Nutrients in November Workshop Recap

The Prairie Rivers of Iowa Watershed and Waterways Program just wrapped up its Nutrients in November Workshop Series! This three-workshop series provided educational programming on tools and conservation practices to help farmers and landowners improve the water quality in the Squaw Creek Watershed and other surrounding areas. The first workshop was held on November 2nd in Boone and had ten people in attendance, This workshop was led by Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore of the  Natural Resources Ecology and Management Department at Iowa State University along with PhD student Carrie Chennault. They presented on an online land use decision-making tool called People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration (PEWI). PEWI is a simple spreadsheet tool designed to provide a scientific platform for teaching, discussing, and evaluating the trade-offs associated with agricultural land use and management. PEWI encourages users to think through the different ecosystem services that different agricultural practices and plant life provide in the watershed and their associated trade-offs. Users of the tool can experiment...
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Now available: Online Form to Request Financial and Technical Assistance!

Are you a farmer or landowner in the Squaw Creek Watershed interested in using conservation practices on your land? You have come to the right place! Cost-share programming is available through Prairie Rivers of Iowa for no-till, buffer strips, cover crops, extended crop rotations, bioreactors, and perennial plantings. Farmers and landowners who are a first-time user of the conservation practice, have not used the practice for at least two years on planted acres, or are installing an additional structural practice are eligible for our cost-share program. We know that no farm field is the same, and so we will find the conservation practices that work best for your land.    Cost-share for no-till is $10/acre and $25/acre for cover crops. Other practices include: extended crop rotations, saturated buffers, bioreactors, buffer strips, and perennial plantings at50% cost-share. More information is available on each of the practices upon request via our website or a call to the Prairie Rivers of Iowa office (515-232-0048). We now...
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Nutrients in November: Final Workshop on Tuesday 11/17!

The final workshop in Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s “Nutrients in November” workshop series will be held on November 17th from 6-8 PM in the Gilbert Franklin Community Room at Gilbert City Hall. The workshop will feature RetaiN Iowa: On-farm Nitrate Testing Kits. Jamie Benning from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will show how to use a simple test that farmers and landowners can use to measure the amount of nitrates leaving field tiles. Attendees will be able to take home a free nitrate testing kit to try on their own land! Admission is free and will include light refreshments. Please RSVP online at www.prrcd.org/workshops or to Hanna Bates, Watershed Coordinator via phone at 515-232-0048 or via email at hbates@prrcd.org. ...
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Cost-Share Available for Conservation Practices in Squaw Creek

(AMES, IOWA) – Prairie Rivers of Iowa is working with the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices to provide funding for cost-share for conservation practices to farmers in the Squaw Creek Watershed. Funding for this effort is in cooperation with the Water Quality Initiative (WQI) from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and support from local partners. The Squaw Creek Watershed demonstration project is providing funding for farmers located in the watershed specifically for in-field practices, such as cover crops and no till at the state-wide WQI flat rate cost share rate, as well as fifty-percent cost share for edge of field practices, including saturated buffers. “The best use of these practices can vary from farm-to-farm and farmer-to-farmer,” said Hanna Bates, Watershed Coordinator for Prairie Rivers of Iowa. “By working with the conservation districts, it is our intent to build relationships with farmers and find what practices will work best for them while having an overall positive impact...
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Squaw Creek receives grant from IDALS

The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Board received a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Below is the press released just announced today (March 5, 2015). Prairie River of Iowa was named as the Project Leader. This now allows the group to move forward in process with the 20 year plan that was developed by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. To learn more about the Squaw Creek visit us here... DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that three additional watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.4 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years.  In addition to the state funds, the three projects will provide an additional $1.4 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. The selected projects will join 13 targeted Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects that were previously funded to help implement and demonstrate water...
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The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority has Adopted a Mission and Goals

