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Volume 1, Issue 3 | November/December/January 2011-12


Connecting people to the river

WINTER WALK AT NAHANT MARSH Explore the many wonders of winter — p.6

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: :: QC Wild Places :: Venture Outdoors this Winter! :: Winter Activities Calendar :: Riverfront Art Abounds :: Go Green Guide

Working to be a

“GReen� Health System by... recycling paper, plastics, aluminum and e-waste replacing appliances with more energy efficient models converting to environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and those free of volatile organic compounds refilling ink cartridges and recycling fryer oil, and more saving millions of gallons of water, thousands of trees, and hundreds of cubic yards of landfill space annually for a

better community!

Greenspace p o t f o o R Genesis


Just Do It Already!

I November/December/January 2011-12 Volume 1 Issue 3 _______

KATHY WINE, Publisher / Executive Director BETH CLARK, Managing Editor BECKY LANGDON, Copy Editor JEFF VanECHAUTE, pi design, inc., Design MICHELLE O’HARA, Calendar Editor Contributing Writers EVAN CLARK JEFF CORNELIUS, River Action Staff MIK HOLGERSSON, River Action Staff BECKY LANGDON CURTIS ROSEMAN BRIAN RITTER, Nahant Marsh Naturalist JULIE SEIER Contributing Photographers BETH CLARK, Eddy Magazine Editor JEFF CORNELIUS, River Action Staff MIK HOLGERSSON, River Action Staff JULIE MALAKE JEFF VanECHAUTE ©Eddy Magazine and River Action, Inc., all rights reserved, 2011-12. Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, without express, written permission, is prohibited. The views expressed herein, whether expressed as fact, fiction, opinion, advice or otherwise are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of this magazine. This magazine is sold with the understanding that neither it, nor River Action, Inc., its owners or managers, are engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, medical, technical, or any other advice, professional or otherwise. The publication of any advertisement does not reflect the endorsement of any products or services by the ownership or management of this magazine unless it is specifically stated in such advertisement and there is written approval for such endorsement. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material to Eddy Magazine for consideration should not send originals. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other submitted materials must be accompanied by a self addressed, postage paid envelope in return of materials is requested. Return of materials is not guaranteed. Eddy Magazine is published quarterly by River Action, Inc., 822 E. River Drive, Davenport, IA 52803 and is direct mailed to approximately 5,000 area homes and businesses. Eddy Magazine Published by River Action, Inc. 822 E. River Drive, Davenport, IA 52803 563-322-2969 To Advertise: Contact Beth Clark 309-269-3455. For rates, ad dimensions and deadline information email To Subscribe or become a member of River Action: call 563-322-2969 or visit

COVER: Cardinal at Nahant Marsh. Photo by: Julie Malake

’ve been thinking about what it takes to be a catalyst—a force that significantly speeds action. River Action has tried to be that over the years. It is in our name; we agreed to act, not react. We promised to try continuously to be a stimulus to bring about something good. In catalytic change, sometimes money is the catalyst. I’ve heard Chad Pregracke speak many times of the force that started Living Lands and Waters. It was Alcoa’s Tim Wilkinson who first endorsed Chad’s plan, gave the first donation, Kathy Wine jumpstarted the fundraising, and started something big. His beginning in 1997 has led to the nationwide clean water initiative it is today. Wow. Sometimes it is imagination. Mike Coffey, biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service, acted as the catalyst for bringing about the Superfund Cleanup at Nahant Marsh. He imagined how a visionary attorney he knew at EPA Region 7, Kansas City, if brought together with the Nahant Marsh Master Plan Committee, might make something happen. It resulted in a $2 million grant to clean up lead shot and marked the beginning of the restoration and Nahant Marsh Education Center. By 2000, the marsh was cleaned up, and the center started holding classes. INSIDE THIS ISSUE Sometimes a strategy for change already 4 River Action Updates exists, but it takes a catalyst to speed it up, – YOUTH SUMMIT: Quad City area youth one willing to take a risk, make the first turns out for the Youth Summit at move. The idea of linking the American UMRC 2011. — by Kathy Wine Discovery Trail and Mississippi River Trail – QC WILD PLACES: Now launching over Arsenal Island was discussed for years, — by Mik Holgersson but it didn’t move forward until a design – WINTER WALK at Nahant Marsh: launched by River Action was in place. Winter at Nahant Marsh is BreathGary Vallem, Bi-State Regional Planning’s taking! — by Brian Ritter Executive Director at the time, remarked that it was the move to design it at the 8 Venture Outdoors This Winter very start that made it happened. Join in the great outdoors this winter—hiking and ice fishing! We are blessed by forward thinkers, — by Evan Clark sometimes at the individual level, sometimes the organizational level. An example of the 10 History Column latter was the Centennial Bridge lighting Quad Cities greatest bridge builder. committee that wanted to raise funds for — by Curtis Roseman decorative lamps. They put boxes on the 12 Hands On Learning! bridge at the toll booths to collect change. How area colleges learn about the The clink of change became a loud clang environment in a “hands on” manner. to the committee; the $25,000 collected that — by Julie Seier way meant thousands wanted the project. 15 Go Green Guide – Winter It sparked the full, fundraising campaign Energy Savings that led to $300,000 and the 1988 lighting. Ideas on saving energy this winter. Finally, as in a chemical catalytic reaction, — by Becky Langdon the unique aspect of any result is the 18 Riverfront Art persistence of the catalyst. In 1995, rather Three notable riverfront art pieces – than spending money to study the market, engaging the public with the river. the Channel Cat Water Taxi was built and — by Evan Clark operated by River Action. While MetroLink administers the rapidly expanding service 20 Eddy Calendar: November–January today, it was the first boat skimming across Ideas on how to spend your time this winter! the water that was the catalyst. River Action, too, remains after each project and endeavor ready to do it all again. Our Mission: I like the challenge that it requires: River Action strives to foster the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the Mississippi “Just do it already!” “Just build it!” River and its riverfront in the Quad City region.

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



Student Leaders Convene at Youth Summit By Kathy Wine Photos by Beth Clark


n September 21, high school and college students from the Quad Cities gathered at the Isle of Capri Convention Center as a part of the Upper Mississippi River Conference. The fourhour summit, planned by River Action’s Youth Advisory Board, gave the students an opportunity to meet peers who are as committed to environmental action as they are and to learn about how people elsewhere on the river are responding to environmental challenges. The summit brought in speakers on a variety of issues affecting the Mississippi and our environment: invasive species, creating urban habitats, threatened wildlife, human impacts on the river, best practices by corporations, and things individuals can do to improve water quality. The keynote speaker was Brian Soenen, director of Project AWARE, Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Project AWARE is a volunteer program focused on cleaning up watersheds from the seat of a canoe. Because the programming was designed to inspire young people to take action, one of the features was a plenary session with college student, Ryan Wolber, Illinois State University, who is involved in a sustainability program there. He has started several successful programs and

challenged attendees to start their own initiatives and encourage other students to live deliberately and live green. Conference committee member and sponsor Jon Duyvejonck, US Fish and Wildlife Service, was especially pleased with the turnout of 144 students. Joined by Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, and Augustana College in support of the meeting, he offered future help. Duyvejonck says, “The summit was very worthwhile. It gave biologists and the universities who sponsored the summit a new opportunity to teach. We can provide technical assistance and information to teachers for field projects.

