Friends of Lake Manawa (FOLM) Annual Report 2020

This Annual Report is being submitted in lieu of holding the FOLM Annual Meeting, which was canceled due to the Corona Virus and COVID-19.

The following regularly scheduled events were also canceled or postponed in an effort to avoid large gatherings:

            Milkweed for Monarchs – usually planting milkweed is done in the spring. We hope something can be done in 2021.

            Annual Clean-up Day – usually held the first Sunday in May, was postponed to coincide with the DNR State-wide Annual Volunteer Day on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Turnout was light.

            Annual Lake Manawa Fireworks Show – cancelled due the tendency to draw large crowds. Local law enforcement that usually helps with traffic control was not available due to conflicting fireworks events.

            FOLM Annual Meeting – generally held in mid-October. No election of Board Members was held. All current Board Members have agreed to serve. Gary Woods resigned as Treasurer and Luke Northwall has taken on that position. Tom Braddy, David Holcomb, Tony Host, Luke Northwall, Marge Shoemaker, Ron Tekippe, and Gary Woods continue as Board Members. Dan Jacobs and Darin Hofer serve as liaisons to the DNR.


At 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 24, 2020, Manawa State Park hosted the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new campground. Visitors, guests, and dignitaries met at Picnic Site 6 for the Ceremony. Todd Coffelt, Bureau Chief, Parks, Forests, and Preserves made introductions and welcoming remarks. Tom Braddy gave remarks for the Friends of Lake Manawa. Kayla Lyon, Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, gave congratulatory remarks. Those “turning a shovel” at the groundbreaking included: DNR Parks Chief Todd Coffelt, FOLM President Tom Braddy, IA State Senator Dan Dawson, FOLM Board Member Marge Shoemaker, DNR Director Kayla Lyon, IA State Senator Tom Shipley, and National Park Service Regional Director Bert Frost. Also in attendance were Southwest IA Supervisor of Parks, Forests and Preserves Michelle Reinig, Board Member Gary Woods, and other community members and dignitaries.

The new campground will be located west of the Reimagined Dream Playground and the Manawa Swimming Beach in the area where picnic sites 1 and 2 are located. 40 Full-Service Sites will offer water, electric and sewer hookups, and concrete slabs available for recreation vehicles. The grounds will also have a concrete parking lot and a bathroom with shower area. Construction will begin as soon as possible. Opening is anticipated for late summer or early fall, 2021.


FYRA Engineering documented a suite of water quality improvement efforts that included, among other things, a total of 1.5 million cubic yards (CY) of dredging. This would lead to increasing the mean depth of the lake from 6.1 feet to approximately 8.2 feet.

In 2016 DNR contracted with J.F. Brennan to remove 500,000 CY of sand/material from Lake Manawa. These materials were stockpiled in an area between South Shore Road and the Missouri River levee.

In 2018 Ames Construction, Inc., working on behalf of Mid-American Energy repurposed the stockpiled sand for Mid-American’s construction needs. $2.35 million in sand and gravel royalties generated from sales of the material helped mitigate the total cost of $4.2 million to the DNR.

Beginning in 2018 the DNR began working with the City of Council Bluffs to develop a second phase dredge to achieve water quality benefits at the lake and produce material suitable for the City to use on levee construction projects. J.F. Brennan was again hired to remove 500,000 CY of material from the lake and stockpile it in the same location between South Shore Drive and the Missouri for use by the City. The 2020 dredge was located in an area in the easterly portion of the lake and included deepening areas along the north shoreline. The overall cost of Phase 2 Dredge was $5.8 million. Part of that was offset by the City contributing $1.5 million to the project, consistent with the value of the materials removed.

Two-thirds of the original goal of 1.5 million CY has been accomplished. The DNR will continue to explore options for dredging additional material once the City has utilized the current stockpile of sand.

FYRA has been contracted to provide professional design and oversight on the project to monitor seepage throughout the dredging project and design the project to maximize potiontial for sand removal repurposing. FYRA’s technical expertise in groundwater monitoring and sensitivity of leakage areas is of use in providing design oversight to maximize potential for sand removal suitable to be repurposed for other construction projects, yield optimum water quality results, and increase recreational opportunities within the lake while minimizing seepage to surrounding ground water and the Missouri.

The DNR will continue to monitor water quality in Lake Manawa following each phase of that dredging and after additional watershed protections are implemented.

Respectfully submitted,

Marge Shoemaker,

Secretary FOLM