This category features projects that are successful in mitigating, directing, and decreasing storm water run off in urban or rural settings. Commercial, civic, or residential projects can include but are not limited to the use of natural or sustainable filtration systems with the aim to improve water quality through landscaping or streetscaping, or to recycle and reuse collected water for conservation purposes, such as landscape watering.
Cherry Glen Learning Farm is the state’s first watershed mitigation farm and is located in Polk City. It also has solar-powered irrigation. Designed by the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District, this 10 A farm has two basins, one of which connects to farm tile. The system receives mocha-looking high nitrate water and pumps clear and mostly-nitrate-free water through irrigation via solar power. Forty percent of the clean water is returned to the aquifer. Four acres are enrolled into prairie through NRCS, and another 4 A switched from commodity crops to annual agro-forestry cropping. A high tunnel and attached greenhouse extend the growing season, indoor and outdoor cooking centers are available for classes. On-site composting supplements the water management to improve soil health.