Western Illinois University was onsite to discuss their Geographic Information Systems program.

Brian Soenen kicked off the Youth Summit with a talk titled “Cleanup Culture,” through which he familiarized students with watersheds and advocated environmental stewardship.

As an agency, we are willing to help students start some initiatives they can do at their level and still contribute to the community.” To further inspire, organizers encouraged participants to post on River Action’s website small steps they take to help the environment. They can exchange ideas about their newest initiatives and solutions. Additionally, students were encouraged to come back in one year to report progress and share their environmental action stories at the Second Annual Youth Summit in 2012. During a break, the students enjoyed a catfish fry on the lawn sponsored by Alter Barge Company.

Student research posters were on display showcasing projects in biology and geography.


Eddy Magazine



QC Wild Places: Hiding in Plain Site By Mik Holgersson


ccording to The Center for City Park Excellence, the typical park within America’s 50 largest cities is five acres in size. Like the fateful palm stand in a sprawling desert, these green oases offer precious opportunities for rest and recreation within our modern, urban world. And while we prize our parks for many reasons, we aren’t the only ones who flock to these “all-man’s-lands.” Parks are often the only remnant refuges for displaced native wildlife in an otherwise developed landscape, and while all parks are not created equal, their collective role in broader nature conservation efforts is resoundingly important. The Quad Cities is home to many parks rich in nature. On a larger scale, this Midwestern metropolis is centrally located within an hour’s drive of dozens of municipal, county, and state parks, wildlife areas, and preserves. Together, these publicly accessible lands protect over 17,000 acres of contrasting habitat types that are home to an exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. This robust collection of nature is not by chance. In fact, it is a product of the very thing that has always been recognized as the shared resource tying the Quad Cities’ communities together: the Mississippi River. The Mississippi and its tributaries have carved a dynamic landscape through the Quad Cities region, causing the expansive tallgrass prairie to give way to a multitude of transitioning habitats, from wooded bluffs, to vast floodplain wetlands, to the muddy waters of the river itself, just to name a few. The Mississippi River is also central to the Mississippi Flyway, the longest migration route of birds in the Western Hemisphere. Thus, by no small measure, the Quad Cities abounds in wildlife and wild places. Even so, I’ve observed that this fact largely escapes notice. You might say that these natural resources have been hiding in plain sight. QC Wild Places is about to change all that. In a culture that has largely replaced hiking with strolling the mall, and family picnics with Facebook chats, it’s high time to rekindle the wonder and adventure associated with exploring the wilder side of our region. QC Wild Places is tapping into our Web-centric culture (and yes, will even utilize Facebook) to create, a website that will showcase all of the publicly accessible wild places in the five counties of Muscatine and Scott in Iowa, and Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry in Illinois. Each nature hotspot is within one hour’s driving time of the Quad City metro area and features free admission – an agreeable price point in a slow economy. QC Wild Places is encouraging families in particular to get out and explore nature. An incentive program called the QC Wild Places Explorers is tailored to kids thirteen and under

who visit multiple wild places during the course of a year. A visit to three different wild places, each documented with a photo of the participant near a recognizable site feature, will earn a QC Wild Places ball cap. Additional prizes will be awarded for visiting more sites, and a digital passport is in the works so that kids can keep track of their adventures. While the website and children’s program has kicked off QC Wild Places, the larger vision hopes to fill an even taller order. In partnership with public and private land managers, conservation groups, corporate supporters, tourism bureaus, and community leaders, QC Wild Places will do more than serve as an information resource and outreach program – it will actively promote and support these natural areas, financially and otherwise, in order to better connect people to these resources and cultivate a culture of stewardship. This effort will include assembling a

coalition of experts to develop a comprehensive plan to coordinate conservation efforts that will promote ecological corridor development throughout the five-county region. One need not look further than the exceptionally successful Chicago Wilderness (see ChicagoWilderness. org) to see what can be accomplished when individual conservation efforts are considered in a regional context. Ultimately, whether visitor or Quad Cities native, QC Wild Places wants you to use to discover, or rediscover, the natural roots of the area and surrounding region. Then, just maybe, you’ll consider joining QC Wild Places in its mission to protect these natural resources for future generations. As a friendly word of caution, you might soon discover that the Quad Cities is a bit wilder than you remembered.

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



Explore the Beauty of Winter at Nahant Marsh

By Brian Ritter, Nahant Marsh Naturalist Photos by Julie Malake


arks and natural areas like Nahant Marsh are often popular places to visit in the summer, but come November or December they are virtually deserted. Winter, however, is one of the most beautiful seasons at Nahant Marsh and other parks. Although winter is the season of rest and can be a cruel time of year in the Midwest for many creatures, there is still much life to be observed around the marsh. There is nothing more peaceful than the tranquility of a quiet winter’s day out in nature. With nearly three miles of trails and boardwalks around the Nahant Marsh preserve, a hike around the prairies, woods, and wetlands will certainly provide ample opportunity to experience the wonders of nature in winter. Although the prairies and forest around Nahant Marsh are dormant in the winter, they still provide life for the dozens of animal species that call Nahant home. The seeds and fruits left behind from warmer days provide much needed energy, and the grasses, cattails, and trees provide shelter and warmth. The frozen top layer of the marsh insulates hibernating turtles and frogs as they wait for warmer days. The few areas of water that don’t freeze provide an oasis for the few ducks that decide to brave bitterness of Iowa’s winter.


