Events coming up this week

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, but festivals, community clean-ups and related celebrations begin this week in many Iowa communities. Details on those and other events are after the jump. As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of another public event that should be included on this calendar.

While I was checking the Iowa Environmental Council's calendar and April newsletter, I learned that earlier this year, the American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter office in Des Moines became the U.S. Green Building Council first LEED Platinum certified project in Iowa. Congratulations to the AIA for demonstrating how to do an office renovation in an eco-friendly way. Click here to learn more about the project's sustainable features.  

Monday, April 11

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission is to submit a report to the Iowa legislature on public input regarding the first redistricting plan. No cohesive case against the proposed maps emerged during last week's public hearings.

From the International Food Information Council Foundation and the Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics:

Please join us for a Webinar:

"The Low-Down on Local Foods"

When: Monday, April 11th

2:00-3:30 pm ET/1:00-2:30 pm CT

12:00-1:30 pm MT/11:00 am -12:30 pm PT.

On Monday, April 11th from 2:00-3:30 EST, the International Food Information Council Foundation and the Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) will host a webinar discussing the definition of "local" foods; the nutritional, economic and social tradeoffs of local versus other foods; and consumer insights regarding local foods.

Interest in where our food comes from, sparked by a desire for more healthful foods, and has spawned a newfound appreciation for local foods and communities. This webinar complements the First Quarter 2010 issue of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA ) peer-reviewed science magazine Choices -


Moderator - Lindsey Loving, Senior Director, Food Ingredient & Technology Communications, International Food Information Council Foundation

"What Does Local Mean?"   Larry Lev, Ph.D.   Oregon State University Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Presentation will describe current concepts of local, the central role that farm-direct marketing channels play in consumer perceptions of local, and the limited opportunities these channels offer for increasing local food consumption.

"Can Local Go Mainstream?"   Robert P. King, Ph.D.  University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics

Talk will focus on the prospects for and barriers to local foods gaining a greater share of sales in mainstream supermarket and food service distribution channels.

"Nutritional Differences and Consumer Insights on Local Foods"   Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD

 Registered Dietitian and President, Nutrition Edge Communications

Presentation will focus on nutritional comparisons of foods that are from local, regional, and national origins, as well as discussing consumer insights.

Please join us for this exciting event!

How to Register: To RSVP for the event please register prior to the webinar at

The presentations will be saved using web-seminar technology.

Registration is free but space is limited.

Tuesday, April 12

From the city of Dubuque's website:

City Expo 2011

April 12, 2011

Five Flags Civic Center, 405 Main Street

The City of Dubuque will hold its annual City Expo on Tuesday, April 12, from 5-8 p.m. in the Five Flags Civic Center at 405 Main Street. Admission is free and all Dubuque residents are invited to attend. This year's event will include a special reception for newcomers from 5-6 p.m. in the Majestic Room on the second floor of Five Flags. City Expo is designed to inform Dubuque residents about city programs, services, and resources and give residents an additional opportunity to speak with City staff. City Expo features activities and demonstrations designed for visitors of all ages.

Free admission.

For more information, visit

It's the deadline to RSVP for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa's Crossroads luncheon on April 15 (see below).

Thursday, April 14

This is the first day the Iowa legislature may consider the redistricting bill.

There's an Annual Regional Green Expo and Business/Earth Day After Hours in Clear Lake at the Surf Ballroom from 4-7 p.m.. Booths on fresh, local food; energy/$-savers for your home; wellness; personal care; art; renewable energy grant programs, etc.

From the Iowa Environmental Council's calendar:

Women Caring for the Land

Location: The Arboretum, 1875 Peach Ave., Madrid, IA

Women who own or manage farmland in Boone and neighboring counties are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion and field tour on Thursday, April 14, from 8:30 - 3:30 p.m. at the Iowa Arboretum near Madrid. The program is called Women Caring for the Land. All interested women are welcome, including owners, operators and inheritors of farmland, regardless of their degree of knowledge about conservation. A free lunch will be provided. In order for us to get an accurate meal count, please RSVP by Monday, April 11, by calling Lynn Heuss at 515-201-9405 or emailing her at

Friday, April 15

There's an Earth Day event at Coralville Lake in the Iowa City area. Participants were supposed to register by April 5, but it might be worth calling to see if late registration is possible:

An Earth Day Event! at Coralville Lake

Cost: FREE! But you must pre-register by April 5, 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011; 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Coralville Lake, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Help restore the natural woodland habitat around Coralville Lake by volunteering for a day, Saturday, April 24, folks will form groups and work on various projects from painting picnic tables to pulling weeds.

There'll be free food, free camping, and free entertainment! Check in on Friday, April 15, at the Sugar Bottom Campground between 5pm and 8pm. At 8pm there will be an Earth Day Ceremony to bless the event. [...]

Please visit the Coralville Lake website for further details or call Mary Sue at 319-338-3543 ext. 6306.

From the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa:

Presenter:                Professor Todd Green, Ph.D.

                                   Assistant Professor of Religion, Luther College

Subject:                    What is driving the anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S.?

Professor Green will speak about the conflicts over mosques and minarets in Europe and the U.S. and what he believes are the underlying catalyst for those conflicts. He will address issues of freedom of religion that arise in these conflicts.  He will also address the difference between Europeans and Americans in how religious freedom is restricted for Muslims.

