Secretary Naig Announces State Funding for 12 Urban Water Quality Projects

DES MOINES, Iowa (April 26, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig kicked-off Soil and Water Conservation Week by announcing 12 urban water quality projects will receive funding from the state’s Water Quality Initiative. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will provide financial and technical assistance to the communities and organizations that are implementing urban water quality practices to manage stormwater. These practices help reduce precipitation run-off by capturing and soaking up water and sediment from impervious surfaces.

“These urban conservation projects are great examples of how state and local partners are collaborating to make a meaningful impact on water quality, and they provide valuable roadmaps that other communities can follow,” said Secretary Naig. “When we all work together, we can improve our local water sources and help our neighbors downstream.”

To receive state funding, the urban water quality projects must include outreach and education components and local partners to support the project. These community-based projects raise awareness about new stormwater management methods and encourage others to adopt similar infrastructure-based practices to improve water quality in local bodies of water. These urban conservation projects include water quality practices like bioretention cells, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavers, rain gardens, soil quality restoration and wetlands.

The Department is investing over $1 million from the WQI fund to support these urban water quality projects and nearly $7 million is being contributed by other public and private partners.

Belmond Colts Corner Daycare Storm Water Improvements, Belmond - $75,000

The City of Belmond is adding permeable pavers and bioretention cells to the lot surrounding Belmond Colts Corner Daycare. The project will help manage stormwater on the site and the surrounding commercial and residential areas to prevent runoff from entering the Iowa River. The practices will be installed at a daycare and the site is close to the Belmond-Klemme Community School, which provides opportunities to educate students and others about the water quality project.

Greenbelt Landing Stormwater Wetland, Clive - $100,000

The City of Clive is developing a stormwater wetland as part of the Greenbelt Landing project to foster recreational activities, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat in a park contiguous to the Clive Greenbelt. Native plant species will be planted along the wetland and its boardwalk to infiltrate and filter stormwater from a nearby parking lot and sub-watershed to the south of Walnut Creek.

Prairie Pointe Park Stormwater Management Retrofit, Elkhart - $125,000

The City of Elkhart is retrofitting the lagoons surrounding the abandoned wastewater treatment facility. By converting the lagoons to stormwater ponds, the City can treat stormwater runoff before it enters the South Skunk River. The ponds will be the centerpiece for the expanded Prairie Ponte Park. The project will help enhance the quality of life for Elkhart residents and downstream communities.

Jefferson County Kids Inc. Bioretention Cells, Fairfield - $53,365

Jefferson County Kids Inc. is working with the Pathfinders RC&D and Jefferson County Health Center to install seven bioretention cells on the site of its new childcare center. The bioretention cells will include native plants that absorb rainwater into the soil, which helps reduce the volume of water flowing off the parking lot and roof to protect Indian Creek. The project also includes plans for two acres of soil quality restoration after the construction is complete.

Trees Forever Campus Improvement Project, Marion - $100,000

Trees Forever Inc. is working with the City of Marion and other public and private partners to incorporate native plantings, bioretention cells, a rainwater harvesting system and permeable pavers into their campus. These practices will reduce nutrient and sediment flows into the nearby Dry Creek and Indian Creek, which flow into the Cedar River.

Q Pond Watershed Stormwater Wetland and Central Business District Projects, Osceola - $100,000

The City of Osceola is incorporating urban water quality practices into its downtown revitalization plans to protect Q Pond from stormwater runoff and sedimentation. The preliminary plans include a mix of permeable pavers, bioretention cells, underground detention and tree trenches to capture and treat the stormwater in the central business district. The City also plans to build a stormwater wetland to treat the remaining portions of the watershed before they flow into Q Pond.

Polk City Soil Quality Restoration Program, Polk City - $50,000

The City of Polk City is partnering with private homeowners to implement a soil quality restoration program targeting 60 residential lots. The program will simplify and streamline the installation process to encourage more residents to adopt stormwater best management practices. These practices improve soil health and help prevent stormwater runoff and sediment from entering Big Creek and Saylorville Lakes.

Schleswig Golf Course Detention Pond, Schleswig - $40,000

The City of Schleswig is rehabilitating a pond on the Schleswig Golf Course to create a stormwater detention pond. Forebays will be added above the pond to capture sediment and filter runoff from a 220-acre watershed to protect the pond and nearby East Soldier River. The demonstration project will also show other golf courses how to utilize water hazards for their water quality benefits.

Sioux Center Meadow Creek Wet Pond, Sioux Center - $100,000

The City of Sioux Center is installing a large wet pond in the middle of an existing grassed waterway on the southeast side of the city. The pond will capture and treat runoff from 144-acres of land to protect the West Branch of the Floyd River.

Chris Larsen Park Riverfront Development Bioretention Basin, Sioux City - $100,000

The City of Sioux City is incorporating multiple urban water quality practices into the Chris Larsen Park Riverfront Development located along the eastern bank of the Missouri River. The project will include soil restoration, more than three acres of native plantings and four bioretention basins to capture runoff from parking lots and a recreational trail.

Crossroads Park Improvement Project, West Des Moines - $100,000

The City of West Des Moines is renovating the aging Crossroads Park to include stormwater management practices. The City is proposing a series of bioretention cells, soil quality restoration practices, and enhancing the stream corridor to protect Western Hills Creek and Jordan Creek, which flow into the Raccoon River.

Wilton Wetlands and Sediment Control Basins, Wilton - $77,000

The City of Wilton is adding a series of wetlands and sediment control basins to treat runoff from existing and future development projects. These practices will reduce nutrient loading, soil erosion and improve water quality in Sugar Creek and Otter Creek, which flow into the Cedar River.

To learn more about urban water quality practices and the projects happening in communities around the state, visit CleanWaterIowa.org.

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616           
Keely.Coppess@IowaAgriculture.gov