Pro H2O to Celebrate Clean Water with Awards and Music

posted on Friday, June 10, 2022 in Water and Land News

Program June 9 in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Okoboji includes awards and musical guest Susan Werner

DES MOINES, IA -- The Iowa Environmental Council hosted the 9th annual Pro H2O on Thursday, June 9, to celebrate and advocate for clean recreational and drinking water in Iowa. Supporters and friends from across the state will gather at The River Center in Des Moines, or at satellite locations at Big Grove Brewery and Tap Room in Iowa City and the Maser Monarch Lodge near Okoboji for the event.  

Susan Werner plays acoustic guitar in front of grand pianoHost and emcee Irene DeMaris, Executive Director of faith-based climate advocacy organization Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, led the program that featured awards presentations, a virtual auction open through June 16, and a live concert featuring national recording artist and Iowa native Susan Werner.

During the program, several Iowans were honored for their efforts to raise awareness for clean water and climate in Iowa. 

Save Bloody Run logo - black text over blue and red paint swipesImpact Through Advocacy  

The 2022 Impact Through Advocacy Award was presented to volunteer leaders of Save Bloody Run, an advocacy organization focused on protecting Bloody Run Creek in Clayton County in Northeast Iowa. This pristine Outstanding Water of Iowa is one of few creeks in Iowa with naturally spawning trout and empties directly into the Mississippi River. The waterway is threatened by the growth of large animal confinements in the area. Learn more about the issue and the group at  

Business Innovation 

Astig Planning logoAstig Planning of Coralville, Iowa, is the 2022 Business Innovation recipient. Founded by V Fixmer-Oriaz, the company provides planning services aimed at transforming communities and landscapes through engagement, empowerment, and advocacy with a focus on climate change. Learn more about Astig Planning by visiting  

Youth Leadership 

The 2022 Youth Leadership award recipient is Lillian Hill, a Johnston middle school student who recently completed her 8th grade year. Lillian has been an active advocate on climate since 6th grade, leading efforts in her community and at her school. She recently began leading monthly climate strikes at the Capitol building during the Legislative Session. Learn more about Lillian’s efforts in an IEC Blog post.  

DMWW Think Downstream Award 

Lee Tesdell in center of group, leading conversationCreated in partnership with Des Moines Water Works, this new award was developed to recognize a local non-operating landowner whose stewardship and tenant farmer practices are having a positive impact on water quality and drinking water.

The 2022 DMWW Think Downstream Award was awarded to Lee Tesdell, a Polk County landowner who exemplifies these practices on his property in partnership with his tenant farmer. Learn more about Lee and the Tesdell Century Farm.  

Lifetime Achievement 

The 2022 Lifetime Achievement award recipient is Paul Johnson, a former Iowa legislator, DNR director, farmer, and leader on conservation issues. Paul’s efforts in the legislature were responsible for Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act, the REAP program, the buffer strip program, and much more.

Paul passed away in 2021 but his ideas and vision for “doing better” for Iowa’s land and its people live on through the memories of his friends and family and their efforts to develop new environmental leaders in Iowa. Learn more about Paul’s work and vision at  

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