Environment & Weather
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 08:02

Hampton, IL/May, 2014- This coming Saturday, May 10th Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) is searching for volunteers to participate in their newest program, the Invasive Species Removal Project.  This project focuses on eradicating Japanese Honeysuckle, a species with the ability to invade natural systems, multiplying so quickly that it often dominates all other greenery, sometimes leading to the exclusion of the native species.

"The problem is so immense and widespread that we need all the help we can get. If you're looking to make a really big difference and see the real results in a short period of time, this is the project for you." said President & Founder of LL&W, Chad Pregracke.

Volunteers will use hand saws, loppers, and weed wrenches to remove the honeysuckle.  Flagging each location where honeysuckle is removed is crucial, so volunteers will carry flags and mark locations they visit along the way. LL&W will provide all the necessary tools, hard hats, gloves, protective eye wear, as well as lunch. They just ask volunteers to wear boots/athletic shoes (closed toe are a must), long pants, light-colored clothing for hot weather and layers of warm clothing during cooler days. Due to the nature of the work, LL&W is limiting this event to volunteers 16 years of age and above.

Alternative time slots are available in May. Please visit http://livinglandsandwaters.org/get-involved/invasive-species-removal-project/ to register!

About Living Lands & Waters – 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 to 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 Million Trees Project.

Branstad, Reynolds HSEMD Director Schouten encourage storm readiness PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 05 May 2014 09:37

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were joined today at their weekly news conference by Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD) Director Mark Schouten to encourage Iowans to be prepared during severe weather season.

“Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I offer our sympathy to families who lost loved ones in the storms that raced across Iowa on April 27th, and our support to the communities that sustained damage,” said Branstad. “Being prepared for a storm, no matter the season, is the best way to protect yourself and families from dangerous weather.”


“Governor Branstad and I, along with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, stand ready to assist Iowans and their communities when severe weather strikes,” said Reynolds. “It’s critically important for Iowans to take the necessary precautions ahead of inclement weather. We urge Iowans to take time to prepare for this spring and summer’s storm season.”

Iowa HSEMD outlined 3 easy steps Iowans can take to be ready for severe weather:

Step 1: Be aware

  • The most important thing you can do is to stay aware of the potential for bad weather in your area.
  • Tune into local television and radio stations, purchase a weather radio, or install a weather alert app onto your mobile phone to receive the most up-to-date weather information.
  • When weather alerts are issued, act quickly to stay safe.

Step 2: Make An Emergency Plan

  • Sit down with your family and talk about what you will do if there is a severe weather alert issued for your area or if there is a danger of flooding.
  • Don’t forget to make plans for those with special needs, such as elderly family members, and also for your pets.

Step 3: Build an Emergency Supply Kit

Keep a kit at home and in your car in case you must shelter in place or quickly evacuate your home.

Include in your kit items such as:

  • Water and non-perishable food for 3-5 days
  • A first aid kit
  • A battery-operated flashlight and radio along with extra batteries
  • Special items, such as prescription medications, baby formula, diapers and pet food
  • Copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance information.

“At the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, our job is to ensure Iowa and Iowans are prepared and ready to respond to emergencies and disasters,” said Iowa HSEMD Director Mark Schouten. “Our message to all Iowans is to take steps now to be prepared for the next round of severe weather. Just taking a few minutes today to think it through and know what you will do can help keep you and your family safe.”

To get additional details and tools, including a brochure that outlines how to plan and prepare, visit www.beready.iowa.gov.


"We don't know what normal is anymore": Confronting Extreme Weather on U.S. Farms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Jackie Wei   
Friday, 02 May 2014 13:52

Matt Russell has seen strange weather before.  As a fifth-generation Iowa farmer, he’s used to being at the whims of the skies.  But ominous changes are underway at his Coyote Run Farm, and lately, he’s been trying to cope with “the wrong weather at the wrong time.”

Like Matt, I grew up as the fifth generation on my family’s farm.  In fact, my 83-year-old grandfather, Art, is out planting corn with my dad this week. In Art’s eight decades in the field, he’s seen his share of tough times.  When he was just a little boy, he saw his family’s crops wither up, die, and blow away into the Dust Bowl.  Like many American families, the Great Depression tested our family’s commitment to farming.

