This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
Gerry Rowland is known across Iowa as "the guy who started the water trails movement in Iowa."
Endeavoring to make Iowa's rivers more accessible to all paddlers, Rowland worked to designate the entire 404-mile Des Moines River as a water trail. He is the founder of the Iowa Water Trails Association, created to support the development of water trails and assist in fund raising.
Throughout the course of his work, Rowland continually incorporated volunteer generating events to accomplish more and involve more people. He also served on the Federal Recreational Trails Program Scoring Committee, bringing about national recognition and funding for water trails for the first time in Iowa.