CHARLES CITY – Volunteers will have an opportunity this summer to spend their vacations cleaning up, learning about and exploring 55 miles of the upper Cedar River from the Iowa-Minnesota border to Nashua from July 10 to 14 as part of Project AWARE. Early registration ends June 16.
Project AWARE, which stands for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition, is the DNR’s annual volunteer river cleanup event. In addition to muscling trash out of the river, participants learn about watersheds, water quality, recycling and other natural resource topics. This year’s expedition marks AWARE’s 15th year.
“The Cedar River is a vital resource to Charles City and the surrounding counties,” said Steve Diers, Charles City administrator. “That’s true even more so now with the implementation of the whitewater feature and focus around river activities in general. The community is excited and energized about Project AWARE coming to our portion of the Cedar River and look forward to assisting the many volunteers in any way we can. Thank you!”
Volunteers can officially join the river cleanup by paddling the river or by assisting with land-based recycling initiatives, but there are opportunities for others to experience Project AWARE as well. “Infotainment” programs, for example, are held each evening and are open to the public. These programs will highlight local natural resources, history, and archaeology that make this area unique.
Registration is not required for the general public to attend evening programs, but it is required for those who wish to volunteer for the river cleanup itself. To avoid a late registration fee, volunteers are asked to have their registration forms postmarked by Friday, June 16. Tent camping is free for volunteers and a limited number of canoes are available for those who need them.
Additional information can be found on the Project AWARE website at www.iowadnr.gov/aware.
Event sponsors include:
Platinum Paddle Sponsors: Alliant Energy Foundation · Bridgestone’s Tires4ward Program · Bug Soother · City of Charles City · Firestone Complete Auto Care · Flint Hills Resources · Floyd County Conservation · IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering at The University of Iowa · Iowa DNR – IOWATER, Rivers Programs · Iowa Flood Center · Iowa Rivers Revival · Mitchell County Conservation Board · State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa · Zanfel Laboratories, Inc.
Golden Yoke Sponsors: Ansell Protective Products · Iowa Whitewater Coalition · Rockwell Collins
Silver Stern Sponsors: Cedar Run Canoe & Kayak Rental · DuPont · Hy-Vee, Inc. · Nathan and Jamie Lein · Stine Seed Company · Upper Iowa University
River Steward Sponsors: B4 Brands · Caterpillar Inc. · Cedar Springs Camp & Retreat · Connie Struve and Bill Covington · Environmental Advocates · Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association · Iowa Limestone Producers Association · Mitchell County Farm Bureau · Mitchell Soil and Water Conservation District · Rapids End Outfitters · Senator David Johnson · Snyder & Associates, Inc. · Touch the Earth Outdoor Recreation and Education - University of Iowa · University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist · University of Northern Iowa Outdoor Recreation
River Rescue Sponsors: Allison Boehm · Anonymous Nature Lover · Boy Scout Troop 242 · Butler Soil and Water Conservation District · Can Shed LLC · Casey’s General Stores, Inc. · Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency · Cedar Valley Paddlers · Central Iowa Paddlers · Charles City Family YMCA · Charles City Immaculate Conception Parish · Charles City Senior Center · Chickasaw County Conservation · City of Ames A.O.C. Resource Recovery System · CrawDaddy Outdoors · Darrel and Jean Brothersen · Dean and Linda Tjaden · Des Moines Area Community College · Don Wall · Eaton Corporation’s Community Involvement Team, Shenandoah Plant · Eric Boehm · Floyd County Historical Museum · Floyd County Ikes · Floyd Lions Club · Floyd-Mitchell-Chickasaw Solid Waste Management Authority · Fossil & Prairie Conservation Foundation · Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District · Iowa Geological Survey · ISG · John and Shawnna Larison · Kim Watkins · Linda Appelgate · Mark Bohner · Nashua Fire Department · Nick and Maureen Gaeta · OmniTel Communications · R Campground Inc. · Rivers and Streams LLC · Rod, Ronnie, and Randie Brodigan · Skunk River Paddlers · Sqwincher/PMG · St. Ansgar Community Schools · Sunny Brae Golf Course and Country Club · The Dental Practice · Timothy S. Fox · University of Iowa Research Park · White Pine Group, Iowa Sierra Club · William & Joan Kauten
Life Jacket Sponsors: Andrew & Maureen Johnson