Free, public meeting is March 21 at Modern Woodmen Park
Friday, March 15, 2013

The people of Iowa—and especially the citizens of Davenport—understand the necessity of living with floods. A series of statewide events called “Living with Floods” will recognize the resiliency of Iowans in the face of flooding; the series includes a free, public community forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport, Iowa.

Living with Floods is planned to mark the fifth anniversary of the historic Iowa floods of 2008, as well as to recognize and celebrate the strength and resiliency of Iowans in the face of repeated flood events.

The March 21 Davenport community forum will offer residents an opportunity to discuss flood-related issues, examine better ways to cope with future floods, and learn more about flood mitigation strategies. Nathan Young, associate director of the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, will be a featured speaker. Local speakers will include representatives from the city of Davenport, who will discuss local efforts to minimize the impacts of future flooding through floodplain and watershed management, as well as the community’s vision for the Davenport riverfront.

“Community forums like these allow us to share some of the work at the university designed to help Iowans cope with flooding, and that definitely has value,” Young says. “But it’s also an opportunity for us all to hear directly from Iowans about local efforts and issues. For me, that’s the really exciting aspect.”

Living with Floods is a statewide project that started at the UI. Several UI departments and units are collaborating on the project; these include the Iowa Flood Center, Hancher, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the UI Colleges of Education and Engineering, the Department of Health and Human Physiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the State Hygienic Laboratory at the UI and iExploreSTEM .

These UI partners are engaging with seven communities across the state, including Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Muscatine.

Last fall, Living with Floods sponsored an Interdisciplinary Flood Institute for Teachers, which brought together teachers from areas affected by recent flood events to learn how to incorporate environmental learning into their classrooms.

Throughout the spring of 2013, Living with Floods is sponsoring community forums; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning events for K-12 students; and free community concerts in the partner communities.

In June, Living with Floods will culminate with free outdoor concerts by New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band in each of the communities, including a concert in Davenport on Friday, June 14. As residents of New Orleans, flooding has a special significance for these musicians.

More Living with Floods community forums are planned across the state:

  • Muscatine, May 29
  • Des Moines, June 4
  • Iowa City, June 6.

To learn more about Living with Floods, visit

To read a related story, visit Living with floods: Teachers come to UI to develop flood-based curriculum as part of larger initiative.