Kent Park Lake improvement projects underway


UpperKentPk_IA
Kent Park Lake was drained this spring in preparation for water quality and recreation improvement projects. (Iowa Water Science Center)
Jenna Ladd | July 20, 2017

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Johnson County Conservation Board continue moving forward with plans to improve water quality and recreation opportunities at F.W. Kent Park Lake.

Johnson County and the state of Iowa are splitting the cost of the $700,000 project. The state’s money comes from a $96 million ten year plan that was approved by the Iowa legislature in 2014 to restore lakes statewide.

In partnership with the Johnson County Conservation Board and Stanley Consultants, Iowa DNR plans to wrap up the first phase of park improvements this fall, which include restoring and constructing catch basins, adding ADA complaint facilities and installing bio-retention cells to keep storm water run-off from entering the lake.

Kent Park Lake was drained this spring in preparation for lake restoration projects. In this second phase, DNR plans to remove sediments from the lake basin, reshape parts of the bank and lake basin and add fish habitat.

The 27 acre lake is currently on the DNR’s impaired waters list, which is a list of bodies of water that fail to meet federal water quality standards. A central issue in the state of Iowa is the accumulation of nutrients in waterways, which feed blue green algae blooms that produce a bacteria called microcystin. Too much microcystin in water can cause rashes, breathing problems and stomach problems for people and death for pets.

The project aims to provide filtration for these nutrients before they reach the lake. Brad Freidhof of the Johnson County Conservation Board said, “We want the water to settle the soil particulates and nutrients that are in that water to be utilized by plant communities or settle out in the catch basins and that will happen several times before it ends up in the lake” in a report by KCRG.

Project officials will hold a public meeting on July 25 at 6:30 pm at the Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park to discuss preliminary plans for phase two. 

IIHR Director Honored for Conservation Efforts


Photo via IIHR

IIHR Director Larry Weber and his wife Miechelle recently received the Johnson County Heritage Trust Conservation Award for their conservation efforts. The Webers are working toward restoring and conserving a stretch of land that they call “Old Man’s Timber.”

Larry Weber keeps a blog updated with progress and news about his work with the timber, follow this link to find out more.

 

FEMA awards $106 million to UI for flood renovations


The Hancher Voxman Clapp Building during the 2008 flood. Photo courtesy UI News Services.

The University of Iowa will receive a total of about $106 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in the restoration of the Hancher Voxman Clapp Building and Art Building East. Both buildings sustained heavy damage during the 2008 flood.

“This is exciting news from our state and federal elected leaders,” said University of Iowa President Sally Mason. “It is the result of much hard work and coordination by the Iowa Office of Homeland Security, FEMA, and many university staff members.”

Hancher Voxman Clapp was awarded $74,218,831 and Art Building East was awarded $32,547,414 for permanent relocation and improvements.

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