Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship recently announced
funding for the 2019 round of Iowa Water Quality Initiative (WQI) program. Golden Hills was awarded funding for our project, "Bringing Urban Practices to Rural Communities." This is a multi-site project that will add urban water quality practices (bioretention cells and rain gardens) to county courthouses and fairgrounds in Avoca, Glenwood, Malvern, Oakland, Red Oak, and Sidney. We will also add a rain garden at our office in Oakland. Each site will include education and outreach for youth and adults. See the bottom of this page for scheduled events. Projects will be constructed in spring-summer 2019 and spring 2020.
This effort includes public education and outreach. Prior to each project build, we will host an educational session targeted towards youth (but open to all ages). 4-H and FFA members are especially encouraged to attend, but you do not need to be a member of either to join. These sessions will discuss issues related to water quality and quantity and tie back to our local Nishnabotna watershed. This information will help people understand why practices like rain gardens and bioretention cells are important.
Each project site will be visible to the public beyond county fair time and able to be used for additional education and outreach about both water quality practices such as rain gardens, bioswales permeable pavers, and native vegetation. Each site will have a kickoff event as well as a public ribbon cutting when completed. Project partners will have an informational booth at the sites during county fairs to educate fairgoers about the water quality practices.
We will rely on volunteers to help build each project. We are seeking donations for mulch, sand, rock, plants and equipment. At each of the fairgrounds, we will host a ribbon-cutting event once the project is complete.
Learn more about the project and how you can get involved on the project web page.