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Skunk River Paddlers



The Skunk River Paddlers were the first group of volunteers to adopt a park with the Story County Conservation Board.

photo by Rachel Skunk River Paddlers and Associates at Sleepy Hollow April 17th:   Travis, Dave, Brian, Greg, Tony, Lynn, Jeri, Whitney, Rick, and Rachel (not pictured).

Later participants included Miranda, Colin, Todd, Robin, Arthur, and Matt.

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River Valley Park landing

April 20th, after breakfast at the Grove Cafe, 6 local paddlers converged on River Valley Park to make improvements to the canoe landing. The new "Skunk River Water Trail" sign was later installed by Ames Parks & Rec staff to complete the project.

photo by Greg
Women at work; Wiesia, Mary, Whitney
(Greg's favorite photo)

photo by Greg
Dave contemplates the next cut

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WOI Spring Pledge Drive,   April 23rd

A group of Skunk River Paddlers (and others Greg was able to press into service) answered phones Monday evening for WOI Radio Group's spring pledge drive.

The night's high point came at the start, when a very chatty Carolyn managed to craftily negotiate $1,000 out of the first caller. By the end she'd earned herself a loaf of tasty Great Harvest bread. Nate spent some quality time with a caller debating which more readily puts her shepherd husband to sleep: counting his sheep, or the station's jazz programming. Improbable paddling stories were shared during lulls between calls, and Greg and Rick were able to sneak Skunk River propaganda onto the airwaves all across Central Iowa.

Thanks to all who came to support public radio!

- Nate

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Stuart Smith Park,   April 27th

Skunk River Paddlers & Associates picked up litter at Stuart Smith Park in Ames. This was our contribution to the city-wide volunteer clean-up effort sponsored by the Ames Tribune. Many thanks to those who don't know better than to stay out of the rain! (Including Dieter & friends, and especially Mark & Gerry who came from Des Moines)

Mark & Gerry pick up litter in storm water run-off from the Iowa State Center parking lots.   More photos

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Story County Conservation's Spring Festival,   May 5th

The Skunk River Paddlers were well represented by Rick, Carolyn, Peggy, John, Tony and myself. We assisted at the Spring Festival by helping people in & out of canoes. According to our tabulation, over 75 children and 50 adults participated.

All showed a great sense of adventure and fun; the youngest had wonderful expression of awe and excitement. Some of the older children couldn't get enough and asked to go back out. As a bonus, the pond had lots of turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and downed trees near the water line.

As far as I could tell, all graciously thanked the volunteers for their efforts and seemed quite glad for their little adventure in spite of some mud. Peggy tried her hand at the white water kayak. Her exploration, ending in a spill, or half of a good roll, depending on how you look at it, was quickly noticed by Tony; a bit of time elapsed, however, before our crack rescue team, John and Rick set out to give a hand.

It was sunny, warm, dry and the breeze kept it cool enough as the live music drifted from the band, MOL over the hill. That's always a good start for an outdoor adventure. So was being part of the effort that got so many young children and nervous adults some time in a canoe. Good friends added to the day's enjoyments. Thanks to all the volunteers and to the dedicated staff of the Story County Conservation Board who routinely work evening and weekends.

- Greg

photo by Peggy
Nine canoes didn't keep up with lines

photo by Peggy
Oliver prepares to launch

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E18 Canoe Access,   September 14th

Ten paddlers spent a damp Saturday morning at the E18 Canoe Access south of Story City. With hand tools and a rototiller we cut a path across the slope from the parking lot to the river, placed erosion control materials, and covered the path with rock. Travis was a big help as he advised us in the placement & use of the geoweb & barrier cloth.

photo by Carol Williams Dr. Jim Colbert & the Skunk River Navy joined us just in time to load and distribute rock, and were the first to use the path as they launched canoes to begin a clean up of the Skunk between E18 and Andersons.   (more photos)

On October 9th, eight volunteers from Beta Theta Pi loaded and placed Gabion stone on the river bank and where needed along the trail, then spread the rest of the crushed limestone.   Thanks to Story County Conservation and all the volunteers for these improvements.

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For a more complete listing of SRP service activities in 2002, see 2002 in review.