Our Vision— Soul. Soil. Spark.
During this past year, IWL’s Iowa Conservation Director Mike Delaney ignited the “Sparks”, a special group of long-term conservationists (which he refers to as the Elders) to craft an Iowa vision and strategy. They teamed up with Drake University and the Izaak Walton League’s Panora Conservation Chapter to showcase their work on November 17, 2021 as they rolled out their Soul. Soil. Spark. vision at two events:
— Drake University’s Soil 2021 Conference. “Our Soils: Our Future” brought together leading farmers, landowners, conservationists, local officials and others interested in the future of Iowa’s land and water. To learn more click here!
—Panora Conservation Chapter of the IWL hosted close to 300 attendees at the Spark Iowa Banquet, which also was a benefit dinner for UMRI. The evening’s event was the icing on the cake after a full day of truth, presentations and discussions at Drake’s Soil conference. Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Storm Lake Times,
Art Cullen energized the crowd with his honest and witty humor. The recent release of the Storm Lake documentary notably depicts the importance of community journalism.
—This was truly an inspiring day filled with hope and exploration of a critical course correction in how we treat our soil, water and each other. For further highlights, check out UMRI’s MN Driftless Coordinator, Caroline van Schaik’s reflections!
—Gratitude to all involved in making the Spark Iowa Banquet a success… Special thanks to the Izaak Walton League chapter members: Mike Delaney— IWL’s Iowa Conservation Director, Bud Hartley— DSM Chapter Communications Director, Doug Pooch— IWL’s DSM Chapter President, Steve Roe— Panora Conservation Chapter President, Christine Curry—DSM Chapter Secretary and Carolyn Berndt—DSM Chapter Manager
—Special IWL Guests included: Dave Zentner— Executive Director of UMRI, Vicki Arnold— National President and her husband Bill Arnold, Duane Hovorka— National Agriculture Director, Emily Rodriguez—Agriculture Outreach Coordinator and Caroline van Schaik— UMRI MN’s Driftless Area Coordinator and the Iowa Division Board members: Rick Cerwick, Craig and Ann Enneking, Marj and Marion Striegel and Jack Johnson
To help celebrate celebrate the Izaak Walton Leagues’ 100th anniversary in 2022, The Des Moines Chapter is heading up an effort to expand the Izaak Walton League’s SOS (Save our Streams) program throughout Iowa. This is the only nationwide program training volunteers to protect waterways from pollution and to bring information about water quality to their communities.
The IWL’s history: At the turn of the 20th century, uncontrolled discharges of industrial waste and raw sewage, unrestricted logging, and soil erosion threatened to destroy the nation’s most productive waterways. The country’s forests, wetlands, and wilderness areas were quickly disappearing. In 1922, 54 sportsmen declared that it was “time to call a halt” to this destruction. Aware that action – not just talk – would be necessary to solve these problems, the group decided to form an organization to combat water pollution and protect the country’s woods and wildlife. As a reminder of their purpose, they named the organization after Izaak Walton, the 17th-century English angler-conservationist who wrote the literary classic The Compleat Angler.
“Defenders of Soil, Air, Woods, Waters & Wildlife”
Continue to Stay Safe and Stay Engaged…
Stay tuned for 2022 “Thinking Like a Watershed” program details…
Links to 2021 presentations are here:
—This is the video link: “Heartland Heroines” Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Robin Moore & Denise O’Brien— June 1, 2021
—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.
—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.