Project AWARE - Day 1 (Algona, IA)
The 11th Annual Project AWARE kicked off to a great start at Veteran's Park in Algona, with 154 dedicated volunteers gathered to gear up for a week on the Upper Des Moines River. Volunteers from 7 states and 24 counties shared memories of year's past and attended several educational programs focusing on Iowa's natural resources. Workshops on fly fishing, paddling, and Iowa's prairie wildlife were held throughout the afternoon. Everyone shared dinner and got to know one another in the evening before retiring for the night. The real work starts tomorrow - as volunteers will hit the water, traversing 12 miles on the river and picking up trash along the route.
Project AWARE - Day 2
Day two on project AWARE hit the water today with over 160 volunteers paddling to pick up trash. Numerous pieces of "trophy trash" were collected today including over 50 tires, a porcelain bathtub, numerous metal barrels, and more cans and bottles than you can count. Educational programs featured talks on the geology of the region, biota of the prairie, and the history of the East Fork Walleye Club. Water quality monitoring showed high nitrates, at 20 mg/L, and the water averaged 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While the banks of the East Fork of the Des Moines River were a bit muddy, the water and weather were great! Tomorrow the group will continue down-river and paddle 17 miles, stopping to camp at Lotts Creek Park.