Virtual Field Day: Establishing Saturated Riparian Forest Buffers on the Landscape


December 1, 2022, 8:30 am | Elizabeth Ripley

Troy Heeren, Billy Beck and Gabe Johnson.AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual field day highlighting saturated riparian forest buffer research at Iowa State University on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. CST. The event will feature a live discussion with Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist at Iowa State University, Troy Heeren, agricultural specialist at Iowa State University, Gabe Johnson, Ph.D. graduate research assistant in sustainable agriculture and agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State, and Jonathan Notch, forestry undergraduate student at Iowa State.

During this virtual field day, attendees will have a chance to view the recently established saturated buffer forest buffer site that was funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The unique project is a true multipurpose site where simultaneous research on water quality, root intrusion, species selection and water level management will be occurring alongside extension and teaching efforts.

“Often trees are viewed negatively on agricultural landscape, even more so in saturated buffers due to concerns of roots getting into the tile and backing up water in the field,” noted Beck. “Through this project, we are looking to tap into the benefits of trees on the landscape, including improving water quality, offering hunting and other recreational opportunities, as well as the potential for diversification of income through timber harvest. Not to mention the general beauty and aesthetics trees can provide.”

Virtual field day access instructions

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1 p.m. CST on Dec. 15:

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time.

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.

Shareable photo: Troy Heeren, Billy Beck and Gabe Johnson at the saturated riparian forest buffer research site near Ames, Iowa. Photo by Iowa Learning Farms.

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