Elkader, Iowa Joins Growing List of North American River Towns with a Whitewater Park


June 24, 2013 (Carbondale, Colo.) – The town of Elkader, Iowa, has selected RiverRestoration, the country’s premier river design and engineering firm, to restore and enhance the downtown portion of the Turkey River corridor. The project includes the removal of an obsolete dam and construction of in-river recreational enhancements that will attract outdoor enthusiasts and visitors.

“We have recognized an abundant demand for new recreational opportunities in Elkader,” states Roger Thomas of Elkader’s Economic Development Corporation. “This project will satisfy that demand in a way that beautifies the city and strengthens its economy.”

Elkader, located 16 miles west of the Mississippi in northeastern Iowa, is home to 1,400 residents. In its current state, the downtown portion of the Turkey River is largely unusable for recreation due to a lack of basic access corridors. In addition, large sections of the river banks are partitioned by fences and other barriers. Restoration plans include a whitewater park for kayakers and Stand Up Paddlers, bank and riverfront improvements, as well as canoe and fish passages.

“The restoration and enhancement of the Turkey River represents a distinct opportunity for the community of Elkader to make use of a natural resource in a way that is economically beneficial and ecologically responsible.” states Jason Carey, principal river engineer at RiverRestoration. “We are looking forward to creating a project that will complement the intrinsic charm and appeal of Elkader.”

The restoration of the Turkey River is part of a larger trend that is seeing communities across the nation taking back their blighted urban waterways and turning them into sources of cultural and economic benefit. Similar river projects in Reno, Nev., Ogden, Utah. and Glenwood Springs, Colo., have been successful in catalyzing sustainable economic growth thanks to the recreational opportunities and tourism dollars they attract.

About RiverRestoration

Established in 2004, RiverRestoration is a river design and engineering firm working to revitalize waterways across North America. With a track record that includes management of over 70 major projects, RiverRestoration provides the creative planning, engineering and technical support required in any successful river project. Our core competencies include natural channel design, wetlands restoration, river stability analysis, floodplain determination, reservoir capacity analysis, dam removal design, erosion control, diversion structure design, aquatic habitat design and whitewater park design. We employ a collaborative approach that balances the functional needs of water users, recreation and the environment for long-term, sustainable solutions. Our applied philosophy is that healthy rivers can exist as an integral part of our human environment. For more on RiverRestoration and its full offering of services, please visit www.riverrestoration.org.