Wetland, saturated buffer and bioreactor field day set for August 9th near Spirit Lake

July 20, 2018

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Prairie Lakes Conference and Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a wetland, saturated buffer and bioreactor field day on Thursday, August 9th from 9:00-11:30 near the Okoboji View Golf Course, near Spirit Lake. The event is free and open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.

Edge of field practices like wetland, saturated buffers and bioreactors are key to reducing nitrate loss from agricultural land in Iowa. Through a natural biological process microorganisms living in the systems use the incoming nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrates levels from incoming tile drainage. Together with in-field practices like cover crops and no-tillage, these practices will help reach the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.

Field day attendees will have the opportunity rotate through three stations. One of the stations will be led by Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, and will feature the new Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station On The Edge that includes both a saturated buffer and bioreactor model to demonstrate how these edge of field practices can reduce nitrate losses to Iowa waterways.  Staff from the Okoboji View Golf Course will lead a station to discuss the wetland restoration and creation project they participated in on the grounds. The final station will be led by Chris LaRue, Iowa DNR, and Heather Jobst, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, to share details about the larger project in the area to create and restore wetlands. The meal will be held at Pub 19 at Okoboji View Golf Course following the program.

The field day will held on public land located at 1900 160th St. Spirit Lake. From Spirit Lake, head west on Hwy 9 for 3 miles. Turn south on IA-86 S just west of West Okoboji Lake and travel 1.1 miles. Turn west on to 160th St for 0.4 miles and the site will be on the south side of the road marked with a field day sign. The field day is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP please contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu.  

For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319).



Liz Juchems

Conservation Outreach Specialist




John Wills

Clean Water Alliance coordinator


712-336-3782 ext 3