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The cold north winds push thousands of sturdy bald eagles to our area in the wintertime. The area near Nahant Marsh is prime viewing for eagles in the winter. A drive or walk around the marsh or along the river road, South Concord Street, provides an opportunity to see the eagles in action hunting, loafing in large cottonwood trees, and providing an awesome aerial display. Great blue herons also hang around the area, and often dozens can be seen flying out of their night roosts around Nahant. Other birds frequently observed in wintertime include wrens, kestrels, red-tailed hawks, cardinals, cedar waxwings, chickadees, and redbellied, red-headed, downy, pileated, and hairy woodpeckers. Even an occasional bluebird or robin can be seen if your timing is right. If you are here in early or late winter, you can catch some of the rarer migrating birds such as tundra and trumpeter swans. The winter snows transform Nahant into a desert-like landscape. One of my favorite times to stroll around the marsh is right after a snow. Winds sculpt unusual temporary structures along the trails and prairies. Fresh tracks left in the snow can lead you to an animal’s hiding spot. Deer, coyote, rabbit and mice tracks are common in winter. Evidence of mink, muskrats, otters, and beavers can be found as well. Muskrat and beaver lodges are easiest to find in the winter when the domes of their havens are capped in a bright

white snow. Dozens of muskrat lodges can often be seen scattered through the cattails on the far side of the marsh. A great way to beat the winter blues and shed some holiday pounds is to get out and explore the beauty of natural areas in the “ off season.” If you are interested in learning more about life at Nahant Marsh during the winter, staff at Nahant Marsh will be providing guided winter hikes around the marsh on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, or Wednesday, February 8, 2012, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Cost is $5 for non-members or free for members. If the snow is deep, snowshoes will be available for use. Binoculars will be available that day as well. To register call (563) 3235196 or email


Venture Outdoors This Winter! 8

Eddy Magazine



By Evan Clark


or many Quad Cities residents and Midwesterners alike, winter is the one season of the year where sloth and gluttony are not necessarily sins, but a naturally accepted means of dealing with reality. What do you expect when your street is buried eight inches deep and the negative twenty-seven degrees wind chill makes your breath the only thing visible within a ten-foot perimeter? It’s also hard to look outside and see children innocently running around all bundled up bombarding concisely packed balls of snow at opposing ice forts without thinking, “Do they know they’re going to get pneumonia?” But instead of living off Grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie and watching twentyfour consecutive hours of A Christmas Story this winter, let’s throw procrastination out like some bad fruitcake and relish the outdoor opportunities provided by a Quad Cities winter wonderland. If you’re slowly getting to the point that downhill skiing and sledding offer more spills than thrills, fear not. The Quad Cities offer a wide variety of winter outdoor activities that satisfy your need for nature and spare your backbone and neck vertebrae. Take the Blackhawk Hiking Club for instance. Entering their ninety-first year in existence, the Blackhawk Hiking Club offers weekend hiking trips all winter long on some of the most scenic hiking trails the Quad Cities have to offer. Originally founded in 1920 by conservationist John Hauberg, the Blackhawk Hiking Club is a great opportunity to get some fresh winter air at your own pace. Hiking Club volunteer Peggy Bartels attributes Hauberg’s environmentally friendly philosophy as a key component as to why the club is still around today, and she encourages people of all ages to give it a shot. “Our motto is to ‘take nothing but photos, and leave nothing but footsteps,’” Bartels says. “Our objective is to promote outdoor recreation and encourage nature walks for all ages. Personally, I believe it encourages people to stay physically fit during the winter, meet new friends, and most of all enjoy all the nature around you.” The Blackhawk Hiking Club’s longevity and success is made possible through the number of volunteers involved with the club. Along with a club president and officers, the club consists of nine board members who each plan out three hikes every winter. Planning out a hike consists of scouting out possible locations, learning and knowing the trail well enough, and providing the all-important hot coffee and cocoa after each hike. While hiking offers an alternative activity for those not looking for anything extreme, Bartels recommends coming prepared for whatever the trails may bring. “Hiking boots are key,” Bartels says. “Sometimes hiking sticks are handy. Always bring some water and flashlights if you’re going on our occasional moonlight hikes. We’ve had some hikes that have been a little treacherous with gullies or creeks we have to cross, so it can be a little bit of a challenge sometimes.” The best part of the hiking experience is that each Blackhawk Hiking Club walk is free, and by your third trail experience, you can apply for a membership, which includes printed maps and booklets of all the popular trails in the Midwest, as well as access to summer hiking activities. Bartels encourages anyone to give the Blackhawk Hiking Club a try, especially for those fatigued from too much football. “If your spouse doesn’t like to go outdoors, come out and join us,” Bartels says. “It’s a safe way to go out and hike, meet new friends, and

we have many people whose spouses are home watching football while they’re out on the trail.” If remaining stationary and keeping your bottom warm are two major winter concerns for you, there’s also an outdoor activity for that as well. Ice fishing provides the experience of continuing the great summer pastime without the risk of that one guy who always seems to find a way to tip the canoe over. Kevin Kernan, owner of Princeton Outdoor Activities of Princeton, Iowa, is one of the few people in the Quad Cities area to cater to any ice fishing needs. “It’s big up in Canada,” Kernan says. “So I figured that for people around here that they should at least get out and try it. It’s something fun to do in the winter time basically, but of course when you’re catching fish it’s a lot more exciting.” Kernan’s store, Princeton Outdoor Activities, supplies the necessities for ice fishing including poles, bait, ice augers, scoops, shovels, ice shelters, and more. Kernan suggests having coals and heaters handy to keep yourself warm, but all you essentially need is a pole and a bucket. And even though it’s freezing outside, the fish will still be biting. “It doesn’t really matter that it’s winter time,” Kernan says. “It’s the time of the day that is really more important. Once there’s ice outside, it seems to be the first icing that’s always a good time to fish. And you at least want a good four to six inches of ice before you go out there as well.” For those past the beginner stages of ice fishing looking for a challenge, Kernan offers an annual ice fishing tournament that takes place on the last weekend of January. The entrance fee is forty dollars per team, and while the tournament takes a competitive spirit to win, in the end it’s all in good fun. “It started back when I had my own restaurant and we called it the ‘Fargin and Ice Hole competition’”, Kernan says. “The tournament is now in its ninth year, and we have two main teams that go out and see how many fish they can catch. There’s a banquet afterwards, and we usually give out plaques and food. It’s not really a profit tournament; it’s more about going out and having a good time.” For beginning ice fishers, however, Kernan and company offer training lessons and classes that teach people how to properly ice fish. “If anyone’s unfamiliar with ice fishing, we have training courses available for them,” Kernan says. “We go over what to look for when you go out. I do a lot of one-on-one work with people who see it and want to know more about it.” While winter hiking and ice fishing are two main sources of winter recreational activities, there are many other opportunities to get outside in the cold and be active. There’s cross country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching, ice-skating, and the list goes on and on. So don’t be a Scrooge indoors this winter. Embrace the great outdoors.

“Our motto is to ‘take nothing but photos, and leave nothing but footsteps.”

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



R A L P H M O D J E S K I , Q UA D C I T I E S ’ G R E AT E S T

BRIDGE BUILDER By Curtis C. Roseman


he design of distinctive bridges requires creativity in both engineering and architecture, utility and beauty. For his rare ability to meld these qualities, along with his prolific bridge design and construction resume, one man became recognized as “America’s greatest bridge builder” during the first half of the twentieth century. That title belongs to Ralph Modjeski, who built about forty major bridges, including seven that span the Mississippi River. Among his projects are two of the distinctive and historic bridges in the Quad Cities: the Government Bridge between Davenport and Rock Island and the first span of the Iowa Illinois Memorial Bridge (now the I-74 Bridge), which connects Moline with Bettendorf.

