Register to Help Clean Up Birdland Marina in May
This article was written by Luke Hoffman, Executive Director of Iowa Rivers Revival, and Cole Miller, Regional Coordinator for ICON Water Trails:
As the Executive Director of Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR), Luke Hoffman works with a coalition of stakeholders for the Service Squad program to help clean up our rivers and streams, focusing on clean water, education, community building and connecting people to water. Protecting and restoring our natural resources is key to enhancing economic development, promoting recreation and improving the safety and quality of Iowa’s rivers. It’s about quality of life and leaving a legacy for future generations.
As the Regional Coordinator for ICON Water Trails, Cole Miller works with the jurisdictions in the network daily to ensure they have what they need to bring their water trail dreams to life. When the idea of ICON Water Trails was being created, hundreds of engaged stakeholders came together to develop the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan. This diverse group included business leaders, city officials, water enthusiasts and more. The master plan was adopted in 2016, giving ICON Water Trails a shared vision for what our rivers and creeks can become. It envisions an abundant water recreation network spanning 150 miles of creeks and rivers in DSM. Today, ICON Water Trails is an independent 501(c)(3) with the mission statement, “ICON Water Trails is a regionally inclusive recreational confluence connecting culture, conservation and adventure by empowering our waterways.” Its plan expands accessibility to a wider spectrum of locals and visitors alike.
Photo: Birdland Marina
May 2023 Cleanup Event
When ICON Water Trails and IRR came together to partner on a river cleanup event, Birdland Marina was chosen as the prime location to highlight the current developments happening in that area. The family-friendly river cleanup festival will be held there on Friday, May 19 from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and will feature live music, educational programming for the community and an opportunity to participate both on land and on the water cleanup activities.
We will be collaborating with 15+ partner organizations to have educational booths at the event who feature clean water and activities that help people better understand our local ecosystem, such as the Save Our Streams program by the local Izaak Walton League, Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens, Blank Park Zoo and much more! We will start by meeting up at Captain Roy’s for some coffee and light refreshments while you get checked in and then participate in a quick safety training session with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Team. We are also partnering with the Captain Roys, City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation and City of Des Moines, Birdland Neighborhood Association, Union Park Neighborhood Association and Central Iowa Paddlers.
Photo: ICON Water Trails Downtown DSM Map
To sign up for Service Squad so you can stay in touch about cleanup events in Polk County you can visit: IowaRivers.org/squad to join our program and be part of Iowa's clean water future.
Join us for the Riverfest with Iowa Rivers Revival & ICON Water Trails Cleanup Event:
Date: Friday, May 19, 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Birdland Marina, Captain Roy’s
Signup: Registration required here
Luke Hoffman is the Executive Director of Iowa Rivers Revival. Luke loves the outdoors and grew up in small-towns across Iowa. Luke now lives in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) near Gray's Lake and is a member of the Tall Dog Bike Club. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Cole Miller is the Regional Coordinator for ICON Water Trails and has been with ICON now for about six months. He is looking forward to the upcoming paddling season. Cole lives in Granger with his wife and two children. Originally from northwest Illinois, he attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Performance. In his off time, he enjoys playing with his kids, golfing and hunting.
Described as the “most transformational quality-of-life project of our generation,” the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan is a road map for enhancing experiences in and along 150 miles of waterways in Greater Des Moines (DSM).