Events coming up this weekend and next week

Iowa county fair season is in full swing, and the Association of Iowa Fairs posts the schedule here. You may even run into some local candidates and elected officials.

The Sierra Club’s Iowa Chapter has nature hikes and other group outings scheduled around the state this summer. Click here to view the calendars for your area.

The Johnson County-based group Backyard Abundance provides advice and educational events for people who want to grow food in urban environments or want to transform their yards into a low-maintenance, eco-friendly landscape.  I’m a big fan of letting native Iowa plants take over your yard.

Democrats are out canvassing most weekends from here through the November election. Iowa Democratic candidates, please send me notices of your upcoming public events, fundraisers or volunteer opportunities if you would like me to include them on these calendars.

Details for some political and environmental events are after the jump. Please post a comment or e-mail me at desmoinesdem AT if you have something to add.

Seeing the announcement about Polk County Supervisor Tom Hockensmith’s picnic next weekend reminded me of the latest political rumor going around Des Moines: former third district Congressional candidate Dave Funk is expected to challenge Hockensmith in the next supervisor’s race. I’ve seen no public confirmation of the rumor, though.

Thursday, July 8

Iowa City Green Drinks take place on the second Thursday of every month, from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Red Avocado restaurant, 521 East Washington Street, Iowa City, IA. Learn more:…

There’s a labor-sponsored event for Scott Ourth, Democratic candidate for Iowa House district 74. This district contains much of Warren County, including Indianola, Carlisle and Norwalk.

Please Join Us For A Labor Sponsored Meet & Greet for Scott Ourth, Candidate for Iowa House District 74

IAM&AW Machinists Hall

2000 Walker Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50317

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

From 5-7 p.m.

Appetizers and beverages provided and Live Music!!

Scott Ourth has received several labor endorsements, including The Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, USW, UAW, and the unions of the Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades.

Campaign contributions welcomed

For additional information about this event, contact

South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO at

515-265-1862 or email us at

Friday, July 9

Representative Leonard Boswell is holding a fundraiser in a private home, with featured guest U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The event takes place from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at 13936 South Shore Drive in Clive. Suggested donation is $50, with higher sponsorship levels. Please RSVP to Brian Fritsch at: or (515) 883-2254.

Via the I’M for Iowa list I learned that every Friday in July there are free “Rendezvous at the River” concerts by local bands at 6th Avenue & Boston Street in Des Moines. Food and drink available for sale.

Saturday, July 10

Staci Appel’s re-election campaign is holding an office opening from 11:00am – 1:00pm at Appel for Senate HQ, 602 North Jefferson in Indianola. Following the event, volunteers will knock on doors in Indianola all afternoon.

Wednesday, July 14

This is the end of the next reporting period for Iowa candidates. Fundraising numbers will in part determine which candidates can be competitive this fall. Please consider donating to a good Democrat if you can afford to do so.

Another free seminar on the 2008 Iowa floods and floodplain management is scheduled, this time at the North Iowa Community College Muse Norris Center in Mason City from 4 pm yo 6 pm. Afterwards there will be some free copies of A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008, edited by Cornelia Mutel. From the Rebuild Iowa Office:

Topics to be covered include trends in Iowa precipitation; trends in water run-off; work of the Iowa Flood Center; floodplain management strategies; water quality; the Cedar Falls Floodplain Initiative; rural-urban watershed coalition building; and a review of state public policy issues. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

“We are excited to be a part of this effort to educate Iowans about what communities can do to reduce future flood damage,” said Rebuild Iowa Office Executive Director Lt. General Ron Dardis. “Nearly 700 Iowa communities were impacted by the 2008 disasters. Events like this help ensure Iowans are better prepared for future disasters and are knowledgeable about what possible flood protection measures are available for their communities.”

Following each forum, refreshments will be served and a limited number of free copies of the book, “A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008,” will be available to attendees.