The Government Bridge, completed in 1896, was the first major project taken on by Modjeski. Born in Poland in 1861, he might have become a musician or performer like his mother Helena Modrzejewska, who had starred on stage in Warsaw and nurtured her son’s artistic talents as a piano player. In 1876, mother and son moved with a group of her compatriots to California to establish a farming commune. When the commune failed, Helen resumed her artistic career as Helena Opid in San Francisco, where she starred as an actress. At about the same time, following his engineering instincts, Ralph moved to Paris to attend L’Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, a prominent civil engineering school. After graduating with distinction in 1885, he returned to the United States to serve a seven-year bridge design and construction apprenticeship under George W. Morrison. His apprenticeship involved work on bridges in Omaha on the Missouri River and Memphis on the Mississippi. Soon after opening a private engineering practice in Chicago in 1892, Modjeski began work on the Government Bridge, the fourth in a succession of bridges connecting Rock Island and Davenport. The first of them was the earliest railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi, completed in 1856. Modjeski’s 1896 Government Bridge has a double-deck steel truss superstructure with a double railroad track on the top deck and a road deck below. In general form it bears similarity to the double-deck Keokuk Bridge, which Modjesky reconstructed in 1916. Like the Government Bridge, its superstructure rests on piers from the bridge it replaced. The Keokuk piers are from 1870, and the Government Bridge piers are from 1872. His second major bridge project was a 1905 railroad bridge over the Mississippi at Thebes, Illinois. It is a cantilever structure that made innovative use of reinforced concrete for its approach spans. Another of Modjeski’s early accomplishments was the resurrection of the Quebec Bridge over the St. Lawrence River, which had collapsed during construction in 1907. He teamed with two others to redesign and conTop of the 1935 monument for the Memorial Bridge, located in Bettendorf. C. Roseman photograph.


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struct the massive structure which remains today as the world’s longest cantilever bridge. Some of the other Modjeski Bridges span the Mississippi at St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, the Ohio at Cincinnati, the Missouri at Omaha, and the Illinois at Peoria. The many honors bestowed upon Modjeski include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Illinois (1911), the Ben Franklin Medal from the Franklin Society of Philadelphia (1922), and the John Fritz Medal presented by the American Association of Engineering Societies (1930). Confirming that his art did not leave his engineering, Modjeski received “most beautiful bridge” awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction for three of his projects. Through his career, Modjeski was chief or consulting engineer on bridges of various types, including truss bridges like the Government Bridge, cantilever structures, and stone-faced arch bridges. Nonetheless he became particularly known and honored for his suspension bridges. Two of them had the longest suspension spans up to the time of their completion: the 1926 Delaware River Bridge in Philadelphia (now the Benjamin Franklin Bridge) and the 1929 Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario. Perhaps his most ambitious project was the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which President Franklin Roosevelt called the “largest bridge to be built by man” while turning his shovel at the ground-breaking ceremony. Completed in 1936, it is essentially two bridges separated by Yerba Buena Island in the middle of the bay. On the San Francisco side is a spectacular and unusual four-tower suspension array. Another spectacular suspension bridge, the Golden Gate, was completed just six months after the Bay Bridge and gained much wider recognition. Its builder, Joseph Strauss, was a student of Modjeski. Modjeski’s work in the 1930s was done in conjunction with his firm, Modjeski and Masters. The last bridge he started with the firm was the Iowa Illinois Memorial Bridge, which was completed in November 1935, a year before the Bay

H I S TO R Y 1896 plaque on the Government Bridge. C. Roseman photograph.

Bridge was completed. The design of the original single suspension span of the Memorial Bridge echoes the forms of earlier Modjeski suspension bridges that span the Delaware, Hudson, and Ohio Rivers, and the San Francisco Bay. On November 18, 1935, the governors of Iowa and Illinois, Clyde Herring and Henry Horner, met over the middle of the Mississippi River to dedicate the Memorial Bridge. It was principally funded by depression-era federal government funds and operated by the Davenport Bridge Commission (even though it connected Moline with Bettendorf). A second, nearly identical span was constructed in 1960 and the crossing became a part of the Interstate Highway system in the early 1970s. The original was built as a memorial to the men and women who served in The World War (World War I), but that name was cast aside when it became the I-74 Bridge. The original Memorial Bridge was not just a local bridge, but part of a national highway system that evolved through the 1920s and 1930s. Whereas the 1856 railroad bridge at Rock Island was a major first step in the direction of a transcontinental railroad, the 1935 Memorial Bridge became an important link on the longest transcontinental highway, U. S. Route 6. Over a several year period in the late 1930s, Highway 6 was rerouted through the Quad Cities. Its previous local path, coming from the East, took it through Silvis, East Moline, and Moline and into Rock Island where it crossed the Government Bridge into downtown Davenport. After the Memorial Bridge opened in 1935, Route 6 bypassed Rock Island and downtown Davenport. Two new four-lane highways were constructed: Kimberly Road as a bypass around Davenport and 19th Street from downtown Moline to the Quad City Airport. A new bridge was constructed over the Rock River, and a new two-lane Route 6 headed east from the airport bypassing East Moline and Silvis. Ralph Modjeski built the Government Bridge as his first project, and with his firm, he took on the Memorial Bridge as the last project he started. Today, some seventy years after his death, two historic Quad City bridges represent bookends that frame the distinguished career of “America’s greatest bridge builder.”

I-74 twin suspension Bridge. Sketch by Mary C. Costello.

This late 1930s postcard shows the Bettendorf approach to the Memorial Bridge. At the right is the 1935 monument, which was moved to the east of the bridge in 1960 to make room for the second span.

Davenport artist and author Mary C. Costello sketched the Government Bridge for her book, Climbing the Mississippi River Bridge by Bridge: Volume One, from Louisiana to Minnesota. The book is available from the author: November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



