Water Quality and Quantity Improvements in the Clear Creek Watershed

Iowa Learning Farms Virtual Field Day Scheduled for March 4

February 18, 2021, 8:34 am | Liz Ripley

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual field day featuring the efforts in the Clear Creek Watershed to improve water quality and quantity issues on Thursday, March 4 at 1 p.m. CST. Join us for a live discussion with John Rathbun, Clear Creek Watershed Coordinator and Johnson County landowners Pat and Burne Sippy.

Located in Iowa and Johnson counties, the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition is working to implement seventy conservation practices to improve water quality and reduce downstream flooding. One unique project in the watershed being highlighted during the virtual field day, is the construction of a fringe wetland along the edges of a revitalized pond owned by the Sippy family.

Pat and Burne Sippy.The fringe wetland will create a land shelf 6-18 feet in width around about 90% of the pond and will be just above the normal pool of the pond. It will provide consistently saturated soil for wetland plants and wildlife and will become inundated during rain events to store additional water and filter the water as it moves through the wetland. Combined with additional practices, the Sippy’s land will be storing water during high rain events and significantly reducing the flood potential to the Tiffin, Coralville and Iowa City communities.

“In a 1,850-acre sub-watershed of Middle Clear Creek, five landowners have installed 12 practices that treat 11% of the acres. The Sippy family has installed three of these practices and will be installing two more in another sub-watershed. They exemplify the conservation ethic and stewardship of land, water and wildlife that makes them a good neighbor to their downstream neighbors, Clear Creek and Iowa,” noted Rathbun.

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1 p.m. CST on March 4, click this URL: https://iastate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpduihpj8iE9ZHcjpsenc2DWQILG41wg0D or visit www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day.”

Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646-876-9923; meeting ID 914-1198-4892.

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.

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.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK Inc.


Original photo: Pat and Burne Sippy.

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!