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Watershed plan will aim to improve Walnut Creek

Local governments, developers and farmers within the Walnut Creek watershed could make the waterway cleaner and less prone to flooding by enacting a slate of changes to local ordinances, development patterns and farming practices.

That is the central theme of a work-in-progress Walnut Creek watershed management plan (available by clicking here) that is now available for public review and comment. The plan is being developed under the direction of the Walnut Creek Watershed Management Authority, which was formed in 2014 to address environmental concerns including high nitrate levels, high bacteria levels, high turbidity, flash flooding and stream bank erosion. Walnut Creek is a tributary of the Raccoon River and a source of drinking water for the Des Moines metro area. Key recommendations in the draft plan include:

  • Adopt and use newer statewide design guidelines to create ponds, wetlands and other practices that capture and use water as a resource. Such systems would reduce the potential for poor water quality, streambank erosion, property damage and flash flooding.
  • Promote the use of bioreactors, saturated buffers and other agricultural management practices to sustain topsoil health and decrease pollution levels in runoff, using Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction strategy as a guide.
  • Improve implementation and enforcement of pollution prevention measures at construction sites. In so doing, the sediment load to Walnut Creek may be reduced by approximately 7,400 tons per year.

The public is invited to presentations (available by clicking here) being made to the governing bodies of the Walnut Creek WMA’s members.

Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 11:45 a.m. — Urbandale City Council, City Hall, 3600 86th St., Urbandale
Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 5:30 p.m. — Polk County Conservation Board, 111 Court Ave., Room 120, Des Moines
Monday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. — Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Service Center, 1918 Green St., Adel
Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. — Grimes City Council, City Hall, 101 NE Harvey St., Grimes
Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. — West Des Moines City Council, City Hall, 4200 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. — Dallas Center City Council, Dallas Center Legion Hall, 1502 Walnut St., Dallas Center
Monday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. — Windsor Heights City Council, City Hall, 1145 66th St., Suite 1, Windsor Heights
Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. — Johnston City Council, Johnston City Hall, 6221 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 9 a.m. — Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District, 1513 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 3, Ankeny
Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 9:30 a.m. — Polk County Board of Supervisors, 111 Court Ave., Room 120, Des Moines

For more details or to comment, visit, email, or call 515-334-0075.