Nahant Marsh Provides Hands-on Experience for College Students

By Julie Seier


Eddy Magazine



hile the last forty years have seen an increasing focus on environmental conservation and ecology, we still don’t have a full understanding of how much human activity impacts the natural world. What is certain is that water and soil conservation are critical to maintaining our way of life. This puts a premium on the management of environmental resources in creating a healthy, prosperous future. In response to this need, many Quad Cities universities and colleges are offering environmental studies programs and making use of an educational resource right in their own backyard: Nahant Marsh. Through hands-on learning opportunities, local college students work with their professors and Nahant Marsh naturalist, Brian Ritter, on a variety of issues impacting the ecology of the marsh. They are able to experience first-hand the pressures affecting a marsh ecosystem, such as erratic seasonal water levels, which reflect the dramatic changes in the amount of precipitation the region receives, decreases in the diversity of both plant and animal species, and decreases in “buffer zones.” Students also help develop and produce educational programming for the Nahant Marsh Educational Center. These opportunities are available through programs at Western Illinois University and the Eastern Iowa Community College district, Augustana College, and St. Ambrose University. Programs range from certification to advanced degrees and reflect the growing demand for green-collar jobs. “Green jobs” are available in sectors ranging from business to law to government. Our local schools and universities are doing their best to produce enough bright, educated graduates to fulfill that need, and partnerships with Nahant Marsh are helping educators achieve that goal. Restoration of the marsh began in 1998 with the removal of an estimated 243 tons of lead shot. Renewal and development of the Nahant as a resource for study and appreciation has continued over the past twenty years. The Nahant provides an invaluable natural resource for us in terms of flood storage and flood transmission, sediment filtration and protection, a natural filter for pollution as well as a habitat for various types of animal and wildlife species. For students pursuing environmental studies, the Nahant offers a means to document how, why, and in what way the fluctuations in environment impact the vegetation and wildlife in a marsh. The studies leave them invaluably prepared for careers in natural resource management and outdoor recreation. For instance, Ritter and others studying the ecology of the Nahant believe that the increase in the amount of flooding and the timing of the flooding is

having a profound impact on the animal and plant species in the area. The floods of 2008, for example, wiped out some native plant species entirely from the marsh. Other naturalists, such as River Action’s Mik Holgersson, are focused on the impact of changes to the marsh ecology on particular types of animal life such as the turtle. Continued research and development are needed to better understand the ecology of the area and its impact on the river and other local waterways. Believed to be the largest urban wetland on the upper Mississippi River, the Nahant Marsh is a haven of biodiversity and supports 130 different species of birds, 370 different species of plants, and various species of mammals, fish, and amphibians. Listed below are brief descriptions of some of the environmental studies offered in our region and how they work with the Nahant Marsh. The natural resources management track available through the Eastern Iowa Community College District and Western Illinois UniversityQuad Cities offers students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree in Conservation Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration with a minor in Environmental Studies. Students in the program gain an indepth knowledge of natural resources management strategies needed to benefit the environment and outdoor enthusiasts. The program includes classroom instruction, labs, fieldwork, and internship experiences. Students take classes at the WIU campus in Moline and at the Nahant Marsh Education Center in Davenport. Completion of the program requires a minimum of thirty-three semester hours in the professional core courses. Coursework includes studies in leisure services, administration, and facility management. In addition, students must complete a minimum of ten electives in either leisure services administration or therapeutic recreation. Students are also required to meet WIU’s general education requirements and, if applicable, the requirements for a minor in leisure studies administration or the directed electives for therapeutic recreation. Students study composition, general biology, environmental studies, ecology, wildlife management, natural resource management, geology, chemistry, public speaking, statistics and other coursework in the natural resource management track plus their general education courses. Augustana University has been a local leader in environmental studies, having offered coursework in this area for the past several decades. Augustana offers students the opportunity to pursue either a major or a minor in the discipline and emphasizes the links between environmental and social sciences. Students who pursue the environmental studies major can line up their


studies to incorporate related areas of study such as biology, geography, or political science and humanities either as minor areas of specialization or as a dual major. Instructors in Augustana’s environmental studies program include faculty from departments ranging from English, geography, biology, political science, chemistry, and religion. In addition, for those students wishing to pursue advanced degrees in the discipline, Augustana has established cooperative programs with Duke University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which allow students to complete master’s programs in either environmental management/forestry or landscape architecture respectively. Students round out their studies with internship and fieldwork experience that can earn them up to eight hours of academic credit. Augustana works with a variety of local agencies and organizations including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, River Action Inc., and the Nahant Marsh Education Center to provide students with a broad base of experiences and opportunities. Although not as active in the Nahant Marsh redevelopment and protection, St. Ambrose offers its students the opportunity to pursue an Environmental Studies Interdisciplinary minor. Headed by Father Robert “Bud” Grant, Professor of Theology at the University, the program is a nineteen-hour credit program and offers courses in environmental science, environmental ethics, environmental writing, environmental economics, and a capstone course. A student in the program gains a solid foundation of knowledge in biology, ethics, and economics, but the program also encourages students to explore alternative courses and helps build a foundation of support for environmental studies throughout the university system. Students in related departments, such as biology, use the marsh and the Education Center as a means of gaining firsthand exposure to the methods used for scientific research and data collection. Students in any of these programs can expect professional mentorship and advice on the career options available. Opportunities for students to gain additional skills, learning, and preparation are greatly enhanced by partnership programs with Nahant Marsh. Those interested in learning more information about the programs available can visit the appropriate college at,, www.augustana. edu, or Those seeking to learn more about the Nahant Marsh and its unique ecological environment can visit or visit the Nahant Marsh Educational Center in person. The Center is located at 4220 S. Wapello Ave in Davenport.

The Nahant provides an invaluable natural resource for us in terms of flood storage and flood transmission, sediment filtration and protection, providing a natural filter for pollution as well as providing a habitat for various types of animal and wildlife species.

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



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Go Green Guide Saving energy this winter

By Becky Langdon

When it comes to issues like air pollution and energy consumption, many people like to point fingers at our gas-guzzling automobiles as the root of the problem. Our cars aren’t the only way we contribute harmful toxins to the environment, however. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the typical American household spends about $1,900 a year on energy bills and emits twice the amount of greenhouse gases as the average car. The good news is that not only are there easy ways you can make your house more energy-efficient this winter — you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in doing so. Local energy suppliers, heating contractors, and builders have several tips that can help you go green this winter and save money. > > >

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



One of the simplest ways to get started is by making sure you’re not wasting the heat your furnace is generating. Rick Leuthauser, Manager of Energy Efficiency with MidAmerican Energy, advises installing calking, weather-stripping, and window wrap kits. An easy way to see if your windows are leaking is by running your hands around the trim to check for cold air coming into the house. “It’s a major investment to replace windows,” says Leuthauser. “A window-wrap kit is an inexpensive way to avoid having to replace a window.” Kits are available at most home improvement stores and consist of large sheets of plastic wrap and double-sided tape to affix the wrap to the window. Trim the excess plastic, seal it with a hair dryer, and you can stop the cold air from coming into the house without spending a fortune. Once applied, the plastic wrap is hardly noticeable. Equally important as keeping the cold air out is keeping the warm air inside. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans suck the indoor heated air out of the house. To avoid wasting heat, run your exhaust fans for only ten to fifteen minutes at a time, Leuthauser recommends. Similarly, fireplaces also create a current that sucks heat out of the house. Use them to create a cozy ambience in the winter, but avoid


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running them all day. When possible, take advantage of sunlight as a natural source of heat. Leuthauser advises keeping shades and draperies open on south facing windows during the day to let the sunlight heat the house. Close them in the evenings to provide added insulation against heat loss. If your house is already airtight, you’ll still want to make sure your furnace is running at optimal condition to avoid wasting energy. Steve Mueller, General Manager of Bettendorf Heating and Air Conditioning, says the simplest thing you can do is keep your filter clean. “When the filter is dirty, it makes your furnace work harder, so it’s less efficient,” he says. Replace your filters regularly to maximize efficiency. Then, before the heating season arrives, have your furnace cleaned and checked to make sure it is operating correctly. If your furnace is turning on and off at the wrong times or not running as efficiently as designed, you may be burning more gas without getting the maximum output. If you haven’t had your furnace checked in the last year or two, Mueller advises calling a heating contractor for safety reasons as well.

