Environment & Weather
National Park Service Offers Tree Planting Demonstration on Arbor Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Adam Prato   
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:36
WEST BRANCH, IOWA— Homeowners or anyone interested in learning about planting trees can join arborist Ed Rinderspacher and the staff of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site for an Arbor Day presentation on Friday, April 26. Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. The program is free and begins at 1:00 p.m. at the visitor center. It will last about one hour and may involve about a half-mile of walking to different areas of the park. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. In the case of inclement weather, please call (319) 643-2541 before attending.
Ed Rinderspacher is the owner and operator of Rindy Tree and Turf Care, Inc. and a West Branch, Iowa arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Mr. Rinderspacher will provide a one-hour demonstration as he plants two oak trees-- one packed in ball-and-burlap and one container-grown tree-- that he donated to Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The new trees will replace dead trees that park staff cut down. Mr. Rinderspacher will also discuss how to find and buy a healthy tree, and about pruning the tree and its roots.
“There are about a thousand trees in this 187-acre national park commemorating Herbert Hoover’s life,” said Pete Swisher, superintendent of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. “We hope our visitors can see examples of best practices as we pursue excellence in groundskeeping and horticulture. ”
April 20 through 28 is National Park Week, the annual week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space. For more information go online at www.nps.gov/heho or call (319) 643-2541.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
110 Parkside Drive
PO Box 607
West Branch, Iowa 52358
Twitter: @HooverNPS
Facebook: HerbertHooverNHS

Governor Branstad Issues Disaster Proclamation for Ten Counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 15 April 2013 07:37

(DES MOINES)  – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today issued a proclamation of disaster emergency in response to severe weather that impacted ten counties in northwest Iowa.

Counties included in the proclamation are Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Sioux. Beginning April 9, damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms and freezing rains caused damage to public and private property, power outages from downed power lines and poles, and a large amount of debris.

The Governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms, including for removal of debris and wreckage on publicly or privately owned land that may threaten public health and safety, or public and private property.

A copy of the proclamation of disaster emergency can be found at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.


News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brandy Welvaert   
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:01

QUAD CITIES—Xstream Cleanup, the Quad-Cities’ annual, volunteer-based cleanup of area waterways, is turning 10 this year—and community input is needed.

Xstream organizers are looking for new cleanup sites and encourage members of the community to make suggestions. If a site is dirty, litter-ridden or host to illegal dumping, organizers want to hear about it! To make a suggestion, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (563) 468-4218.

The annual cleanup, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this summer, will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, August 10, 2013.

In celebration of this milestone, organizers plan to release a series of mini-documentaries over the summer to highlight event accomplishments, to recognize the volunteers and organizations that make it happen, and to raise awareness about water quality in the Quad-Cities.

“At its heart, Xstream Cleanup is about the community picking up, dragging out and hauling away unwanted trash and debris from its waterways. We value our water and our waterways, and Xstream Cleanup proves that, as a community, we’re willing to sweat together to protect and improve them,” says Curtis Lundy, longtime chair of Xstream Cleanup.

As the cleanup date approaches, mini-documentary releases, a complete media kit, photos, and more will be available for view and/or download at www.xstreamcleanup.org. Volunteer registration will begin online in June. In addition, periodic updates about the event will be released on the Xstream Cleanup Facebook page.

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Simon, river council to learn about Mississippi River forecast PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kara Beach   
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:51

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will convene a quarterly meeting of the Mississippi River Coordinating Council (MRCC) on Wednesday. Dr. Jim Angel, state climatologist for the Illinois State Water Survey, will present a Mississippi River depth forecast to the group, and outline the impact the drought in Western states has had on Illinois water levels.

“It is important that we take a wide-angle view at drought and our waterways,” Lt. Governor Simon said. “While we continue to recover from the 2012 drought, states west of Illinois are still facing drought conditions – something we need to keep an eye on as we plan for the 2013 agricultural season.”

The MRCC will also hear an update on Asian carp migration from James Garvey, director of the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at SIU Carbondale. Garvey recently released a report identifying the need to manage the Asian carp population so the species does not invade the Great Lakes.

DATE: Wednesday, April 3

TIME: 1:30 p.m.

PLACE: State Library, Room 403/404, 300 S. Second St., Springfield


Pregracke To Be Honored With The Order Of Lincoln PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 14:44

Quad City Native Honored For His Devotion to Cleaning Up Rivers

East Moline, IL/April 2, 2013 – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois recognizes Chad Pregracke for its highest honor, the Order of Lincoln. The Academy will present Pregracke with this award at its 49th Annual Convocation at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13th at Augustana College’s Centennial Hall. The Order of Lincoln is presented to those who have a devotion to public service and the betterment of humanity

Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 at the age of 23. In the past 15 years, he and his crew have worked with more than 70,000 volunteers and have collected and removed more than 6 million pounds of debris from our waterways. Living Lands & Waters works throughout the Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio rivers, as well as many of their tributaries.

“This is an incredible honor not only for myself but for Living Lands & Waters and our volunteers. What we do wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our volunteers” said Pregracke. “I’m looking forward to continuing to fight the fight against trash and debris in our waterways.”

There are six recipients of the 2013 Order of Lincoln Award; they are Brenda Barnes, William Hammer, Timothy Johnson, Bob Lane, Bob Ontiveros and Chad Pregracke.

“These six incredible individuals have one thing in common, and that’s our community,” Kai Swanson, executive assistant to Augustana College President Steve Bahls, said. “They spent a critical time of their lives in the Quad-Cities.”

“Lincoln laureates are those who have excelled in their occupation and have led exemplary volunteer lives,” Julie Kellner, executive director of the Lincoln Academy, said. The Lincoln Academy was established in 1964 and began honoring Illinoisans with the Order of Lincoln Award in 1965.

Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown into an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats.  LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a- River-Mile programs and the MillionTrees Project.


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