Last evening, Story County Conservation hosted an open house at the Core Facility in the ISU Research Park to share the plans for the greenbelt located in the Research Park that will be eventually linked to a corridor that connects to the High Trestle Trail and Heart of Iowa Trail. This area will be called the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor.

This project is a partnership that will serve Story County and Iowa in ways never before serviced by bringing county, city, university, and state agencies together to showcase how commercial development and natural resource conservation can by symbiotic.

The engineering and design team for this project consists of representatives from Shive-Hattery, Wallace Roberts Todd, Great Ecology, Earthview Environmental, and E-Resources Group. Each of these representatives spoke on their component of the project, which included current state of the site, stream assessments, design and layout of future project, and incorporation of interpretive materials for all ages and backgrounds.

The site will include many entry-ways, some being from area businesses, some being from trails connecting to other trails, and some being from a parking lot devoted to those using the space.

The design presented included a series of retention ponds to hold water and slowly filter and release it as it moves through the area, trails with benches and stopping points for conversation, a stone path through the stream as a crossing area, a natural staircase to walk down to the ponded areas, restoration and improvement of the prairie surrounding the stream, incorporation of a dedicated Oak Savanna ecosystem, and interpretative components throughout.

This area will improve the aesthetics of the research park, provide a place for research park employees to get outside of their climate-controlled buildings for meetings or individually, an area for community members and schools to use as a natural learning environment, and above all, this site will improve the quality of water in the stream that runs through this area, which runs into Worrell Creek and ultimately Squaw Creek.

The project will begin this summer, with removal of invasive trees and re-stabilization of the streambank. The next phases will include a the management of the ecosystems (prairie, oak savanna) and construction of the ponded areas and features surrounding, and finally the educational/interpretation components.

Learn more by going to the Story County Conservation Website!

Named after Story County Conservation board member Ted Tedesco