Celebrate Badger Creek Watershed on July 14

AMES, Iowa — Badger Creek Watershed is one of the oldest publicly owned lakes in Iowa. A picnic and wetland tour to celebrate the lake will be held Saturday, July 14, from 5-8 p.m. at the Ron and Jenny McBroom barn. The celebration is open to the public and includes a tour of the CREP wetland, the McBroom-Hargis barn, the Conservation Station and an evening dinner.

The event is free, but an RSVP is recommended; please phone 515-462-2961 ext. 301 or email diane.fitch@ia.nacdnet.net. Iowa Learning Farms and Madison Soil and Water Conservation District commissioners sponsor the event. The McBroom-Hargis barn is located at 1218 U.S. Highway 169, Winterset.

Attendees will tour the historic barn, built in 1884, visit the Conservation Station, take a tour of the Martens CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) wetland, enjoy dinner and learn about ways to improve the watershed. Madison SWCD commissioner Frederick Martens will lead the wetland tour and talk about what a CREP wetland is and how it is beneficial to Badger Creek.

The Conservation Station is a mobile learning center that travels across the state teaching all Iowans how they can help to improve water quality and keep Iowa’s soils in place — building a Culture of Conservation. Visitors to the Conservation Station can learn why Iowa’s water and soils are precious and how to help preserve these natural resources for future generations. The Conservation Station’s rainfall simulator demonstrates the effects of rainfall on different land surfaces. Water runoff and subsurface drainage are collected in clear jars to show what is coming off the various soil scenarios, including heavily tilled soil, minimum tillage and pervious pavement.

The Badger Creek Watershed project is under way with the goal of improving water quality going into the lake and surrounding areas. The lake is experiencing high sedimentation levels, which damage the lake’s aquatic life. The project works with all who live within the watershed including home and landowners, farmers and lake users, to remove the watershed from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources 303(d) impaired waters list.

Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach, offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping the state’s natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of Iowa Learning Farms is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Visit the Iowa Learning Farms website for more information: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.

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Contact: Diane Fitch, Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, 515-462-2961