Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

(From a Facebook Post by Council Member Anthony Heddlesten)

Thank you all so much. Truly, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Today, CJ, pretty much my favorite person in the whole wide world turned 5. Unfortunately, the whole wide world is a mess. I’m going to attempt to cover the greatness that has occurred over the past few days:

1) I saw a cool birthday parade and asked if Riverdale Fire Department would do something like that in our town. Brian Ballard, our assistant fire chief, got it all planned out and said we were good to go.

2) I shared the plan on our Riverdale Residents group page and another family pointed out they had a birthday coming up, so we got a whole group together and did a birthday parade last weekend for another little boy down the street.

3) Birthday cards started flowing in this week (my piano is fully covered) Neighbors, friends, and family members filled our mail box with love from afar. Thanks to Dorla Dubbels, Stacey Christensen, Lisa Mintz Kotter, Darold Heddlesten, Yvonne Heddlesten, NaNa Pugh, Melissa Roling-Maher, Jimmy Maher to name a few.

4) Last weekend, our preschool teacher stopped by and dropped off a present and said hello.

5) Friday, Miss Taryn, another preschool teacher met up with me and gave us a present since she couldn’t get to the parade this weekend.

6) This morning, while CJ was sleeping in, our neighbors (Amy Walker Kramer) snuck into the yard with a giant inflatable birthday cake.

7) Ky (Anthony’s wife) and I got some great 5 year old photos of our favorite little guy and then walked down the street to get some additional pics with his new best friend, and Riverdale Heights favorite, Molly Curran.

8 ) we got a fun good morning happy birthday message from cousin Ben.

9) we had a zoom birthday party and got WAAAAYYYY too many LEGO.

10) Just before the parade was supposed to start we got to have a birthday party with the other side of the family.

11) We got a message from another YWCA of the Quad Cities daycare teacher that she is in a Quad Cities Jeep group that’s just driving from party to party. Several Jeep owners, who we’ve literally never met, even provided some cool Jeep related presents. (Keep an eye out for the minion mobile QC!)

12) I GET A PARADE TOO?!?! CJ exclaimed as RFD and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office rolled by tooting their horns and flashing their lights. Followed by neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc.

13) Many of the drivers threw out additional surprises (cards, candy, a minion doll, even toilet paper!)

14) Facebook messages galore have come in throughout the day.

15) A few friends also trickled through after the parade singing happy birthday, wishing us well, hosting an impromptu Wisconsin Jump Around equipped with New Glarus beer, and reminding us how fortunate we all are.

So, again, thank you. Today was more than we could’ve hoped for. So much more. CJ is in seventh heaven today.

Winter storm predicted to hit Tuesday

Winter storm predicted to hit Tuesday

A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for Scott County running Monday night through early Wednesday morning. Snow accumulations could add up to 8+ inches.

According to the national weather service …

HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE TUESDAY THROUGH EARLY WEDNESDAY… .A SLOW MOVING WINTER STORM WILL BRING SNOW ACROSS EASTERN IOWA AND NORTHWEST ILLINOIS MONDAY NIGHT, WHICH WILL CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING. PRECIPITATION WILL START OUT AS RAIN DURING THE DAY TODAY, WHICH WILL CHANGE TO LIGHT SNOW OVERNIGHT. SNOW MAY BE MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES, ESPECIALLY TUESDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. INCREASING NORTH TO NORTHWEST WINDS MAY CAUSE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.

What you should do

Keep in mind, we’ve published helpful articles about how to prepare for an on-coming snow storm here and here. But lest you forget, it’s really helpful if you get your cars off the street and into your driveways (or garages) so the plows can move as much snow as possible.

And if you’re planning on shoveling the heavy, wet stuff, here are some tips on how to save your back and make sure you don’t wear yourself out (or bring on a heart attack) in the process.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Remember, the official start of spring is less than a month away!