The seminars are being hosted by the University of Iowa’s Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, Rebuild Iowa Office, UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa League of Cities and the Iowa State Association of Counties.

There’s a Backyard Abundance event on compost management; more details here.

From I’M for Iowa:

July 14 – The film “Papers” and discussion of Dream Act (Des Moines)

Youth from Marshalltown will lead the conversation after the movie, at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove at 6:30 pm. Contact Maria Downs at

Thursday, July 15

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s newsletter:

Iowa Recycling Association Annual Luncheon & Program

Join us July 15, 12 noon to 4:00 pm, at Reiman Gardens in Ames for the Iowa Recycling Association Luncheon and Program, an annual event providing education, networking, and industry updates to support effective resource management in Iowa. This year’s program is titled “Closing the Loop: Getting Back to the Basics” and features a panel of presenters on collection, processing, program implementation and management, manufacturing, marketing, and product stewardship. Please join us!  All are welcome! For more information:, 515-265-1596.

Prairie Fundraiser for Whiterock Conservancy

July 15, Coon Rapids

From 7-9pm, enjoy live blues music at Riverside Park in Coon Rapids, on Thursday, July 15. Live Music by Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts. Matt Woods is well versed in traditional delta, hill country and urban electric blues. So if you want to hear some down-home, hearth stomping rhythm, look no further. Free will donations will help support Whiterock Conservancy’s conservation efforts in the Middle Raccoon River Valley. For more information, visit

Saturday, July 17

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is holding its annual convention. The theme of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s annual meeting this year is “Tough and Tenacious for 35 years.” It’s from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at Hilton Garden Inn, 8600 Northpark Drive in Johnston. Keynote speaker is Chris Hayes with The Nation. For registration and convention details, contact

Polk County Supervisor Tom Hockensmith is holding the 8th Annual Hockensmith Family Picnic from noon to 3 pm at Doanes Park, Shelter #1, 451 S. Pleasant Hill Blvd.

$10 per person – or – $25 per family

Bring the whole family!  Food, fun and a playground for children.

Directions from E. University / Hwy 163:  Go south on Hickory Blvd., West on Maple Dr., then South on S. Pleasant Hill Blvd.

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Museum & Aquarium to Host Ding Darling Day

The Dubuque County Historical Society’s seventh annual Ding Darling Day is Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The event takes place in the outdoor Pfohl Boatyard Plaza at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The event is free and open to the public; however, regular admission prices apply if visitors want to tour the Museum & Aquarium. This year’s Ding Darling Day will include sun printing, conservation agency presentations, wildlife and fish stations and animal programs. Touch tanks allow visitors to get an up-close and personal experience with turtles, frogs and mussels. Food and beverages will also be available to purchase in the boatyard during the event.

Monolithic Dome Construction Lunch and Learn

July 17, Norwalk area

The Center on Sustainable Communities is holding a Monolithic Dome Construction Lunch and Learn on Saturday, July 17th, 10 to 11:30 a.m. near Norwalk. See… to learn more about this course and others.

Dedication of the Bank Swallow Bend Wildlife Area

July 17, 11 a.m., Warren County

The Warren County Conservation Board will hold a dedication for their newest and largest public area, the 542-acre Bank Swallow Bend Wildlife Area. The dedication ceremony starts at 11a.m. A short program will be followed by a barbeque lunch and guided wagon tours through the area. The event location will be two miles east of Indianola on Highway 92, one mile south on County Road S23, and one-half mile farther south on 168th Avenue. Bank Swallow Bend, a 542-acre wetland and upland complex, provides habitat for diverse wildlife. It will also offer a variety of public uses, including hunting, fishing, nature study, wildlife viewing and hiking. Working with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the WCCB procured the property in April, 2010. Public funding for this project came from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Habitat Stamp program, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Warren County’s REAP funds. Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited provided additional private funds for this project. For more information, visit


Sunday, July 18

Backyard Abundance is holding an event and yard tour on creating landscapes for children. Click here for more details.

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