A healthy watershed is important for a variety of reasons. Healthy soils and pristine waters support agriculture production, provide habitat for wildlife, and create outstanding recreational opportunities for Iowa residents and visitors to enjoy year-round. The health of a watershed significantly relies on how water flows through the landscape and interacts with the soil, and then enters our water system. When water travels through the landscape, it has the ability to carry excess nutrients, chemicals, other pollutants, and even the soil itself. This impairs the water quality and the ability of the landscape to support wildlife habitats, recreational opportunities, and resilient soils for agriculture production that is important to the people of the State of Iowa.
Every place in the watershed is important, both urban and rural, because they affect one another. Whether you’re a landowner, farmer, or urban resident, we are all capable of playing a part in improving the Squaw Creek Watershed. If you live in the city, installing a rain garden or collecting rainfall in a rain barrel to water your plants can improve the health of the watershed. If you live outside of the city, there are a number of conservation practices that can improve the health of your soils and reduce nutrient loss to Iowa water systems and beyond.
You can learn more about these initiatives in the upcoming weeks at the Ames Farmers Market. The Prairie Rivers of Iowa watershed program will have a table with educational materials, games, and giveaways on August 29th, September 26th, and October 17th.
I hope to see you then!