When it comes to running your furnace, a programmable thermostat is another way to reduce energy consumption. Set it to lower the temperature automatically when you’re asleep or away from home. Each degree lower will reduce energy consumption roughly by four percent. Consider keeping your thermostat set at sixty-eight degrees in the winter when you’re home to save on energy and your utility bills. If your heating and cooling equipment is more than fifteen years old, you may be due for a replacement. Today there are more efficient options than there were just fifteen years ago. Mueller says you could improve your efficiency by as much as thirty or forty percent just by upgrading to a newer, standard highefficiency system. Besides the environmental impacts, an improvement of that magnitude can save you significant money on your utility bills each month. If you’re currently averaging $150 per month in heating and cooling costs, you could save $600 a year. Another cost-saving option is an air-toair heat pump, which simply put, runs your air conditioning unit in reverse and uses electricity to heat your house rather than gas. Depending on the source of electricity, this method can


“The most price effective thing you can do is to make your house airtight...” be environmentally superior to running your furnace. For the homeowner it is an economical option because electricity rates are cheaper in the winter, Mueller says. Because air-to-air heat pumps are only efficient down to freezing temperatures, you’ll still need a back-up furnace for those bitterly cold January days. For those preparing to replace their heating equipment, you can also consider a ground source heat pump for a greener option. These systems move the natural ground heat, which is a constant fifty-five to sixty-five degrees, into your house. In the summertime, these systems can provide cooling as well, because the ground temperature is cooler than the air above ground. Mueller says that most people upgrade their heating and cooling equipment at the same time because there are combinations that allow for maximum efficiency. If you don’t know how old your system is, get the model and serial number off of the equipment and call a heating contractor, who can tell you when it was manufactured. Most equipment is installed the year of manufacturing. For all other equipment you replace in your home, such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers, choose models that have the Energy Star label when possible. These will often have a yellow sticker that shows the annual cost of operating them. While they may cost more up front, they’ll pay for themselves in energy savings. Additionally, MidAmerican Energy offers customers rebates for qualifying heating, cooling, and water heating equipment and appliances. The amount of the rebate depends on the

efficiency rating, but for a new furnace you can receive as much as $400, as much as $300 for a water heater, or $100 for other appliances. If you’re not sure how energy efficient your home and equipment are, MidAmerican Energy will also provide a free energy home audit for customers’ homes built before December 31, 2000. The specialist will provide a report of your home’s insulation, heating and cooling efficiency, water heating equipment, and the condition of your windows. You may be able to take advantage of free improvements as well, including up to six energy-efficient light bulbs, two energy-saving showerheads, a water heater insulation blanket, up to two energy-saving faucet aerators, and six feet of water pipe insulation. All these tips are great recommendations for those in existing homes, but what you’re building new or expanding your house? JJ Condon, a Green Certified Builder with Applestone Homes in Bettendorf, has some advice. “The most price effective thing you can do is to make your house airtight,” he says. “We focus on the envelope of the home – everything that makes up the exterior structure. You can have the fanciest furnace in the world, but if you have a draft, you’re not getting your money’s worth for the furnace.” Condon says that previous generations of builders would caution buyers not to make their houses too airtight because houses need fresh air. Condon explains that we do need fresh air in our homes, but it’s better to build the home to bring in fresh air in a controlled manner, rather than rely on a drafty window.

For a new house, a third-party verifier will come in and look at the house before drywall is installed to assess whether it is effectively insulated. When building is complete, the verifier will then pressurize the home to see how much air can be sucked in or blown out. You can have that same verifier come into an existing home and conduct an audit with a thermal camera to find places that are leaking air. Even in an existing house you can make some improvements by adding insulation and caulk. As winter approaches and we look to save energy, one final area to remember is the holiday season. The EPA recommends when giving electronics, power tools, computers, and appliances as gifts to choose products with the Energy Star label. Besides saving money on energy bills, replacing old items with energyefficient models can save over twenty-five billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s newer Energy Star qualified TVs, for instance, use up to thirty percent less energy than older models. Don’t forget about all those sparkling lights on your Christmas tree, either. With LED technology Energy Star light strings use about seventyfive percent less electricity than conventional, incandescent light strings. Because they emit less heat, they’re safer as well. Going green this winter doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Start by choosing one or two things on the list to do first, and go from there. Simply doing something, rather than nothing, can have a big impact on the environment – and also your pocketbook.

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



By Evan Clark

RIVERFRONT ART Project: The Gathering Point Location: Arsenal Island, Rock Island, IL Artist: Kunhild Blacklock


any artists prefer sticking to their own vision and never needing a second opinion. After all, they’re the artists right? ...the overall theme of the It’s plausible to believe that no one gave Van Gogh a second opinion on “Starry Night” or told him he should probably smile more in his project is one of being self portraits. For artist Kunhild Blacklock, however, collaboration was the key component to her completion of “The Gathering Point”, a stopping point along reborn, especially through the Mississippi on Arsenal Island consisting of wildlife and Native American steel cut-outs. Blacklock took inspiration for the project from a small crowd that was invited to provide ideas preservation of the people for the potential artwork. and wildlife that have “We were able to invite the public to the future location, and anybody who wanted to get some input on the project was more than welcome to,” Blacklock said. “We listened inhabited the area for to what everyone thought about the place, and we wrote down whatever words and ideas came out. Then it was decided that we should honor the Indian heritage there, as well as the centuries. natural life in the area.” While the public can be thanked for the initial ideas, there was someone specific who was sought out by Blacklock to give the artwork a feeling of authenticity. A local Shaman Indian helped Blacklock out through the drawing process of the project. “He had a lot of input in the project and provided drawings of himself that were included in the final project,” Blacklock said. “All the different animals and wildlife, that was part of his symbolism, and I tried to incorporate all the animals he suggested. He and I both worked on drawings and we combined them. It was a total collaboration.” After all the final drawings were completed, steel was collected and the drawings were then cut out through laser splicing. The project was completed in 1998, and overall took a little less than a year to finish. Blacklock concludes that the overall theme of the project is one of being reborn, especially through preservation of the people and wildlife that have inhabited the area for centuries. “I liked the idea that the public was involved to begin with in the development of the idea and that they had input with what that was important to them,” Blacklock said. “I feel the Mississippi River is amazing, and a lot of people who live by there seem to ignore it a little bit. So really, my main concern was keeping that history of the Indians and wildlife alive because that’s all meaningful to me, and I hope it’s meaningful to people who live here.”