Date:                          Friday, April 15

 Time:        11:45 - 1 p.m.

  Location:  Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines

  Cost:         $10.00

Reservations are necessary to attend Crossroads.  Please call 515-279-8715 or email info AT by Tuesday, April 12.

Saturday, April 16

There's a big Eco-Arts Festival in Cedar Rapids, organized by the Corridor Conservation Coalition and the New Bohemia Group. Click the link for more details about the scheduled activities.

The 18th Annual Mason City Earth Day Clean Up & Festival is taking place from 9 am to noon. The litter clean-up is community-wide, and the festival will be at East Park - Prairie Playground.

The same morning, Clear Lake will also hold earth day events in the City Park. Click the link for more information.

There's an Earth Day clean up in Burlington as well, to be followed by a lunch and group photo for volunteers.

In Dubuque, there will be an Earth Day Clean Up at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium from 10 a.m.-noon. Those interested in volunteering for the cleanup should contact Vicky Sutter at 563-557-9545. Admission charged.

For more information, visit

Earth Day Events continue at Coralville Lake:

On Saturday, April 16, the day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome message and project information for group leaders at the Earth Day Tent.

8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.: Groups will form and work will begin. Field snacks will also be provided.

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. LUNCH - remember lunches will be provided for the FIRST 200 people to pre-register.

After lunch everyone is on their own to discover and enjoy our beautiful park!

Contact Ranger Mary Sue Bowers by clicking on the link provided to pre-register for the event. Remember, pre-registration is due by April 5th and the first 200 to register will receive two nights of free camping, lunch on Saturday. Late registrations will be accepted with no guarantee of lunch on Saturday.

The beautiful commemorative t-shirts will be available for purchase this year. See the registration form for pricing and ordering information.

Please visit the Coralville Lake website for further details or call Mary Sue at 319-338-3543 ext. 6306.

For those in the Davenport area:

Earth Week Fair

Saturday, April 16th, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Community Planning and Economic Development Departments have developed an interactive exhibit sure to capture the interest of all ages. The exhibit will feature interactive activities related to water quality and water quality protection.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Saturday, April 16th 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Davenport Public Library is kicking off Earth Week with a festive party at the Quad Cities greenest library, the LEED-accredited Eastern Avenue Branch, located at 6000 Eastern Avenue. The party will feature The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. Attendees will also enjoy games and crafts celebrating our awesome planet.

From the Iowa Environmental Council's calendar:

Johnston Invasive Work Day

Location: Crown Point, Johnston, IA

Meet at Crown Point Community Center from 8:30am to 11:00am to remove invasive trees and shrubs in the Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area. Gloves and some tools will be provided. Wear sturdy shoes and long sleeve shirts and pants.

Time: 08:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Bike trail enthusiasts may want to join the "Lemonade Ride" from Panora to Bayard and Coon Rapids, scheduled to start at 11 am. Click here for background on the Guthrie County supervisors' incredibly short-sighted decision to reject this bike trail project. More info from Creating Great Places:

The Lemonade Ride is being organized for April 16 and 17 to support the future Herndon to Coon Rapids Trail through Guthrie County in West-Central Iowa .

The Guthrie County Supervisors just cancelled a $365,000 federal grant rather than own a bike trail through their county to Coon Rapids . But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  For starters bikers are going to make it to Bayard and Coon Rapids with or without a trail, just to show their support for the future trail.  

This ride is now the top featured ride on the website home page.

I am writing to ask you to please help publicize this ride via your biking friends, face book friends, etc.  

A good turn out coming to Bayard and Coon Rapids would really help to show locals the great potential of this future trail connection.

On April 16th, one team is coming from Panora, meeting at PJ's diner there at 11:00 am.

Another team could come from Jefferson, and then (after traversing about 1.5 miles of gravel) could come into Coon Rapids on County road E63.

All rides are encouraged to patronize Bayard and Coon Rapids businesses.  There are various local lodging options, including staying at Whiterock's Garst Farm ( at the Riverside campground at NE corner of Coon Rapids (has showers and septic dump) or by camping in the yard of the Raychelle's diner and that of Creating Great Places (both located at south entry of Coon Rapids on South 5th Avenue ).  Creating Great Places is at 401 5th Avenue and has a covered wagon in the front yard.

There will be a concert in the Library at 7:00 and a street dance later that night organized by the Raychelle's Diner.

Please help support our future trail connection to Des Moines by making you way to Coon Rapids on April 16th!

Donations to the trail maintenance fund are also very welcome (This fund will help us find a new public entity to take over the trail grant). These can be made on-ling at or mailed to the address below. All donations to the trail fund are tax-deductible.

The Iowa Renewable Energy Association is running a PV101 workshop at Kirkwood Community College from 9 am to 5 pm. Click the link for details about how to register.

Sunday, April 17

The 6th Annual Earth Day in the Junction takes place in West Des Moines' Valley Junction neighborhood from 10am - 4pm. This community celebration of Earth Day includes a 5K Run & Kids Fun Run,a diverse group of exhibitors, children's activities, live music, demonstrations and food. Free for the whole family.  

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