Secretary Naig Announces Funding for 16 Urban Water Quality Projects
$14.6 million in total investment will be made to support ongoing statewide water quality efforts
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 3, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will partner in 16 urban water quality projects across the state by investing nearly $2.8 million. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, utilizing the state’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) and funding from the Conservation Infrastructure Program (CIP), will provide cost-share grants that cover up to 50 percent of the total cost of each project. The overall cost of the 16 projects is expected to be approximately $14.6 million, which includes $2.8 million from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and $11.8 million from local sources.
“Whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural area, all Iowans have an important role in protecting and improving our state’s water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “As we accelerate our statewide water quality efforts and work collaboratively with local partners, these urban cost-share grants help to leverage significant water quality investment by communities of all sizes.”
The Department provides financial and technical assistance to the communities and organizations implementing these urban water quality practices. To receive state funding, the urban water quality projects must include education and outreach components and involve local partners. These community-based projects raise awareness about new stormwater management methods and encourage others to adopt similar infrastructure-based practices to improve water quality. These urban conservation projects include water quality practices like bioretention cells, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavers, rain gardens, soil quality restoration, and wetlands among many other proven practices.
Today’s grant announcement coincides with Soil and Water Conservation Week, which Governor Kim Reynolds has proclaimed will be recognized from April 30 through May 7 in Iowa.
Tuscany Pond Renovation Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $300,000
The City of Altoona will renovate the Tuscany Pond into a stormwater management practice that will receive runoff from 245 acres of adjacent urban areas by incorporating a multi-staged outlet and sediment forebays. This site will serve as an example of how to utilize updated conservation practices for effective water quality treatment and flood protection.
Calmar and Peosta
Demonstration of Urban Conservation Projects at Northeast Iowa Community College
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $16,113
Northeast Iowa Community College will convert turf grass areas into prairie plantings on their Calmar and Peosta campuses. This project will improve water quality by reducing stormwater and nutrient runoff. The sites will also provide opportunities to educate students, visitors and staff about the benefits of native prairie plants.
YSS Ember Recovery Campus
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $288,200
Youth and Shelter Services (YSS) is developing a nature-based recovery campus to provide shelter and treatment for people in need. A stormwater pond and bioretention cells will be incorporated into the site to reduce nutrient loss and treat runoff prior to entering a stream. Native prairie and soil quality restoration, as well as improvements to existing forest cover, will provide a natural landscape and pleasant setting for residents and visitors.
E Ave NW Detention Basin – Ecological Uplift
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $150,000
The City of Cedar Rapids is adding a wetland to a large existing detention basin that is being renovated for flood control. The wetland will treat part of the drainage area and will provide water quality and natural habitat benefits to the basin.
Center Point Urban Water Quality Initiative Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $350,000
A wetland will provide stormwater management for a new development area along Mustang Lane. Several bioretention cells and permeable paver areas in Fross Park are also being implemented. These practices will improve water quality in the East Branch Blue Creek watershed and the Cedar River.
Frog Hollow Wetland Restoration Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $100,000
The City of Clinton is building a stormwater wetland to capture runoff from a 124-acre drainage area which includes industrial activities and a high percentage of impervious surfaces. The wetland will help control urban runoff and reduce the movement of sediment in the watershed.
City of Coralville Green Infrastructure Equality Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $15,000
The City of Coralville is targeting an “Opportunity Zone” to implement soil quality restoration that will improve the infiltration of water into lawns. This project will reduce runoff and expand the use of water quality practices to additional areas of the city.
Des Moines Stormwater Detention Basin Water Quality Retrofit
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $500,000
The Jackson Street dry detention basin will be converted to a stormwater wetland that will treat runoff from a 1,390 acre fully developed urban watershed that outlets directly into the Des Moines River. The wetland will preserve the existing flood protection functions while also adding pools and natural vegetation to help filter the water.
Glendale Cemetery Wet Pond Rehabilitation
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $250,000
A 2-acre pond in Glendale Cemetery will be rehabilitated due to aging infrastructure, extensive sedimentation and shoreline erosion. The improved pond will provide increased storage capacity, reduce high runoff rates and filter water before it is released downstream.
Lauridsen Skatepark Parking Lot
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $103,500
Polk County Conservation Board will incorporate stormwater management practices into a new parking lot adjacent to the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines. Permeable pavers and a bioretention cell will collect stormwater from this highly visible parking lot that will serve the Lauridsen Skatepark, walking and biking trail, and the Riverfront dog park. This location will provide an opportunity to educate the public about managing stormwater and the connection to the river.
City of Johnston Citywide Soil Quality Restoration
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $125,000
The City of Johnston is implementing a citywide campaign to complete soil quality restoration on lawns and green space throughout the city. This project will improve the ability of lawns to hold and infiltrate more water into the soil and reduce runoff.
American Legion Post 169 Urban Conservation Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $23,480
To better capture and filter stormwater, the American Legion Post 169 is incorporating bioretention cells, soil quality restoration and an enhanced rain garden into their new building site in Montezuma. The Poweshiek Soil and Water Conservation District is assisting Post 169 with the implementation of this project, which includes the first urban conservation practices to be installed in the city.
Promoting Stormwater Management Practices in Mahaska County
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $12,558
A bioretention cell, rain garden and rain barrel will be installed at the Mahaska County USDA Service Center by the Mahaska Soil and Water Conservation District. This site will demonstrate these practices to other businesses and homeowners in the City of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County.
Polk City Soil Quality Restoration Batch and Build
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $95,000
Polk City is expanding its cost-share program to implement soil quality restoration on more yards throughout the city. The city is also implementing an informational and educational campaign to promote and expand its cost share program.
Broadway Avenue Water Quality Project
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $167,500
Polk County is combining water quality improvements into a 5-mile-long road reconstruction project. Bioretention cells and a stormwater wetland will be installed along the Broadway Avenue corridor that transects one of Polk County’s priority watersheds, Fourmile Creek.
Little Walnut Creek Headwaters Wetland & Greenway
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Grant: $300,000
The City of Waukee is transforming the headwaters of a major watershed into a high-quality stormwater asset that will manage current agricultural and expanding developmental runoff and create a community amenity. A stormwater wetland and greenway will intercept runoff at the beginning of Little Walnut Creek and filter stormwater before it continues to flow through the city. This project will set a great example of implementing best management practices as the city continues to promote better stormwater management for new developments.
About the Water Quality Initiative
The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established in 2013 to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is a science and technology-based approach to protecting and improving our water quality. The strategy brings together both point sources, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban stormwater runoff, to address these issues. The Initiative seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to deliver a clear and consistent message to stakeholders to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.