Iowa Y-Camp Receives Monsanto Fund Grant to Restore Damaged Creek

Thanks in part to a grant from the Monsanto Fund, the Greater Des Moines Y-Camp will soon be on its way back to normal more than a year after the flood that radically reshaped Lost Canyon Creek and made its banks inaccessible and dangerous to campers.

Nate Cottington, site lead at Monsanto’s production plant in Boone, Ia., met with Y-Camp officials and campers to present a $15,000 grant awarded specifically for restoring Lost Canyon, a usually peaceful waterway, back to its youth-friendly self.

The summer flood of 2010 widened the creek by as much as 30 feet in some areas and transformed sections of the bank from gentle slopes to sheer drop-offs of 10 feet or more. Lost Canyon is a vital part of the camp’s recreational and educational opportunities because visitors use the creek to conduct water content tests and observe natural habitats.

“The creek is very important for us because of the events we do there,” said David Sherry, Y-Camp executive director. “Playing in and around the river allows kids to interact with nature and develop an outdoor ethic that will stick with them throughout their lives. A big part of the camp experience is helping kids understand the importance of the outdoors, so they learn to care for and protect it.”

Employees at the Boone facility chose the Lost Canyon Creek project because of the camp’s continued benefit to the Boone community, as well as many personal memories from visiting the camp.

“There is a great need for repairs here, and the creek is part of a shared experience for so many families at the plant and for so many people in general,” Cottington said. “We want everyone who visits our area, campers especially, to have the same opportunity to experience a beautiful and educational outdoor setting.”

This grant is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, which is focused on strengthening farming communities, as well as the communities where Monsanto’s employees live and work. To learn more about the Monsanto Fund’s work, visit