Our Work in Story CountY
Trails A current on-going project is raising funds for one of the newest trail in Story County: The Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor Trail on the south side of Ames. Contributions can be made at Tedesco Corridor Trail.
Public Lands We also continue to raise funds to assist Story County Conservation acquisitions of more public land as the county's population grows and the demand for outdoor recreation grows even faster.
Service Projects Some of he Outdoor Alliance's service projects include planting bushes and trees at Dakins Lake, seed collecting at Hickory Grove Park, invasive species management, tire and trash collecting.
Sometimes this trash is in our waterways. The Outdoor Alliance provides support for volunteers cleaning up a section of a creek, river or access area. The next cleanup is expected to be scheduled in the fall with our partner Prairie Rivers of Iowa. More details will be posted later on their website along with the registration link. Expect to be tired, wet and dirty and to feel good about what you have helped to do. Waterway cleanup partners have included the city of Ames, Prairie Rivers of Iowa, the local Skunk River Paddlers and Story County Conservation.
Photos and a brief summary by Dan Haug at Prairie Rivers of Iowa of the fall 2021 cleanup are included at Ioway Cleanup.
Reconnecting the River Though it looks different with all of the large rocks, the dam in Ames's North River Valley Park continues to recharge the aquifer. Ames relies on this aquifer for its water supply. The rocks breaks the dangerous downstream currents of the originally designed dam. The rocks reconnect the upper section of the river to the lower section supporting wildlife and enhances recreation. Read more at Reconnecting the South Skunk River.
The water flowing over the rocks is aerated and better supports aquatic habitat too. Where similar dams have been modified for both habitat and recreation, the fishing improved. The rocks also create a way for paddlers to pass downstream on the South Skunk River Water Trail and enjoy a new whitewater play spot locally.
Ames redesigned North River Valley Park dam was made possible by its partners. Locally, the City of Ames, Story County Conservation, the Skunk River Paddlers, generous individuals and the Outdoor Alliance supported this project. There were also statewide groups that made this project possible: the Iowa DNR, Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association, Iowa River Revival and Iowa White Water Coalition.
The redesigned dam also makes the river more inviting. The sound of the water cascading over the rocks is an invitation to take a moment at the waters edge.
Other Projects There is more going on too, including our on-going presentations with the Ames Public Library and other partners; Ames Reads Leopold, a community and nationwide celebration of conservation; winter hikes to break up cabin fever and explore public land; supporting Story County Conservation and Prairie Rivers of Iowa's water monitoring initiative highlighted on their website; and, supporting Story County Conservation's annual Wild Women of the Woods environmental education and recreation program.