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Project: The Navigation Steps of the Mississippi River Lock and Dam Elevations Location: Leach Park, Bettendorf, IA Artist: Matthew Kargol, Central, SC


lthough wildlife and heritage remain plentiful along the Mighty Mississippi, it’s also fair to say that the river sure does hold a decent amount of water. As a tribute to how deep and tall the river gets, Matthew Kargol designed “The Navigation Steps” alongside the Mississippi at Leach Park in Bettendorf. The Steps are designed to show how tall each lock and dam elevation along the Mississippi gets through a series of steel flag posts representing each individual lock and dam from the Quad Cities area to Minneapolis. Kargol conceived this idea from the get-go and never lost sight of what he was trying to replicate. “It turned out pretty much exactly the way I planned,” Kargol said. “Nothing was changed to it, which is pretty much the way public art goes. That’s the whole point of having a proposal, to show them exactly what you’re going to do, because once you start you can’t really change it too much.” The Steps were welded out of stainless steel, which meant Kargol had to have a structural engineer by his side throughout completion to look it over and provide the concrete on the ground to counter balance the steps. While “The Navigation Steps” serve as a memorial to every lock and dam from one through fifteen, Kargol

ust off the bike path at Sunset Park in Rock Island overlooking the Mississippi River, Davenport native Jim Turner designed what has been titled the “Mississippi Tree of Life”, a rest area for bikers that features a winding walkway river branching off into four distinct aluminum panels depicting the different aspects of nature in the Quad Cities. Each panel represents its own individual form of nature with laser artwork cutouts of plants, fish, birds, and outdoor wildlife. Turner explained his ambition to design the piece simply as a lasting memorial to remind people of all the other forms of life with whom we share our great river. “I wanted something that would be a permanent reminder to folks,” Turner said. “So much of the public art around here gets vandalized, so I did the art work myself and had the aluminum cut into laser art converted sheets, and it’s held up very well.” After being contacted by the River Action Committee to complete a nature themed sculpture alongside the Mississippi at Sunset Park, Turner wanted something that was not only appealing but useful as well. “This particular project is more of a utilitarian form of artwork,” Turner said. “It’s supposed to be used, so instead of just being something nice to look at, it’s also a rest area for bikers to sit, relax, and enjoy depictions of what’s along the river, then be on their way.” Turner, who has been the co-owner of Expressions Jewelry in Davenport for four years now, worked for two months developing the art project. Designing artwork like the “Mississippi Tree of Life“ is more of a part-time hobby for Turner, who spends more time focusing on his business due to the time constraints that can accompany these long, thought-out art projects. “It took at least six to eight weeks from conception to completion,” Turner said. “I had the help of many people while I did most of the physical work myself. Artistically, to satisfy my need for this style of artwork, I need to evaluate what it takes to get these kinds of projects down to a step-by-step process, which tends to take a little time. But regardless, I’m pleased with how it turned out.”

views it more as a reminder of the importance of public art. “People never get to see where their money is being spent, and that’s not the case with public art,” Kargol said. “Art is a form of economic development. I had to buy the steel and all the other equipment. There’s a lot that goes into making these sculptures and projects that benefit the whole community financially plus they have something to show for it when it’s all done.” Kargol claims that despite the recent economic decline, focus on public art shouldn’t decrease due to any lack of public funding. “Public art is very important because many people don’t go to art museums, so it’s a chance for them to see all this art in their community, and it provides a way of looking at the world that’s unique and insightful,” Kargol said. “My whole life is being an artist, so it’s how I make money and make a living. You have to have a client base to have a business, so it all kind of goes around and spreads evenly throughout the community. So what we’ve seen with the economic slowdown is that public artwork is being cut, which doesn’t just affect artists, but all the local businesses that are on board as well.”

Project: Mississippi Tree of Life Location: Sunset Park, Rock Island, IL Artist: Jim Turner, Davenport, IA

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



November Nahant Art

Continuous, Nahant Marsh Education Center, Davenport Amateur artists are invited to display and sell artwork based on Nahant Marsh at the Nahant Marsh Education Center for up to six months. The goal of this ongoing event is to promote and benefit local artists as well as the marsh preserve. Half the proceeds from each piece will go to the artist and half will benefit Nahant Marsh. In addition to displaying pieces in our Education Center, Nahant will also bring selected pieces to area events, such as Bald Eagle Days and the Earth Week Fair, to display and sell. For more information, visit

Overnight at Peace of Earth

Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5; Rushville, Illinois The cost to participate in the night hike, overnight, and geo-caching the next day is $50/person with a maximum of 13 participants. Please contact Chris Ciasto at (563) 349-1608 or at QC Women’s Outdoor Club if you are interested in participating.

Life Inside a Dead Tree Homeschool Program

Friday, November 18, 2:30-4 p.m., Nahant Marsh Education Center, Davenport Students will learn about what lives in a dead tree and why dead trees are useful in a forest ecosystem. They will also get to go on a nature hike, explore a real dead tree, and see for themselves what lives in a dead tree. From what they learn on their nature hike, they can decorate our fake dead tree. $6 per child per session; $50 per child for all sessions. For more information, call (563) 323-5196 or visit

Quad City Arts Festival of Trees

Friday-Sunday, November 18-27, River Center, Davenport Experience the magic of the most loved holiday tradition in the Quad Cities. Quad City Arts Festival of Trees, entering its twenty-sixth year, is one of the top ten events of its kind in the country with something for everyone. $8 adults; $6 seniors (60+); $3 children (2-10 yrs). Group rates are available. Call 563-324-FEST (3378) for more information.

Nahant Marsh Toddler Tales

Thursday, November 17, 10-11 a.m., Nahant Marsh, Davenport [See sidebar on page 22.]

How to Feed Your Winter Birds

Saturday, November 5, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Singing Bird Center, Black Hawk State Historic Site Naturalist Bob Motz will help you identify birds common to our winter feeders and show the types of foods that attract a variety of winter birds. Binoculars will be provided. The event will be held at Singing Bird Center, accessed by turning north from Blackhawk Rd./ Route 5 onto 15th St. in Rock Island. For more information, visit


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The Lighting on the Commons

Saturday, November 19, 3:30 p.m., John Deere Commons, Moline The Lighting on the John Deere Commons is a free annual community event that kicks off the holiday season. Join your friends and neighbors in downtown Moline for attractions that include Santa & Mrs. Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music featuring the Moline Boys Choir, Community Outreach and Elysian, a children’s craft area, and of course, the famous Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks. Free cookies, cider, and hot cocoa will be available to all guests from 4:30-6 p.m. For more information, go to LightingOnTheCommons. com.

