Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig Visited Vesterheim Heritage Park

On June 3, Vesterheim was pleased to welcome a visit from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. Naig toured Vesterheim Heritage Park and observed first-hand the conservation practices that were funded by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Urban Conservation Water Quality Initiative grant.

Vesterheim Heritage Park site lies on the edge of the historic floodplain of the Upper Iowa River, which is on Iowa’s impaired waters list. In designing the park, practices were incorporated to manage stormwater runoff and reduce nutrient and sediment run-off into the Upper Iowa River to improve water quality.

The conservation practices used in Heritage Park are soil quality restoration, native landscaping, and permeable pavers. These conservation practices transformed an underutilized, traditional mowed lawn into a densely planted, tree-covered landscape with features that improve infiltration, reduce nutrient and sediment runoff, and demonstrate sustainable stormwater management.

For this work, Vesterheim received an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Urban Conservation Water Quality Initiative grant and partnered with others who have worked extensively in protecting the watershed through the Upper Iowa Watershed Project including Winneshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District, Upper Iowa River Watershed Management Authority, and Northeast Iowa Resource, Conservation & Development

The Heritage Park project was guided by Amy Bouska, IDALS Eastern Iowa Urban Conservationist. Damon Farber Landscape from the Twin Cities, Minnesota, was the Architect of Record. Construction was completed in June 2021 by contractor 2nd Nature of the Twin Cities.