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Charles City, Decorah, Waukon to Receive Almost $300,000 in Water Quality Grants

Projects in Charles City, Decorah and Waukon will each receive upwards of $100,000 in funding through the state’s Water Quality Initiative. 

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says 17 urban water quality projects will receive financial and technical assistance in managing storm water and reducing precipitation runoff. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says, “These projects will help show the conservation progress we can make when rural and urban citizens and public and private partners work together. They are good examples of making a meaningful impact on water quality for their residents and neighbors downstream.” 

Charles City will receive $100,00 for the Garden Corridor Edible Arboretum Urban Conservation Demonstration Project. In the second phase of the, part of a larger “Garden Corridor” area, Charles City is adding several water quality improvement practices in the city, including a bioretention cell, interior walking paths with grass pavers, gravel pavers,  permeable pavers, rain gardens and native plants to demonstrate infiltration-based storm water quality management practices that can be replicated in residential and commercial properties. 

Decorah will receive $96,000 for its Greenbelt Storm Water Improvement and Demonstration Project. The City of Decorah is implementing strategically located urban storm water conservation practices to improve water quality in the city by infiltrating runoff from existing industrial and new development sites. A proposed constructed wetland located upstream of the City, within Winneshiek County Conservation Board’s Dry Run Greenbelt area, will help capture runoff from an adjacent industrial area and serve as a major destination point for a planned recreational Dry Run Trail. Additionally, Sunflower Child Development and Discovery Center in Decorah will implement a bio-retention system in the southwest corner of the property filtering and treating runoff before it is released to waters downstream. Thirty-five acres of native landscaping will also be implemented along the Upper Iowa River in Decorah as a form of floodplain management to reduce bank erosion while providing increased infiltration. 

Waukon will get $100,000 for Storm Water Quality Improvements which includes a storm water wetland that will improve the water quality of Indian Springs Pond and Paint Creek. This project will complement the city’s State Revolving Fund Sponsored Project which includes permeable pavers, a bioretention cell and native plantings within the city park. The combination of these projects will treat the entire water quality volume of the watershed as well as control the runoff from all the storm events. 

To receive state funding, the urban water quality projects must include outreach and education components and local partners to support the project.

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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