Tag: 060816

Imagining a Black Hawk County Unified Trail Network

The Black Hawk County metropolitan area has an extensive network of looped recreation trails with numerous trail intersections. The end result is a well-used system that can be confusing for both local and out-of-town users. In short, it is easy to get lost on the trail system.

The Cedar Trails Partnership was recently awarded $20,000 through a grant from Principal Financial Group to add wayfinding signage on the trail network. Trail wayfinding signage will help users find destinations along the trail and enable users to follow the correct path, or to discover new ones.

“Our trail system is wonderful, but if you are unfamiliar with the area, it can be difficult to navigate. Trail wayfinding signage represents the next logical step in ensuring a positive experience for users,” said Bob Manning, President of the Cedar Trails Partnership.

The Cedar Trails Partnership has partnered with the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments (INRCOG) to begin an expedited planning process for these signs. Considerations include locations, destinations, maintenance, and design. The first phase will address the areas of greatest need, with future phases addressing the remaining trail intersections in the metropolitan area.

Staff from INRCOG and the Cedar Trails Partnership will be available to answer questions and discuss the project.

Hot Dog!

 La Porte City Farmers’ Market Kicks Off June 24

Open season for the La Porte City Farmers Market begins on Friday, June 24 with a Grand Opening Kickoff featuring free hot dogs, courtesy of the East Central Iowa Co-op. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The Co-op will also furnish ten $10 gasoline gift certificates for the closest counts in a Guess the Number of Corn Kernels in the Jar Contest. The ten closest guesses to the actual number of kernels in the jar will win a $10 certificate. These special promotions serve as a reminder that the gas pumps operated by the Co-op, located at 106 Cedar Street, are not reserved solely for Co-op members.
On June 24, shoppers at the Farmers’ Market can use free bags supplied by LPC Connect to collect the farm fresh products and other unique items that will be available for purchase.
One change in 2016 for La Porte City’s Farmers’ Market is a new location, as the Market moves to 411 Commercial Street, at the former Castle Interiors parking lot, adjacent to Tootsie’s.
An open invitation is being extended for participating vendors. 2016 marks the second consecutive year no fees will be charged for vendors who wish to sell their wares at the Market. The Farmers’ Market is sponsored by the La Porte City Chamber of Commerce and the City of La Porte City. For additional information, contact Brook Skram at 342-2312 or Barb Bader at 342-3369.

“Stormy Weather” Program to Feature Meteorologist Jeff Kennedy

“Stormy Weather”, a free and informative program featuring meteorologist Jeff Kennedy will be held on Sunday, June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Geneseo United Methodist Church, 3127 – 115th Street, Buckingham.
Discover why severe weather happens, learn about the latest weather apps and devices, and find out how to stay safe when storms strike.
The evening will include light refreshments and door prizes, including a weather radio, first aid kit and more.
For more information, contact the church office at (319) 478-8788 or go to www.geneseoumc.org.

Jefferson County to Use Parasitic Wasps in Battle Against Emerald Ash Borer

  Beneficial insects that will help battle the emerald ash borer (EAB), a highly destructive pest of ash trees, will be released in Jefferson County. Over the next few weeks several thousand stingless, parasitic wasps will be released at Whitham Woods near Fairfield, Iowa. This is the first release of the natural enemies of EAB in Iowa.
When EAB was accidentally introduced into North America from Asia, its natural enemies, unfortunately, did not accompany them. This effort is being made to reunite pest and natural enemies to help suppress EAB populations. Following rigorous testing and research one or more parasitic wasp species, native to Asia, have been released in 23 of the 25 states where EAB has been detected. The parasitoids were produced and supplied by the USDA EAB Parasitoid Rearing Facility in Brighton, Michigan.
“Due to the current situation of EAB in and around Fairfield, biocontrol seems justified at this point in time, said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator.
“The use of biocontrol will not be a ‘silver bullet’ for the problems we face with EAB, but the natural enemies will serve as a long-term management strategy to lessen the impact of EAB.”
The two species of parasitic wasps available by USDA Animal Plant Inspection Service target the larval and egg stages of EAB. Tetrastichus planipennisi female wasps, which are about the size of a grain of rice, lay eggs inside EAB larvae, terminating their development into adult beetles. Oobius agrili female wasps, which are the size of a gnat, lay eggs inside EAB eggs, parasitizing them before given the opportunity to hatch. Both species are harmless to people.
According to the USDA Forest Service, Iowa has an estimated 52 million rural ash trees and approximately 3.1 million more ash trees in urban areas. Additional suitable sites will be approved and utilized for biological control releases.
More information about USDA’s Emerald Ash Borer Biocontrol Program can be online at found at
More information about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, go to www.IowaTreePests.com.

Dennis Huisman Honored for 40 Years of Service as Funeral Director

  Dennis M. Huisman of La Porte City was honored for 40 years of dedication to funeral service during the 136th Annual Iowa Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) Convention held May 17-19, 2016, at the Prairie Meadows Hotel & Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa.
Huisman was one of 18 funeral directors from around the state to receive recognition by peers and colleagues for 40 years of service to Iowa communities.
Huisman grew up in Sheldon and attended the State College of Iowa in Cedar Falls before serving in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force. After being honorably discharged, he attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1974. He served his apprenticeship with Dahlstrom Funeral Home in Des Moines before moving to La Port City. He managed Huisman-Dykeman Chapel in La Porte City, purchased the firm in 1986, and sold it in 2006.


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