvy conservationists empower working farm landowners to put their inner land ethic to work, including women as keepers of most of the millions of rented farmland acres.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Photo of Robin Moore provided by: Land Stewardship Project

—Retired volunteers share valuable time and knowledge


Many of our active Izaak Walton League members are retired and they continue to volunteer hours of their time. We are extremely lucky they not only share their time, but also their experience and knowledge. We are grateful to have their contributions.

Ray Harden presenting “Ecological Changes in Iowa” Photo by: Curtis Cokeley

This month, IWL’s Panora Conservation Member, Ray Harden, presented his story “Ecological Changes in Iowa” at the Des Moines Chapter house Tuesday evening, May 25th. Members enjoyed learning about Ray’s stories while viewing his beautiful photographs during his presentation. He discussed the documented changes that he has noted over years of photographing and monitoring birds and wildlife in the Raccoon River Watershed.

May Snaps


Delaney’s Raccoon River Prairie in May, Photo by: Robin Fortney

IWL’s Panora Conservation & Des Moines Chapter Members; Bob Rye, Mike Delaney, & Mike Roland participated with Polk County’s bi-annual Water Quality Monitoring Snapshot May 18th.
Photo provided by: Mike Delaney

Bob Rye is featured collecting water samples for Polk County’s bi-annual Water Quality Monitoring Snapshot May 18th
Photo provided by: Mike DelaneyLearn more—

“Defenders of Soil, Air, Woods, Waters & Wildlife”

As we continue 2021, We continue to wish you the very best!

Continue to Stay Safe and Stay Engaged…

—On-line training to become a certified Izaak Walton League’s Save Our Stream monitor

—If you missed our previous “Thinking Like a Watershed” presentations? Links to recent presentations are here:

This is the video link: “Planting Seeds to Grow Vibrant Communities” Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Chris Deal & Art Cullen— May 4, 2021  
How Jefferson, Iowa’s Chris Deal is working with California Rep. Ro Khanna and others to grow vibrant rural communities in the Heartland with perspectives from Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist and editor of The Storm Lake Times, Art Cullen.

This is the video link “Watershed Bridges— Green to Blue”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Vicki Nichols Goldstein & Seth Watkins— April 6, 2021  How improving soil health and water quality in Iowa and other inland states benefit watersheds that provide critical services from land to sea.

—This is the video link “Local Heroes in Howard County”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Neil Shaffer & Hunter Slifka— March 2, 2021  How they have incorporated several thousand acres of land under conservation programs–the largest percentage in Iowa.

This is the video link “The Accidental Conservationist”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Wayne Fredericks— February 2, 2021  How an Iowa Farmer is Improving Natural Capital while Increasing Profits with Conservationist and Farmer, Wayne Fredericks from Mitchell County, Iowa.

—We’ll continue to amplify Wayne’s voice through our networks in hopes of inspiring others to get involved and take action!  Learn more about Wayne Fredericks and other fabulous Izaak Walton League’s Outdoor America articles on line. 

—About water quality monitoring and research, check out The University of Iowa’s Chris Jones blog who has published several articles on where Iowa stands with regards to soil health and water quality.

—Wait no longer to watch, re-watch and share PFI’s full-length film, “Livestock on the Land“. Please help us get this to as many viewers as possible – farmers, eaters, citizens and policymakers.

Iowa Farmers Union Events, check out their amazing weekly webinars…

Iowa Environmental Council’s Event page is packed with fabulous opportunities to learn more from their organization and others.