AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Prairie Lakes Conference and Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a wetland, saturated buffer and bioreactor field day, Thursday, Aug. 9 from 9-11:30 a.m. near the Okoboji View Golf Course, near Spirit Lake. The event is free and open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.
Edge of field practices like wetlands, saturated buffers and bioreactors are key to reducing nitrate loss from agricultural land in Iowa. Through a natural biological process, microorganisms living in the systems use the incoming nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrates levels from incoming tile drainage. Together with in-field practices like cover crops and no-tillage, these practices will help reach the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.
Field day attendees will have the opportunity to rotate through three stations. One of the stations will be led by Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, and will feature the new Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station On The Edge that includes both a saturated buffer and bioreactor model to demonstrate how these edge-of-field practices can reduce nitrate losses to Iowa waterways. Staff from the Okoboji View Golf Course will lead a station to discuss the wetland restoration and creation project they participated in on the grounds. The final station will be led by Chris LaRue, Iowa DNR, and Heather Jobst, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, to share details about the larger project in the area to create and restore wetlands. The meal will be held at Pub 19 at Okoboji View Golf Course following the program.
The field day will be held on public land located at 1900 160th Street, Spirit Lake. From Spirit Lake, head west on Highway 9 for 3 miles. Turn south on IA-86 S just west of West Okoboji Lake and travel 1.1 miles. Turn west on to 160th St for 0.4 miles and the site will be on the south side of the road marked with a field day sign. The field day is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP please contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.
John Wills, Clean Water Alliance coordinator, email@example.com, 712-336-3782 ext 3