Outside Company to Dredge Upper Middle Raccoon

A company that provides dredging services across the United States has been hired by Lake Panorama RIZ to dredge in the Middle Raccoon River channel between the lake’s upper basin and the Fansler Bridge. Dredge America equipment began arriving in late September, including a crane used to assemble the company’s dredge, pipe and other items.

By Susan Thompson

In 1971, just a year after Lake Panorama was formed, developer Mid-Iowa Lakes hired Betts and Beer Construction of Adair to dredge several coves. Ever since then, dredging has continued as the main line of defense to keep Lake Panorama from silting in.

While periodic dredging is done in some coves, the primary area of focus always has been the Middle Raccoon River channel between the Fansler Bridge and Lake Panorama’s upper basin. 

Creativity of Lake Panorama Woman Manifests in Many Ways

Donna Beeler took this photo using the timer on a camera, to provide to the publisher of her first book. She ended up using it on the back cover of all three books she has written.

By Susan Thompson

Donna Beeler was born 84 years ago in Madison County, on the family farm where her father and grandparents lived. A resident of Lake Panorama since 2000, Beeler’s life story is filled with adventures, fueled by a competitive spirit and the joy she experiences creating things.  

The youngest of three girls, Beeler’s sisters were five and nine years older. “I learned to hold my own at an early age,” she says. “And since I was the last chance for a boy, my dad pretty much adopted me as his son. I had him, my uncle and a hired man to help teach me.” 

Lost Ring + Social Media = Personal Connections

Shown returning the lost wedding ring to Karen Sievers are Scott and Jamie Schoenleber, and their children, Tyson, Brody, and Kenna.

By Susan Thompson 

On Sunday, September 15, Jim and Karen Sievers drove from Lake Panorama to Van Meter to watch one of their grandsons play soccer. While there, Karen dropped her wedding ring in the grass where cars were parking. 

“Jim and I knew exactly where and returned twice that afternoon,” Karen says. “Each time families from Van Meter joined us on our hands and knees, combing through the grass. I know a ring is a thing, but the symbol of 44 years is tough to part with.”

Third Lake Panorama Wetland Nears Completion

This photo, taken August 15, shows the earthmoving equipment needed to create the nine-acre Burchfield/Smith wetland pool.

By Susan Thompson  

The key focus of Lake Panorama’s Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) always will be dredging. Yet attention in recent years has turned to reducing the flow of both sediment and nutrients into the lake by installing small wetlands to drainage areas. 

In the late 1990s, Iowa State University researchers began studying the use of wetlands to slow water runoff from farm fields. They found these strategically placed wetlands could reduce the amount of nitrates moving into streams and rivers by 40 to 70 percent.