Ames, Iowa (October 23, 2014) – The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board (SCWMA) has been meeting to place the final touches on their watershed management plan with the help of Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota (a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm). At the Board’s last meeting, they adopted a mission and set some specific goals to achieve in the Squaw Creek Watershed.   The newly adopted mission statement is as follows: The mission of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board is to engage, educate and encourage all citizens to improve the health, stewardship and resiliency of our watershed resources.   The goals of the SCWMA are to work on restoring hydrology, improving water quality, creating recreational opportunities and increasing wildlife habitat within the watershed through an active watershed educational campaign and relying upon building partnerships. Pat Conrad, project manager with EOR stated, “The ultimate goal of the WMA is to transform Squaw Creek into a resource...
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IOWATER program is rolling out some big changes

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources IOWATER program is rolling out some big changes and want to keep the people informed. They are updating and creating some great resources to use if you are interested in Iowa waters. Check out all that is happening below and follow the links to learn more.   1. New Water Monitoring Atlas - The Iowa DNR has replaced the old Water Monitoring Atlas with a new version at: http://programs.iowadnr.gov/maps/watermonitoring/   2. IOWATER Workshops - They are now being scheduled. See the current schedule at www.iowadnr.gov/iowater and click on “Calendar of Events” for Introductory, Biological or Bacteria workshop in your area..   3. IOWATER Success Stories - Do you have a story of how IOWATER data are being used in your community (or school, or where ever), the DNR woule love to hear from you at www.iowadnr.gov/iowater   4. 69th Annual Soil and Water Conservation Society Meeting - This meeting will be held on July 27th – 30th,2014, Lombard, IL. For more information...
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See EOR’s Presentation on the Squaw Creek

Would you like to see the presentation and data that Emmons and Olivier Resources Inc. has presented to the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority?  Check out their Water Quality Summary and their Stream Assessment presentations to read about their findings thus far.   Water Quality Summary Stream Assessment   A quick summary of their Key findings of the water quality and stream assessment: ·        The hydrology of Squaw Creek has been significantly altered. Flashy: Peak flow rates in the stream can be as much as 100x the base flow. ·        Monitoring data indicates that there are very high levels of nutrients (P and N) and bacteria. Boom/Bust dissolved oxygen cycles. ·        The manner in which past monitoring has been done makes it difficult to detect any trends. Recommendation is to focus effort at one or two sites along the creek and take more frequent baseflow and storm event samples. ·        Stream is NOT healthy: unstable, degraded habitat, carries large sediment load (without flushing it downstream)  ...
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Preserving and Protecting Our Water Resources

In honor of National Water and Soil Conservation Week, Kids on the Byway is dedicating this blog post to one of their partner programs, Upper Iowa University's Environmental Issues Instruction course.  EII is a graduate level course dedicated to teachers and other personnel that addresses how to teach environmental issues for grades K-12.  They do this with the following teaching model:  With this teaching model, the class is able to address multiple environmental issues every year and connect with Next Generation Science Standards as well as the Iowa Core.  This year's issue was focused on preserving and protecting our water resources. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, "Although much of the discussion about climate change impacts has focused on increases in temperatures and the rise in sea level, changes that impact our nation's water resources could have the greatest impact on society" (2011).   According to the Department of Natural Resources, the major water quality problem in Iowa in nonpoint source pollution,...
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Squaw Creek Watershed listening sessions – April 28th from 4:30-6:00pm at the Ames City Hall, Council Chambers and April 29th from 4:30-6:00pm at Iowa State University, Oak Room in the Memorial Union

First of Two Listening Sessions to be Held to Discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed start today at Ames City Hall (515 Clark Ave).   Two listening sessions will be held to discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed on April 28th from 4:30-6:00pm at the Ames City Hall, Council Chambers and then again on April 29th from 4:30-6:00pm at Iowa State University, Oak Room in the Memorial Union. We are asking people to come and talk about the watershed and to ask questions to our board. There will also be informational material to read on the watershed.   Penny Brown Huber, Executive Director of Prairie Rivers of Iowa and a sub consultant on the project says, “Our focus in the planning project will be to engage and educate the public about the watershed.  We want to hear from all the residents in our watershed in order to create a plan that will lead us over time to make improvements in water quality while we address flooding...
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