AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual wetland field day on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 1 p.m.
Participants will explore new wetland program opportunities and a wetland under construction with Susan Kozak, IDALS Soil Conservation and Water Quality Division director, and Shane Wulf, IDALS Water Resources Bureau environmental specialist.
The Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is a state, federal, local and private partnership that provides incentives to landowners who voluntarily establish wetlands for water quality improvement. The goal is to reduce nitrogen loads from croplands to streams and rivers, while also providing wildlife habitat and increased recreational opportunities. Over the past 15 years, about 90 CREP sites have been constructed in a 37-county region in north central Iowa.
To accelerate the installation of wetlands across the state to help meet the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals, the Iowa Water Quality Initiative offers flexible, cost-share funding to help install wetlands in areas that do not meet CREP program requirements. To date, more than 30 additional wetlands are set to be begin construction in the next two or three years.
“There are many conservation tools available to help farmers and landowners improve soil health and water quality. Wetlands are a great way to turn regularly unproductive acres into nutrient-reduction sites, and they provide wildlife habitat,” said Wulf. “We hope this virtual field day helps farmers and landowners understand where wetlands fit into the landscape so they can determine if wetlands are right for their land.”
To participate in the live virtual field day click the following 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. The meeting ID is: 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 credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.
Original photo: Wetlands