Conservation On Parade
How do you promote a League chapter in “America’s Hometown”? Make a few fireworks of your own at the annual Fourth of July parade.
The Izaak Walton League’s Floyd County Chapter is located in Charles City, Iowa — nicknamed “America’s Hometown” — where the annual Fourth of July parade attracts thousands of residents and visitors every year. This year, Ikes were part of the attraction.
Chapter vice president Jon Schneckloth, a retired high school art teacher, “floated” the parade participation idea to chapter members as a way to raise community awareness of the League and its conservation activities. Floyd County Chapter members build, install, and maintain more than 50 wood duck nest boxes and blue bird houses around the county every year, so it was appropriate to build an even larger bird house for their parade float.
The float was constructed entirely by chapter members. Peeking out the front of a 10-foot-tall bird house was a blue bird, and when the blue bird drew his head inside, a wood duck popped out the back. Levers inside the bird house were used to move the birds in and out. In front of the bird house sat a young boy with a fishing pole who repeated pulled a walleye out of small pond — all while “This Land Is Your Land” played from hidden speakers on the float. League members escorted the float down the parade route, passing out small packets of bird seed and membership information to the crowd.
The float was a hit among the parade’s 150 entries, and the chapter won an award for Best Non-Commercial Float. These Ikes are creatively spreading the word about conservation work they do in their community. And next year’s float design is already underway.