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View of Raccoon River from Whiterock Conservancy. Photo: Penny Perkins.


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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. 

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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.



Kristen Bieret is the naturalist for Carroll County Conservation. Kristen has been an informal educator for over 10 years. She strives to create opportunities for those in her watershed to learn more about the water in their backyards both for recreation and keeping the watershed healthy.



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. Although 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.



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.



Columnist and photographer

Ray Harden, an educator by training and experience, and a writer and photographer of the birds, wildlife and natural resources in our Raccoon River Watershed. 


Ray taught in the Perry Schools, and then Environmental Science at DMACC in Boone, and William Penn University in WDM after retiring from Perry. His outdoors/nature columns in the Perry Chief newspaper were always interesting and enjoyed great readership. We enjoy his observations and articles - and photos - of the Raccoon River Watershed! 


Ray says: "I have always been interested in nature and outdoor activities.  After I retired I took up birding in a big way.   Margaret put down her garden trowel and joined me in this hobby. We  both enjoy birding and photography.  We have been fortunate to travel to many places around the world and the United States looking for interesting birds."



Elise is a native Midwesterner whose affinity for all aspects of nature evolved in part from endless days spent on her grandfather's Vernon County farm in the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin.  Elise completed her MSc in Global Health at Queen Mary, University of London, and remains to be a committed champion for human and planetary health. Following the statement of Ban Ki-moon, the eighth UN Secretary-General, "Global is local, and local is global"; by protecting and preserving our local natural environments, we enrich life for human and non-human animals here-- and also for our endlessly biodiverse planet. 




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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.

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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.

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Karen is a lifelong resident of Polk County, Iowa. She has been involved in environmental citizen advocacy for the past twenty years, most recently working with Tree Keepers to help plant and maintain trees in Polk County.   Her goal is a healthy environment for generations to come. 

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A Greene County Native, Tanner earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry from ISU. He
served as the Conservation Manager of Boone County for several years prior to taking
on the role of Greene County Conservation Director. In his role, Tanner is passionate
about updating and improving county parks and natural resource restoration. Tanner is also participating in the RRWA “Save Squirrel Hollow” water testing using the Izaak Walton League Save Our Streams protocols in Greene County. 



For all of his life, Zach has been connected to the Raccoon River Watershed—he grew up playing sports in the Raccoon River Conference in Winterset, works for the Dallas County Conservation Board, and lives in Urbandale. He is currently a naturalist and natural resource manager for the Dallas County Conservation Board, and he was previously the Midwest Save Our Streams Coordinator for the Izaak Walton League of America. He is passionate about connecting others to the outdoors and creating passionate outdoor leaders through place-based education. 




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