Yankton-Area Events

Missouri River School Festival
Several annual events in the Yankton area raise community awareness about the importance of a healthy Missouri River in their daily lives – and for future generations.

Missouri River Watershed School Festival: Nine schools from Nebraska and South Dakota brought more than 400 students to Riverside Park for this 9th annual event. League staff helped organize and coordinate 18 hands-on presentations for students. Fran Serr, a member of the League’s Yankton Chapter, also volunteered to guide one of the student groups, which rotated through seven presentations on various aspects of the Missouri River and caring for local natural resources.

Missouri River Clean Up: For the 9th year in a row, League staff helped organize this event, during which 93 volunteers collected 1.31 tons of trash, including:

180 pounds of lumber/rubble540 pounds of tires780 pounds of scrap metal1,120 pounds of litter and trash

Teams of volunteers cleaned up areas on both the South Dakota and Nebraska sides of the Missouri River. Total trash collected was about half the amount gathered during last year’s clean up – a trend we hope will continue, indicating that education and outreach efforts are making a difference.

Invasive Species Awareness: League staff and local chapter members organize an annual Missouri River Invasive Species Awareness Event, which takes place in May and June. The goal is to raise boater and angler knowledge of the threat posed by aquatic invasive plants and animals. People contacted during the event are told how they can prevent the spread of invasive species to other waters: clean boats and equipment, drain all water, and dry equipment before using it again.

Invasive species threaten native species by disrupting the food chain and taking over habitat needed by native fish and plants. Zebra mussels even impact water intakes at power plants and water treatment facilities. You can learn more about invasive species on the League website.

Outdoor Festival and Homestead Day June 10: The 3rd annual Lake Yankton Outdoor Festival and Homestead Day, which the League is helping to organize, will be held June 10 at Pierson Ranch below Gavins Point Dam and at the Training Dike near Lake Yankton. The festival will include activities that encourage families to get involved in outdoor activities and river-related recreation.

For more information on any of these events, contact IWLA Regional Conservation Coordinator Paul Lepisto at plepisto@iwla.org