Quad City Symphony: Holiday Pops

Saturday, November 19, 7:30 p.m., i Wireless Center, Moline Come enjoy this holiday program at the i Wireless Center, featuring jazz trumpeter John Faddis. Visit for more information.

Introduction to Kettlebell Training

Saturday, November 19, 8-9:30 a.m., Tarpeins, Bettendorf The cost is just $10/person. Please contact Chris Ciasto at (563) 349-1608 or at QC Women’s Outdoor Club if you are interested in participating.


The Stories of this Land

Monday, November 21, 7 p.m., Watch Tower Lodge, Black Hawk State Historic Site Brian Fox Ellis: Eagle View Group, Sierra Club is partnering with The Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park Foundation for a special performance by Brian, who is a nationally known storyteller. His performances connect our relationship with the human story to the natural world through stories and song. Join us for The Stories of this Land within the majestic surroundings of Watch Tower Lodge. For more information, visit

River Action’s Environmental Book Club

Tuesday, November 22, 7 p.m., River Action office, Davenport Discuss The Big Burn, by Timothy Egan. Open to the public and meets at the River Action office, 822 E. River Drive in Davenport, between Tremont and Federal Streets. For more information, please call (563) 3222969.

Final Friday – Holiday Opening Party & Shopping

Friday, November 25, 6-9 p.m., Bucktown Center for the Arts, Davenport Bucktown Center for the Arts is made up of over one dozen unique shops and studios where you can purchase creative, affordable, unusual, and useable works of art. Visit us at our historic building in Downtown Davenport where you’ll find artists creating everything from their next great piece to workshops for both kids and adults. Visit for more information.

Christmas Craft Show

Friday-Sunday, November 26-28, Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island This annual event is just what Santa ordered! Enjoy shopping hundreds of handcrafted items. Free admission with a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots; $4 general admission; Under 12 free. For more information, visit QCExpoCenter. com.

December Gallery Hop!

young at heart. There will be a wide variety of holiday crafts for children. Crafts and games begin at 1 p.m. followed by holiday music performed by local favorites at 2:30 p.m. The feature performance at 3 p.m. will be the well-known magician, Ben Siedman, who has worked with Chris Angel and who performs regularly in Las Vegas. Sponsored by QC United in partnership with the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center. For costs and more information, visit

Nahant Marsh Toddler Tales

Thursday, December 15, 10-11 a.m., Nahant Marsh, Davenport [See sidebar on page 22.]

Geology Rocks Homeschool Program

Friday, December 16, 2:30-4 p.m., Nahant Marsh Education Center, Davenport Through hands-on activities, students will learn how rocks form, what kinds of rock are found in this area, and how to identify these rocks. $6 per child per session; $50 per child for all sessions. For more information, call (563) 323-5196 or visit

Friday, December 2, 5-9 p.m., Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District MidCoast Fine Arts and The District present Gallery Hop, an arts tour of Downtown Rock Island showcasing local and regional artists in various galleries, restaurants, and hot spots. It’s fun, casual, and it’s where you can find unforgettable items and holiday gift ideas. Jewelry, photography, woodwork, glass, painting, sculpture, and performance art will all be featured. Guests will be able to have dinner and drinks, talk with the artists, and watch live demFriday, December 16, 6-9pm, onstrations. Come spend the Bucktown Center for the Arts, evening with us at Gallery Hop! Davenport Free admission. For more inforVisit or more mation, visit information.

Final Friday – Indoor Christmas Walk & Wine Tasting

Holiday Magic

Sunday, December 11, 1-4 p.m., Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf Holiday Magic is an event for children, families, and all those

November/December/January 2011-12 | Eddy Magazine



Final Friday – Indoor Christmas Walk & Wine Tasting

Friday, December 16, 6-9pm, Bucktown Center for the Arts, Davenport Visit for more information.

Sharks 3D

August 26-January 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre, Davenport Presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau, SHARKS 3D is a breathtaking new 3D film experience offering audiences astonishing, up-close encounters with the lions and tigers of the ocean: the Great White, Hammerhead, Whale Shark, and other shark species. For more information, visit

January Bald Eagle Days

Friday-Sunday, January 6-8, Fri. 4-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Rock Island Fun for the entire family with live demonstrations and seminars, a twenty-foot climbing tower, and over 100 display booths. $5 adults; $1 kids; Under 6 free. For more information, visit

Everything, All at Once, Forever

Tuesdays-Sundays, September 14-January 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Figge Art Museum, Davenport Deeply concerned with the natural environment, Aurora Robson creates art that draws attention to the pervasive presence of environmental pollutants in our waterways. Sponsored by Iowa American Water. Admission is $7 adults, $6 senior citizens/students with ID, $4 children ages 3-12 years, and free for museum members. For more information, call (563) 326-7804.

Nahant Marsh Toddler Tales

Nahant Marsh, Davenport Thursday, November 17, 10-11 a.m., Thursday, December 15, 10-11 a.m., Thursday, January 19, 10-11 a.m., Introduce your toddler to nature with story time here at Nahant Marsh! Bring your kids to listen to nature-based stories, make crafts, and even sing along to wildlife songs. Nature-themed stories will stimulate your child’s imagination as well as allow them to learn about nature, wildlife, and the great outdoors! Each month a new theme will be introduced, and the crafts and activities will center on that theme. Ages: 3-5. $5 for non-members; $2 for Nahant members.

Guided Winter Hikes

Wednesday, January 18, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Nahant Marsh, Davenport A great way to beat the winter blues and shed some holiday pounds is to get out and explore the beauty of natural areas in the “off season.” If you are interested in learning more about life at Nahant Marsh during the winter, staff at Nahant Marsh will be providing guided winter hikes around the marsh. Cost is $5 for non-members or free for members. If the snow is deep, snowshoes will be available to use. Binoculars will be available to use that day as well. To register, call (563) 323-5196 or email

Nahant Marsh Toddler Tales Thursday, January 19, 10-11 a.m., Nahant Marsh, Davenport [See sidebar this page.]

Winter Games and Sports Homeschool Program

Friday, January 20, 2:30-4 p.m., Nahant Marsh Education Center, Davenport Students will go outdoors and participate in outdoor winter sports. This will include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Be sure to dress for cold weather! Visit for more information. $6 per child per session; $50 per child for all sessions.


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River Action’s Environmental Book Club

Tuesday, January 24, 7 p.m. River Action office, Davenport Book TBA. Check after December 15, 2011, for a list of books to be discussed in 2012. Open to the public and meets at the River Action office, 822 E. River Drive in Davenport, between Tremont and Federal Streets.

Eddy Magazine - November 2011  

The magazine of River Action, Inc.. For those who love the Mississippi River, the environment and outdoor recreation.