Water Quality Initiative Leader Award presented to Lake Darling Watershed Project in Washington County

DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that the landowners and partners in the Lake Darling Watershed project in Washington County have received the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative Leader Award.  Northey presented the award at the Lake Darling State Park rededication ceremony on September 17.

“Local land owners and project partners have taken real leadership on this project and the impact it has had on Lake Darling is impressive,” Northey said.  “This type of project is shows broad support we have received for conservation efforts and I’m pleased to be able to help recognize all of their hard work.”

As part of the watershed project, in the last 10 years there have been 162 construction projects completed on private land.  These 162 projects involved 59 different landowners, which is 83 percent of all landowners in the watershed.

These landowners provided $458,035 in funding to support conservation projects, which was matched by $1.5 million from state and federal sources.

Landowners continue to be interested in conservation work, including building 13,309 feet of terraces, four grade stabilization structures, and one grassed waterway built in fiscal 2014 and one grade stabilization structure and 24,700 feet of terraces planned for construction in FY2015.

The drainage area into Lake Darling is 12,500 acres.  About 8,100 acres are in Washington County, 2,000 acres in Jefferson County, and 1,900 acres in Keokuk County.  There are 71 different landowners within the watershed.