2023 Aquatic Conservation Achievement Award: City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation Department
The 2023 Aquatic Conservation Achievement Award was presented to the City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation Department.
The purpose of this award to recognize non-Chapter member individuals, NGOs, or other entities that contributed substantially to fishery conservation in Iowa. We often find that our success hinges on having good partners, and we want to do a better job of recognizing those wonderful partners. Our award winners this year are the folks at City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation Department, led by Parks and Facilities Administrator Todd Schenck.
Ankeny has witnessed a 140% increase in population since 2000, nearly 75,000 people live in Ankeny today. Community growth of this magnitude can present a lot of challenges to city departments, and Todd and his team have dedicated themselves to the oversight of 100 miles of trails, 600 acres of public park space, and 34 public fishing basins. They maintain more public fishing areas than any other city in the state, and they have been essential partners in the DNR’s Community Fishing Program.
Thanks to their strong partnership and communication, Iowa DNR has been able to provide input during project development of fishing basins, try new fisheries management and sampling techniques and develop better vegetation management strategies. For example, thanks to the City of Ankeny Parks and Rec Department, a Yellow Perch stocking evaluation was able to be conducted in partnership with Iowa DNR and Iowa State, and DNR’s Aquatic Invasives team was able to experiment with under-ice treatments of Curly Leaf Pondweed. They were one of the first cities to adopt Fish Local! Branding and regulation signage, and share positive messaging on their social media. Other research, including creel surveys, has only been possible and successful thanks to their championship of our work with the Board for approval.
We as fisheries professionals are grateful for partners like the City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation Department, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to provide more and better fishing in Ankeny.