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Watershed Projects 

Everyone lives in a watershed. You and everyone in your watershed are part of the watershed community. The animals, birds, and fish are, too. You influence what happens in your watershed, good or bad, by how you treat the natural resources, the soil, water, air, plants, and animals. What happens in your small watershed affects the larger watershed downstream.

The landscape is made up of many interconnected basins, or watersheds. Within each watershed, all the water runs to the lowest point, a stream, river or lake. On its way, water travels over the surface across farm fields, forest land, suburban lawns, and city streets, or it seeps into the soil and travels as ground water. Large watersheds like the ones for the Mississippi River, Columbia River, and Chesapeake Bay are made up of many smaller watersheds across several states.

Walnut Creek

 The Walnut Creek Watershed project is in its initial stages. This is a voluntary project, and farmers in the northern sub-watershed of Walnut Creek may have the opportunity to receive financial assistance on conservation practices and systems that help them control nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural land.   Agricultural production is not the only factor affecting this watershed.  Urban and rural sewage concerns from towns and rural residences may be contributing to poor water quality as well. When flooding occurs, contaminants from housing areas and livestock could also be entering the creek and affecting the water quality for us and those downstream.

There are many practices that could be done with this project that would help immensely.  Having a small amount of help from a lot of people, can add up to make a huge difference.

Currently we are looking for people that are interested in being part of the Walnut Creek watershed committee. This is anyone who is living, or owns land, in the watershed that would like to help make a difference and get involved at the beginning. This is your chance to be a part of this exciting project! This would allow you the opportunity to give input and help decide best management practices (BMP) in the watershed. If you would like to be part of this team give us a call today at 319-462-3196 Ext. 3!

Farm Creek

Farmers in the Farm Creek watershed, a sub-watershed of the larger Maquoketa River basin, have the opportunity to receive higher payment rates on conservation practices and systems that avoid, control and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity. The Farm Creek project is a multiple year effort that began in 2010. More details are at the USDA web site: Click Here

Mineral Creek

The story of the very successful Mineral Creek project can be seen on the Iowa Department of Agricultre-Division of Soil Conservation: Click Here.

Big Bear Creek 

2002, June 4th storm dumped heavy rains, causing runoff from Little Bear creek watershed to flood Wyoming. This and other flooding events sparked meetings held in Wyoming and Jones Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Commissioners requested technical and financial assistance from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and others.

2003-2004, Jones County Urban Rural Project developed, and some funding was approved for certain projects, including a small amount of technical assistance to Little Bear Creek area and Wyoming.

2005, landowner survey conducted to determine interest in various conservation practices, and field office staff worked with individual landowners to prepare cost estimates and designs. Historical fisheries data showed very good potential for Bear Creek to support a diverse population of fish if water quality improvements could be made. With evidence of high landowner interest and good potential for water quality improvement, the Jones SWCD submitted an application for 319/WSPF funding for a 3-year project in the Big Bear Creek watershed. This was not approved.

May 2006, again Jones SWCD submitted an application for 319/WSPF funding for a 3-year project in the Big Bear Creek Watershed which again was not approved.

October 2006, Jones SWCD submitted and was approved for a 3-year watershed project through the watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB)

January 2007, the first meeting was conducted kicking off plans to improve water quality in the Bear Creek Watershed with additional benefits to fisheries and wildlife, as well as the hope of reducing flooding events in Wyoming.

January 2011,  the Bear Creek Watershed Project was in its final six months of a five year project.  The original project plan had two priority areas to address water quality issues.  One was along the Big Bear Creek corridor and the other was all of the Little Bear Creek Watershed (6,400 acres).  The total area of the project stopping at Wyoming is 26,734 acres.  Since the project was nearing its end, funding a few soil and water conservation practices outside these original priority areas was considered, and applications for the remaining funds were accepted.