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October 20, 2017: Lower Cedar Watershed – Partnerships in Conservation

On Friday, October 20, 2017, around 50 Cedar River Watershed Coalition members gathered in Muscatine at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center to learn about partnerships underway to improve the Lower Cedar Watershed. This was the first Coalition meeting held this far down in the watershed, and it was a great opportunity to raise awareness about what steps are being taken by partners to improve conditions. We are grateful to the Muscatine County Conservation Board for the use of their facility, the Nature Conservancy for helping to organize the meeting and paying for the bus tour, and each of the speakers for taking time out of their busy spring schedules.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Kamyar Enshayan, the Director of the Center for Energy and Envionmental Education at University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Enshayan spoke about the Good Neighbor Iowa project, which aims to reduce pesticide use on lawns and in parks to reduce.

Next, a group of panelists provided an introduction to conservation partnerships in the Lower Cedar:

  • Lower Iowa & Cedar Valley Conservation Alliance (Josh Spies, The Nature Conservancy)
  • Indian Creek Watershed Management Authority (Jennifer Fencl, ECICOG)
  • Soil Health Partnership (Elyssa McFarland, Iowa Field Manager, Soil Health Partnership)


Meeting participants then had the chance to visit The Nature Conservancy’s Swamp White Oak Preserve, an ecologically diverse array of protected lands in the Lower Cedar. The Coalition heard from TNC staff about their strategies for managing these lands, and the impact that excessive flooding has had on sensitive species in the region.

The Lower Cedar Watershed demonstrates that through partnerships among farmers, agricultural groups, conservationists, and urban watershed neighbors, it is possible to achieve our goals of reduced flood risk and improved water quality. Each of us has the opportunity to take ownership of our own piece of the watershed puzzle, whether it be to implement practices on our residential or agricultural property, participate in a watershed improvement project, or simply as taxpayers – many water quality projects would not be possible without the strong backing of state and federal cost-share programs.

Agenda: 10-20-17 Final Agenda

Summaries of past Cedar River Watershed Coalition meetings are here.


Cedar River Watershed Coalition:

Meetings and Agenda

June 10, 2016

Agenda: 6/10/16 Agenda

Meeting Summary: 6/10/16 Meeting Summary

November 13, 2015

The Coalition’s 2015 Fall meeting was held in Cedar Falls, IA.

Agenda: 11-13-15_FinalAgenda

March 20, 2015

Agricultural Conservation Bus Tour & Program at Hickory Hills Park: CRWC_3-20-15_Agenda FINAL

November 21, 2014

The Coalition’s Fall meeting was held in Waverly, Iowa at the beautiful Waverly Civic Center.

Agenda: CRWC 11/21/14

April 1, 2014

Ray Archuleta spoke about the benefits of improving soil health.

Flyer: 4-1-14 Flyer

Agenda: CRWC_4-1-14


Steering Committee:

Meetings and Agenda 

July 16, 2014

The Steering Committe gathered in Waterloo to learn about the newest watershed-based projects aimed at improving water quality in Iowa, and to discuss topics for the next full Coalition meeting, scheduled for November 21 in Waverly.

Meeting Notes:  7-16-14 Notes


Last modified on January 12th, 2018
Posted on April 29th, 2014