AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship are hosting a tour of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) wetlands in Dickinson County on Thursday, July 12, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The tour is free and is limited to 40 pre-registered participants. Register for the July 12 tour by phone (515-294-5429) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registered attendees can park at the community center in Milford, where the tour will depart and return. The Milford Community Center is located at the intersection of Okoboji Avenue (Hwy 71) and Ninth Street, or four blocks south of the Hwy 71/county road A34 intersection.
Tour participants are encouraged to bring their hiking boots or waders for an up-close look at the wetland structures. Matt Lechtenberg and Shawn Richmond, CREP specialists with IDALS, will lead the tour and talk about the benefits, installation and financial incentives for these structures.
There are 37 counties in north-central Iowa eligible for enrollment in CREP. Iowa State University research has demonstrated that strategically sited and designed wetlands can remove 40-90 percent of nitrates and more than 70 percent of herbicides from cropland drainage waters. These areas are as beautiful as they are functional.
Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the USEPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Water Center.