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November 2021 Newsletter
Upcoming Events
Transportation Resilience

October 26 Meeting Recap


 A Day Spent Acknowledging Why Transportation Resilience is a Watershed Issue


On October 19th the University of Iowa planning students met in Delaware County to interview key professionals in the community who respond to flooding events and how transportation is affected.  The students captured audio and filmed interviews to create a Story Map highlighting why transportation resilience is a watershed issue. MR WMA Watershed Coordinator Erin Erickson coordinated the various stops throughout the day. During the visit, they met with Mike Ryan - Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief, Anthony Bardgett - Delaware County Engineer, Gary Fonck - West Delaware School District Transportation Director, Chad   Wulfekuhle    -    City  of  Manchester  



Water Superintendent, Jason Haight - City of Manchester Street Superintendent and local business owners who endure the flood events and have to be well prepared before large storms. The stories told about past events including emergency rescues, resonated with everyone taking part. 



MR WMA October Board of Directors Meeting Recap


The MR WMA Board of Directors held their fall meeting in Monticello on October 26, 2021.
          Here is a quick recap of the meeting:

  • The MR WMA has a little over $14,000 unobligated funding currently (WMA promised a $30,000 match for the DNR grant and we still have that reserved for the project for the next 18 months - thru Dec. 2022)

  • As of the end of Sept. /FY22 the WMA had received $28,700 in voluntary member support (last year FY21 we rec'd about $40,000)

  • Russ Farnum, City Admin for Monticello, was appointed to fill the remaining 1-year term of Doug Herman on the Executive Committee. Russ not only represents his community, but also brings a voice for Jones County members to the governing committee.

  • Lynette Seigley & Dave Mack received their Governor's Volunteer Awards (it was noted we hadn't met in person since Oct. 2019!) for their work with the Water Monitoring Committee. They also shared a synopsis of this year's sampling data. A longer, more detailed Zoom meeting to review all of the 2021 data and do a 3-year comparison will be scheduled in November. We'll be sure to share connection details with everyone. We'll also record it. You can still review LAST YEAR's meeting via a link on our website.

  • We received a good update regarding the multiple U of I student teams' projects this fall. Their work (and the watershed coordinator position) is being funded by the DNR Watershed Planning Grant. Mark your calendar for a culminating special presentation by the teams regarding the Camp Courageous demo site to be held at the camp Dec. 8 starting at 4:00pm. (Register above) We also reviewed new student planning projects that will kick off in January.


Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities

Active Project List

October 2021 Newsletter

IISC Project List  &  2021 Watershed Tour 



Civil & Environmental Engineering student teams are working with Camp Courageous in Monticello, IA to complete design plans for priority projects areas on the grounds of the camp. Each team visited the camp this fall to gather critical information from camp staff in addition to visiting the site locations of the projects. The four identified projects are as follows:


  • The creation of stormwater management demonstration sites that showcase a reduction in stormwater velocity and contaminant loads throughout the general camp area. The upper reach of the camp's watershed is primarily farmland, which produces nutrient and suspended solid contaminants. The mid and lower watershed is forested land and experiences high stormwater velocities. The objectives are to reduce both contaminant volume and stormwater velocity throughout this sub watershed by designing innovative stormwater management structures that can be utilized as examples for the entire Maquoketa River Watershed. 

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  • A cultural education/water quality center with an observation deck for use by campers as well as the public. Desired elements for the overlook include an enclosed building usable year-round, bathroom facilities, electrical service, along with an observation deck to view the surrounding natural habitat and river. In compliance with ADA-design requirements, students will evaluate potential sites for the overlook and create a site and facility plan.

  • ADA-compliant nature trails for all campers and the public to use. Camp Courageous' grounds offer many opportunities for viewing natural forest habitats that are currently inaccessible to campers. The objective of this project is to identify points of interest within the grounds - including proposed water quality demonstration sites - connecting chosen locations with ADA-compliant nature trails. Students will work within provided design parameters including budget constraints, general maintenance requirements, as well as aiming to preserve the area's natural habitat and aesthetics. 

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  • Well-head/sourcewater protection by making recommendations to reduce contaminants in the ground water that serves Camp Courageous. Camp officials are actively looking at alternative methods for protecting their drinking water wells. They are seeking to fine-tune contaminant sources and to reduce future risk to the drinking water source (both water quality and quantity) through pro-active technical assessments, planning, and suggest-ed project implementation. Objectives include the evaluation of reducing contaminants in stormwater runoff, acknowledging and addressing contaminants in regional groundwater, investigating alternative drinking water treatment processes, and developing a well-head protection management plan for the camp.     

Camp Courageous is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides year-round recreational and respite care opportunities for individuals with special needs. Camp Courageous offers a variety of services including week long camp sessions, respite care weekends, winter camper care, family camp sessions, outdoor education sessions, and Courageous Travels. The camp operates primarily on donations without government assistance, formal sponsorship, or paid fundraisers. On an annual basis, Camp Courageous serves thousands of individuals with special needs ranging in age from 1 to 105.

2021 Maquoketa River Watershed Tour

for U of I Student Planning Team

The 2021 Watershed Tour for the student team with University of Iowa’s Initiative for Sustainable Communities took center stage for the month of August. The planning students are helping us complete our Phase II of our Watershed Management Plan. The Tour was held on August 20 and showcased the various completed projects and key management practices within the watershed. The tour stops included the following:

  • Manchester Whitewater Park - Tim Vick and Chad Wulfekuhle presented the story of how the Whitewater Park was constructed and the challenges facing its completion and impacts to the city from flooding events and how water quality impacts treatment facilities.

  • Manchester Fish Hatchery - Dave Mack and Angie Lemke both with Delaware County NRCS, presented a hands-on water testing activity of the stream and discussed the importance of stream sampling. Mike Steuck, DNR fisheries supervisor, gave a tour of the hatchery and talked about impacts to fish/aquatic life from varying levels of pollutants in local streams. 

  • Joe Hoeger Farm, a Conservation Farm recognized by Delaware SWCD - Neil Sass (NRSC-Soil Scientist) gave the rainfall simulator demonstration exemplifying reasons to practice no till, cover crops and other soil conservation techniques. Joe discussed practices he uses on his farm, minimizing impacts to streams from his cattle, and other ‘best practices’ as a farmer.

  • Bear Creek Restoration Site in Dyersville - John Wandsnider (City of Dyersville - public works director) and Reid Stamer (Impact7G) [left to right] walked us around the restoration site discussing the project’s completion challenges. 

  • Maquoketa Caves State Park - The students ended the tour exploring tunnels in the cave system- where they gained a better understanding of karst topography and how it impacts waterways.


Where to next?

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c/o LB RC&D

PO Box 421

Mechanicsville, IA 52057




Larry McDevitt, Chair

 Mick Michel, Vice Chair

Steve Leonard, Secretary/Treasurer


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