Hello Mike,

Byway Buzz

After 100 Years, Preston's Station is in Its Preservation Stage

by Byways Coordinator Jeanie Hau

Preston's Station Historic District's great-grandpa George W started something along the Lincoln Highway in Iowa when he purchased a Standard Oil station for his four boys in 1923. 

5 Minute Read

Conservation Connection

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Wins Grant to

Help Pollinators and Farmers

by Conservation Specialist Jessica Butters

We recently received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund to support our work. Prairie Rivers is one of only 18 organizations nationally to receive this grant.

3 Minute Read

Can Infrastructure Spending Help Iowa’s Polluted Rivers?

by Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug

In broad strokes, Iowa's water quality is much better than it was 50 years ago, thanks to improved treatment of sewage and industrial waste mandated by the Clean Water Act.

4 Minute Read

Story County Water Quality Monitoring Update

by Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug

We have completed a fourth year of monitoring in Story County and will analyze the data over the next few months. Monitoring in December was limited by drought and ice, curtailing some reporting. 

Full Update and Data Here

Pollinator of the Month: This month, our pollinator can go by several names: flower fly, hoverfly, or syrphids.

Flower flies are unsung garden guardians! Also called hoverflies, these insects may look like bees or wasps but are truly harmless flies! They can’t bite or sting. These flies serve double duty in the garden: when young, they eat pests like aphids. As adults, they pollinate! How can you tell they are flies? They have huge eyes, only two wings, and lack an hourglass figure. Leave leaf and brush piles undisturbed to help these flies survive winter!

Clean Water Act 50 Years 50 Facts

Episode #49 Wasteload Allocation💩👍

How is the Raccoon River TMDL like Dan’s New Year’s resolution to exercise?🏃‍♂️🙃

Sewage treatment plants that discharge to an impaired water body may have additional requirements added to their permits to keep pollution within a budget (the wasteload allocation in a study called a TMDL-Total Maximum Daily Load).

90 Second Video

Clean Water Act 50 Years 50 Facts Full Playlist

Learn about the Clean Water Act in 90-second episodes featuring Iowa and music parodies.

View Entire Series Here

Watershed and Wildlife Events

Story County Waterways Presentation

An Outdoor Alliance (OASC) of Story County Event

January 23, 2024, 7 PM, Ames Public Library

What is the condition of lakes, rivers, and streams in Story County? What has changed? Presented by Prairie Rivers of Iowa Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug. 

Visit Here to see a full list of OASC Events

Story County Conservation: Older Wiser Livelier Souls (O.W.L.S.) Paddling While Impaired

Thursday, February 1, 10:30-11:30 AM, McFarland Park, Ames, Iowa

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Water Quality Specialist Dan Haug will provide some context for the state’s 2024 Impaired Waters List. ….More Info Here

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Monday, February 12, 2024, 6:30 PM

Stephens Auditorium, Ames, Iowa

Doors open at 5:45 with a preshow caterpillar activity led by our own Pollinator Specialist Jessica Butters!

Best Practices for Pollinators Summit

February 27-29, 2024 - online

Learn ecologically sound land practices that promote pollinators, climate resilience, clean waters and lands. Practical knowledge and innovation on pesticide reduction, habitat installation, fostering soil health, pollinator biology, pollinator conservation, and more. Co-hosts Pollinator Friendly Alliance and The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation….More Info Here

Byway Events

Promise Road: How the Lincoln Highway Changed America

Currently exhibiting at the Norelius Community Library in Denison, Iowa, is hosting the exhibit now through February. Contact Byway Coordinator Jeanie Hau at jhau@prrcd.org to host this Lincoln Highway exhibit.

Amana Colonies Winterfest

Saturday, January 27, 2024, Amana, Iowa

An annual festival where we have fun and games in the snow! Take part in the Beard contest, Ham Put, or eat some delicious open-fire chili, wine and beer walk, plus lots of other fun activities! ….More Info Here

36th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Sunday, January 14, 2024

1:30 - 3 p.m.

Clinton Community College

1000 Lincoln Blvd Clinton, IA

Keynote Speaker: Chris Britton

Peace and Justice Award: Ted Tornow

Legacy Award: Francie Bickelhaupt Hill

Current Job Openings

Executive Director: Responsible for the day-to-day administrative and strategic operations of the organization. 


PR & Marketing Coordinator: Responsible for driving the development and implementation of our integrated marketing communication.

Visit Here for Full Job Descriptions and to Apply

Editor's Note

This will be my last newsletter as your editor, as I will be retiring at the end of this month. As our newsletter content and design have evolved over the past few years, I am thankful for all the support you have given me, our staff, and guest contributors. You, as readers, have exceeded expectations with your engagement and encouragement — more than we could have imagined. Without your participation, our efforts would have been hollow!

As I move on to the next chapter, Prairie Rivers continues the important work of improving the plight of pollinators and water quality in Iowa. Our byways team continues to work towards preserving historic treasures and cultural heritage within our state.

Again, thank you to everyone, and just like you, I will look forward to all the remarkable things to come as Prairie Rivers continues moving forward.

Bless you all,

Mike Kellner 

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Prairie Rivers of Iowa is a federal 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization uniquely focused on conserving natural and cultural resources.

We rely in part on the generosity of our supporters. 

Your tax-deductible gift is much appreciated! 


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Something you'd like to see more of in our newsletter?

Please contact Newsletter Editor Mike Kellner at mkellner@prrcd.org.