IOWA FALLS, Iowa — Iowa DNR Water Quality Coordinator Adam Schnieders will join area land owners, operators and residents Tuesday, Sept. 10 to discuss how practices like wetlands and prairie strips benefit Iowa’s water.
Schnieders will keynote a free field day (2:30-5:30) being coordinated by the Southfork Watershed Alliance as part of its “Keeping Nutrients in Your Field” series. It will be held at the SFWA conservation demonstration farm along US 65 south of Iowa Falls. (Parking and registration will be from M Ave.)
Schnieders has worked on water quality with the department for 18 years, including coordinating water quality standards and helping develop the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. In his current role, he works across state government to improve water quality and reduce nutrient levels. He also helps lead a number of national associations dedicated to improving water quality.
Joining Schnieders will be Sutherland farmer Paul Mugge, who added prairie strips to his 300 acre farm in 2010, and Hardin County Conservation Director Wes Weise, talking about how wetlands are working locally.
In addition, the field day will include the real time installation of a saturated buffer along Beaver Creek. This installation was originally scheduled for the buffer and intake field day, but was delayed because June conditions were too wet.
Prairie strips are a relatively new practice, pioneered by researchers at Iowa State University to use priarie plants to slow and clean runoff. Wetlands are an important feature for improving water quality, storing carbon, helping mitigate flooding and providing wildlife habitat.
Refreshments will be provided. Reservations are appreciated and can be made at the website www.southforkwatershed.org/nutrientworkshop, or by calling the Hardin County Extension Office (641-648-4850). Parking is available at the Hardin County Solid Waste site across the road from the field day registration. Changes or updates are available by the website or Facebook. (The next event — focusing on cover crops — is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 19.)
This series of field days is made possible by a grant from the Iowa State Soil Conservation Committee. Partnering with the Southfork on this project are Knutson Family Farms, Hardin County ISU Extension, Antares Group, and the ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment at Iowa State.
— Southfork Watershed Alliance
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