View of Raccoon River from Whiterock Conservancy. Photo: Penny Perkins.
Christine Curry is a passionate advocate for animals, nature, people, art, and the environment. Christine is a committed project and product developer and a creative problem solver. Christine’s contributions include establishing internationally recognized marine and sustainable ag programs and organizations. She is currently working with others to build viable networks and coordinate strong partnerships in Iowa and beyond to achieve clean water, healthy soil, and food.
Craig Fleishman is a 5th generation farmer who farms 150 acres west of Minburn. He has reduced inputs by using cover crops, ridge till and non GMO beans. He has some prairie restoration and prairie potholes on his century farm.
Chris Henning is a landowner and crop-share farmer in Greene County just east of Squirrel Hollow park on the Raccoon. Since the ‘93 Floods in the Watershed, Chris and her farmer/operator have transformed her farms into examples of sustainability - incorporating prairie wetlands and stream buffers with crop rotations, cover crops and minimum tillage to protect the water and build soil. Chris is 2020 RRWA Chair, an active member of Women, Food and Ag Network, and a Cover Crop Champion for the National Wildlife Federation.
Penny Perkins, restoration ecologist. Penny’s interests include spreading native plants and improving their habitat wherever she has the opportunity. She and her husband bought their kayaks right after they got married and expanded the fleet as their family grew. Penny says: “Clean water and healthy ecosystems are the most important gift we could pass on to our children. Joining the RRWA team gives me hope of moving in that direction for the state of Iowa.”
As a boy growing up in Indiana and Michigan, Bob spent countless days on Lake May in northern lower Michigan, learning about frogs and toads - swimming and fishing. Altho trained as a science/math teacher, nature grabbed him to work - 22 years as Springbrook Education Center administrator, and in his retirement travel to 50 states and 38 countries abroad with friends, his camera at hand, documenting cultures, birds, animals and activities. In his spare time during 2020, Bob logged 14,000 miles on his BMW RT motorcycle and added to thousands of photos in his collections.
Mike Delaney was one of the eight founders of the North Raccoon River Watershed Association along with: Pete Harris, Mary Hays, Jim Riggs, Doug Steele, Jim Thomas, Gary Tichener, and Larry Wilson in March of 2005 in the Dallas Center Library. The name was changed to Raccoon River Watershed Association after a meeting with the Middle Raccoon River group. Mike came to Iowa to teach sociology at DMACC after serving in the Peace Corps and graduate work. He noticed degradation of the North Raccoon River as it ran through his farm in Dallas County. He joined with neighbors and friends to form the RRWA. He served the RRWA as president, board member, and lobbyist. He currently edits the RRWA newsletter and Facebook Page. He enjoys his off-grid cabin in a restored woodland overlooking 20 acres of prairie and the Raccoon River.
Robin Fortney has a BS degree in Biology and worked for MidAmerican Energy for 36 years, primarily as a senior environmental analyst. She helped found Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge & Prairie Learning Center in 1993; Central Iowa Paddlers in 1997; As a founding board member of Iowa Rivers Revival, Robin initiated IRR’s Master River Steward program and IRR’s River Rascal program to connect kids and rivers. She explores and photographs public lands in the Raccoon River watershed and across Iowa.
Michael Murphy, Treasurer. My upbringing in western Iowa instilled in me a deep respect for nature and a great love of outdoor activities such as gardening, camping, fishing and paddling. I went to college and law school in Iowa City and worked my subsequent career as a government attorney in Des Moines, primarily with the IDNR in the environmental protection programs. In my retirement for 15+ years I have stayed active in water quality issues, which led me to the RRWA.
Elizabeth Partridge Blessington has a B.A. in Sociology. After working in the human services
field for several years she joined the family transportation company, MoveIt in Breda, IA. A
resident of Sac County, she enjoys birding and exploring along the Raccoon River and other
wild areas. She and her husband recently placed 120 acres of farmland into a prairie pollinator
program. A member of the RRWA since 2008, she is also on the Sac County Conservation