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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2018

Skunk River water quality project invites community dialogue

Jan 16, 2018

The Lower Skunk River Water Quality and Soil Health Initiative Project invites anyone who lives, works, farms or owns property in the project area to a community dialogue.

“The Lower Skunk River Project area includes parts of Henry, Jefferson, Lee and Van Buren counties,” said Miranda Haes, Watershed Coordinator at the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). More specifically it includes Salem, portions of Tippecanoe and Jackson Townships, all of Round Prairie and portions of Lockridge and Cedar Townships in Jackson, portions of Cedar and Marion Townships in Lee and all of Cedar and portions of Harrisburg and Union Townships in Van Buren.

The dialogues will take place on three different days and include a free meal and the opportunity to win several prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to J.J. Nichting. Participants are welcome to pick which meeting to attend and do not need to attend all events.

Meetings are as follows: Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Salem Crew Public Library, 107 E. Cherry St., Salem, IA 52649. Meal provided by Beck’s Hybrids; Friday, Jan. 26 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Stockport American Legion, 112 E. Legion St. Stockport, IA 52651. Meal provided by Iowa Farm Bureau; and Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lockridge Community Building, 104 W. Main Street, Lockridge, IA 52635. Meal provided by Iowa Farm Bureau.

“A watershed is an area of land where all the water flows to the same creek, stream or river,” explained Anna Bruen, from Pathfinders RC&D who is facilitating multiple conversations in the watershed. “People who live, work, farm and own property are the experts on what is going on in the watershed and what is needed to improve the quality of life for residents and ensure productive farm ground well into the future.”

At the meetings, people will be encouraged to share what they know, what they don’t know, and what they want to know about the watershed, water quality and soil health. The information shared will influence future conservation and community development projects in the watershed.

The Lower Skunk River Water Quality and Soil Health Initiative is a project consisting of five watersheds in Southeastern Iowa. Its purpose is to carry out the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Water Quality Initiative by implementing specific nutrient reduction practices. For more information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Water Quality Initiative, visit www.cleanwateriowa.org.

The project is one of 16 demonstration projects funded by the Water Quality Initiative (WQI). The WQI was established in 2013 to implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). The goal of the NRS is a 45 percent reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus entering Iowa’s water bodies. The WQI takes a multifaceted approach to boost adoption of practices outlined in the NRS, including working with farmers, property owners, cities, and business owners on conservation practices.

RSVPs are requested, but not required. For questions, call Miranda Haes 319-385-2824 Ext. 3, or email miranda.haes@ia.nacdnet.net.

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