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Riverdale bids goodbye to Firefighter Analiese Chapman who passed away on February 2 due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. A visitation is planned for Friday (02/07) and a Celebration of Life service on Saturday (02/08) at the Waterfront Convention Center. Both the visitation and the Celebration of Life service are open to the public, but seating is limited.

Fire departments from Riverdale, Le Claire and around the greater Quad Cities will join together to celebrate a life taken too soon.

Visitation will be held at the Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State Street in Bettendorf), starting at 3pm on Friday, February 7th.

The first responder community in the Quad Cities has shown their solidarity with Riverdale and Le Claire fire departments for their loss already and are invited to participate in the visitation on Friday. Fire departments and other emergency service providers attending in their service vehicles are asked to stage their vehicles at 6:15pm at the convention center. Service personnel are encouraged to participate in a “Sea of Blue” starting at 7pm and continue until all personnel have had an opportunity to express their condolences.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for 1pm the following day (Saturday, February 8th) at the Waterfront Convention Center, as well. Dennis Glew, a Riverdale resident and the RFD’s chaplain, will speak at the ceremony. A luncheon is planned following the service and will be held at the Le Claire fire station (201 North 15th Street in Le Claire, Iowa).

The City of Riverdale will commemorate Analiese’s passing by lowering the flag for the Riverdale Fire Department (located at City Hall) to half-staff again on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset. The flag was also lowered on Tuesday to mark Analiese’s return home to the Quad Cities from Iowa City where she was undergoing care.

The City will continue to fly the department flag throughout the month of February in honor of the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department who set a great example for all residents with their love and compassion for their 20 year-old colleague. A Mayoral Proclamation will be presented and read into the record at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting to commemorate the events of the past week.

More information about Analiese, her journey and the shared memories of friends and family can be found on her online obituary page. Donations can be made to the Team Analiese Memorial Fund. For more information about that fund, please check out the Team Analiese Facebook Page.

Images from Analiese’s Celebration of Life Service

Check out this gallery of pictures from Tim Olk, a photographer from Chicago who came to the Quad Cities to shoot photos of the event and share them with the Riverdale Fire Department and our community. Thanks, Tim!

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Just a reminder to Riverdale residents – Monday morning is the last yard waste pick-up of the year, so get your leaves and other yard waste to the curb Sunday night for an early Monday morning pick-up.

For those of you who just can’t get to the rake this weekend, take note that there are some “experts” out there who claim raking the leaves in your yard is bad for the environment. In fact, naturalists at the National WIldlife Foundation suggest you skip the whole raking-leaves-thing forever.

Alternatives to raking leaves

So, what should you do with the leaves that fall into your yard if you’re not going to bag them up and ship them off to the nearest compost facility? Here are a few suggestions …

  • Let leaves stay where they fall. They won’t hurt your lawn if you chop them with a mulching mower.
  • Rake leaves off the lawn to use as mulch in garden beds. For finer-textured mulch, shred them first.
  • Let leaf piles decompose. The resulting leaf mold can be used as a soil amendment to improve structure and water retention.
  • Combine fallen leaves (“brown material”) with grass clippings and other “green material” and keep moist and well mixed. You’ll have nutrient-rich compost to add to your garden next spring.
  • Still too many leaves? Share them with neighbors, friends, schools and others. Some communities will pick up leaves and make compost to sell or give away.
  • Build a brush shelter. Along with branches, sticks and stems, leaves can be used to make brush piles that shelter native wildlife.

Do these suggestions still sound like too much work? Well, some experts suggest mulching leaves into your lawn instead of raking them may actually make your grass healthier.

Either way, with temps in the 50s tomorrow, it might be your last chance to get some good outdoor time in before the snow flies. Enjoy the weekend!

Cameron Adams selected for membership in the National Honor Society.

Cameron Adams selected for membership in the National Honor Society.

Cameron Adams, 343 Manor Drive, was recently selected for membership in the PVHS chapter of the National Honor Society. Cameron is the son of Kevin and Dawn Adams.

The National Honor Society is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to recognizing outstanding high school students. These students have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and character. In addition to recognizing students for their accomplishments, the NHS also challenges them to remain actively engaged in their community and school.

