Urban stream and riparian conservation topic of field day

By Liz Ripley–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

ISU Extension and Outreach’s most recent field day looked at how urban and rural water management affects farms and area ecosystems.

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, hosted a free virtual urban stream conservation field day on Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m.

The organizers highlighted the importance of urban stream and riparian area management with Jan Thompson, Morrill professor of natural resource ecology and management at Iowa State University, and Aaron Gwinnup, water resources engineer with Emmons and Olivier Resources.

Rivers and streams reflect the activity of the watershed that drains into them. This is especially true in urban areas, where these water bodies are tasked with not only providing habitat and recreation, but also capturing and transporting storm water away from homes and businesses in areas dominated by impervious surfaces that continue to increase.

With management of the vegetation and understanding of the watershed to reduce pollutant transport, the health and beauty of these areas can be vastly enhanced and can improve the quality of life for the surrounding community.

“Our research indicates that restoration activities to protect urban streams can significantly improve water quality and ecological integrity of the streams themselves, as well as providing place-based opportunities for urban residents to better connect with these natural features in their neighborhoods and communities,” said Thompson.

The field day was recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive is available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.