But we persevered, and out of the devastation of the Dust Bowl, a new era of hope and progress for American farmers was born.  Under the leadership of the US Department of Agriculture, farmers began viewing soil conservation as a key risk management tool.  On our farm and many others, we learned that protecting the soil was paramount to surviving future dry years.  And although dry times like the 1950s and 1980s were challenging, the conservation lessons learned from the Dust Bowl era lessened their impact on my family’s operations.

Now, we are at another critical moment for agriculture.  Climate change is bringing more frequent and severe weather challenges, unlike any that farmers have seen before, and already farmers are feeling the effects.  Countless scientists agree that climate change will affect every part of our food system—from crop yields to food processing and distribution.  More dry days and hot nights will stress already limited water resources.  Ironically, when it does rain, it will pour, exacerbating soil erosion.  Farmers will need to confront new challenges from weeds, diseases and pests. But farmers don’t need a scientist to tell them times are tough.  They can just look out their windows.  Listen to what Arlyn Schipper, a Conrad, Iowa farmer, has to say:

So how will we confront the climate challenge facing American farmers?  Will we ignore the ominous reality of climate change?  Or will we take steps to improve farms’ resiliency to extreme weather and prevent the worst impacts of climate change?

We know what needs to be done. We learned after the Dust Bowl that farmers have one of the best “insurance policies” right beneath their boots—their very own soil.  Healthy soil is more resilient to extreme weather events like droughts and floods because it can filter and hold more water.   The new “normal” of climate change calls for us to redouble our efforts to build healthy soil.  NRDC’s “Soil Matters” report describes how we can build farms that are more resilient to climate change by encouraging low risk, water-smart practices that regenerate soil.  Under NRDC’s proposal, farmers who adopt proven techniques, like cover cropping, to reduce their risk of crop loss would receive a discount on their crop insurance policies.  This could be done under existing law, and could have widespread benefits for farmers, taxpayers, and the environment.

But the longer we wait, the harder the job will be. Scientists agree that the increased concentration of heat-trapping carbon pollution in our atmosphere is the key reason that our climate is changing, and power plants are responsible for nearly half of that pollution.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first carbon pollution limits for future power plants, and is on track to propose limits for existing power plants by early June.  These new protections will help reduce the carbon pollution that is threatening American agriculture and our food security.

After the Dust Bowl, American farmers didn’t throw up their hands in despair.  They got to work, planting windbreaks, building terraces and making conservation a way of life.  Now it’s our turn.  Climate change is a tough challenge, but we know what we need to do.  We need to regenerate our landscapes to build resilient farms, and we need protections from the power plant carbon pollution that’s threating our food supply.  It’s time to act.  The next five generations of farmers depend on it.

Living Lands & Waters Event Rescheduled PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 09:04

Due to weather conditions, Living Lands & Waters has officially rescheduled their upcoming acorn planting event to Wednesday May 7th from 9:00am – 12:00pm.

Parking is available at the Davenport Library; 6000 Eastern Avenue, Davenport IA.  Please contact us with any questions.

Thank You, Natalie Linville-Mass,309-948-1436

Convoy of Hope Responds to Tornadoes in Midwest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Molly Erickson   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 12:43

Assessment Teams Headed to Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – April 28, 2014 - International humanitarian relief organization, Convoy of Hope, has assessment teams en route to affected areas throughout the Midwest where tornadoes ravaged communities yesterday.

“Our prayers are with the families whose lives have been impacted by these storms,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “Our teams will provide crucial information that will help us as we make plans in the coming days and monitor additional severe weather forecasted in these areas throughout the week.”

Online donation:

Those wishing to make a contribution to Convoy of Hope can make a secure online contribution by visiting: www.convoyofhope.org.

Text to Give donation:

To place a $10 donation on your cellular bill, text the word CONVOY to 50555. Standard text and data rates apply.

About Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope, a faith ­based organization founded in 1994, has a driving passion to feed the world. With a long history as an early responder in times of natural disasters, Convoy of Hope has been a Four Star Charity as recognized by Charity Navigator for 11 consecutive years. In the last 20 years, Convoy of Hope has served more than 65 million people. For more information please visit http://www.convoyofhope.org.

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