Last year, the PVHS chapter of the  NHS had around 200 members.

“I had the honor of writing a recommendation on Cameron’s behalf earlier this fall,” said Riverdale’s mayor, Mike Bawden. “Cameron racked up numerous service learning hours helping our City Administrator and other office personnel on a variety of projects including identifying possible contractors to help us deal with our coyote problem last year. As a part of the project, Cameron made a presentation to the Council for their consideration.”

“It’s rare to find teenagers who are willing to take on these kinds of problems, work with adult mentors and see the project all the way through. It was a pleasure to recommend him for induction into the National Honor Society.”

Cameron’s work on this issue was featured in a Channel 4 News story in January of this year.

Cameron is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School which is located in Riverdale, Iowa.

City Council discusses process for enforcing yard waste ordinance during the fall.

City Council discusses process for enforcing yard waste ordinance during the fall.

At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (10/22/19), the Riverdale City Council discussed what they thought was reasonable enforcement of the City’s code concerning a Resident’s responsibility to control their own yard waste – and how that code will be enforced this fall.

It was generally acknowledged that there are some “habitual offenders” when it comes to people raking or blowing their yard waste into the street so it can be washed down the drain. This can cause problems with the City’s stormwater system and violates City Code 135.03.

Council members felt one warning letter per household was enough of notice. After that, offending households will receive a citation from the City explaining the infraction, the amount of the fine and how to remedy the situation going forward. Fines will increase with subsequent infractions.

The Mayor explained that while the City recognizes that some residents live in areas where trees overhang and drop leaves, etc. into the street, the main concern of the Council related to those residents who push their yard waste into the street rather than preparing it to be hauled away and leaving it out for pick-up on Mondays after a weekend of yard work.

Why it matters. It’s not just about making sure Riverdale looks nice.

The fact is, Riverdale – like metropolitan cities across Iowa of every size – has to follow certain storm water management practices that are mandated by the State of Iowa. Among those practices is a requirement to eliminate as much plant matter from the storm sewers as possible.

That means we all have to work together to keep grass clippings, leaves, sticks and such out of our storm drains and sewers. Failure to do so could result in penalties from the State – and that would cost the entire community. 

The easiest thing to do to meet this requirement is to make sure your personal yard waste isn’t left in the street to go down the drains and into our storm sewers. 

What you SHOULD do.

Please either blow the debris back into your yard or bag it in kraft paper bags (like the ones shown) for weekly collection. Remember, yard waste collection is paid for out of the City’s budget as part of our waste management contract with Republic Services – so there is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to residents to do this.

If you don’t have large, kraft paper bags for your yard waste, you can use garbage cans instead. Just make sure the yard waste is loose in the cans so everything dumps out. Please DON’T BAG YOUR YARD WASTE if you put it in a garbage can.

Also, if you have sticks or branches that need to be hauled away, they need to be no thicker than your wrist and cut into lengths not to exceed four feet in length. Please bundle sticks and branches together so they’re easier to handle by the crew picking up yard waste on Mondays.

Yard waste pick-up will continue through November.

Trick-or-treating hours set for Halloween

Trick-or-treating hours set for Halloween

The City Council passed a motion at its October 8, 2019 meeting setting the hours for trick-or-treating on Halloween evening.

The motion set the time for trick-or-treating from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, October 31, 2019. Neighbors are encouraged to leave their front porch light on to signal their interest in hosting little goblins and ghosts during the event.

Before your favorite little demons march out the door in search of goodies, be sure to snap a picture and post it to the Riverdale Resident’s Facebook Page so we can all enjoy the “pre-candy” versions of their costumes.

For other tips on safe trick-or-treating, check out this post from the Modern Moms blog by clicking here.

Have questions about the nutritional value of all that chocolate and sugar and just how much work it is to burn all of those extra calories off? Check out this post from a local health expert and certified dietician on “Let’s Move Quad Cities”.

Have a happy and safe holiday!