AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms’ Conservation Station is coming to the North Grand Farmers Market in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday, June 30. It will be located at the north end of the JC Penney parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors at the farmers market will make edible soil cups while learning about soil, its properties and why it is so important to everyone.
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. A Conservation Station tour is free.
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 ILF team members who travel with the Conservation Station use demonstrations, pictures, interactive displays, video and sound to convey the message that clean water and good soils are essential to everyone. 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 surface types including heavily tilled soil, minimum tillage and pervious pavement.
The Conservation Station can be seen at many events including field days, county fairs, farmers’ markets and student educational outings all over Iowa in the spring, summer and fall. Visit the Iowa Learning Farms’ website often for a schedule of Conservation Station appearances, as events are added regularly: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/conservationstation.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.