Come join the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative on October 1st, 2016 for an exciting Iroquois River Fun Float! The float will launch at George Ade in Brook and will end at the Newton County Fairgrounds. The float trip will take approximately 5 to 6 hours. Loaner canoes/kayaks are available and will be given out on a first come first serve basis, so be sure to register early! FREE Iroquois River Fun Float t-shirts will be given to the first 85 float participants to register!
If you are bringing your own boat: Drop your boats off at George Ade in Brook at 10:00 a.m. central time, then take your vehicle and park it at the Newton County Fairgrounds. A shuttle will be waiting to take the float participants back to the George Ade Launch site.
If you are using a loaner kayak/canoe: Park your vehicle at the Newton County Fairgrounds and be at the shuttle no later than 10:30 a.m. central time. The shuttle will leave promptly at 10:30 a.m. so make sure not to be late!
All float trip participants (even if you are bringing your own boat) must RSVP using the online reservation form. Life jackets are required, NO EXCEPTIONS! The Iroquois River Fun Float is sponsored by the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative, Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, Friends of the Iroquois River, NICHES Land Trust, Newton County Park Board, and the t-shirts are sponsored by Hillcrest Dental. For more information contact the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District at 219-866-8008 x3.
The new Iroquois River Access Site southwest of St. Joseph’s College on 700 S is open! This project is funded by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and is due to efforts by the Outdoor Recreation work group and the generosity St. Joseph’s College for providing the land. The following is a column written by our Watershed Outreach Coordinator, Carolyn Ahler, about the new St. Joseph’s College Boat Launch:
“Conservation Counts!” column by Carolyn Ahler for the Week of February 15, 2016 (Published in the Rensselaer Republican and KV Post):
Boat launch anyone? How about a beautiful picnic shelter where you and your family can enjoy lunch before heading out onto the Iroquois River for the afternoon? This is the vision of the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative’s Outdoor Recreation Work Group. For those of you who don’t know, there is a new Iroquois River access site in Rensselaer! Go south on 231 to Mt. Calvary Road (W 700 S) and head west, the access site is located a few miles down on the north side of the road. Right now the access site only has a sign and a parking lot, but we have BIG plans for it! The Outdoor Recreation Work Group met on February 3rd and discussed our vision for the site. We want to install a concrete boat ramp, stairs leading down into the Iroquois River, and a beautiful picnic shelter equipped with tables and a few grills. To achieve our goals, we will need to apply for several grants and pursue private sponsors. If your business is interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Carolyn at 219-866-8008 ext. 138. What else would you like to see there? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
Since I am on the topic of the Iroquois River, I might as well mention that we are having a FLOAT TRIP on May 15th, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. CST. The float will go from Laird’s Landing in Rensselaer to the St. Joseph’s College Boat Launch and will take about 1.5 hours. Boats are provided on a first come first serve basis so make sure to reserve your spot by going to www.iroquoiswatershed.com! If you have your own boat, still let us know you’re coming so we can plan accordingly. Include picture of the sign at the access point!
Have you heard of the Upper Iroquois River Watershed Management Plan? The plan was written by Daniel Perkins of the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2013. A free digital copy is available by going to www.iroquoiswatershed.com – Explore our Efforts – Watershed Management Plan. There you will find links to download the entire version, or just smaller sections at a time. Inside the plan it discusses why recreational use is prevented in the Iroquois River and the potential causes. One of the potential causes listed is “lack of public access points every 5-10 miles” (WMP, 196). The new access site will bridge that gap a bit. Laird’s Landing is located at 1738 E. Grace Street, Rensselaer, Indiana. For more information on Laird’s Landing visit www.cityofrensselaerin.com. Keep an eye out on our website for updates on the new St. Joseph’s College access site!