Just beyond the Des Moines Lobe lie the rolling hills of Madison Co., which we had the pleasure of visiting this past Saturday evening, July 14. As part of the Badger Creek Lake watershed improvement project, the Madison Co. SWCD commissioners planned and hosted a field day for local watershed residents, with the event based at the historic barn of Ron & Jenny McBroom.
As residents arrived, they were invited to tour the Conservation Station. In addition to seeing the rainfall simulator in action, folks loved sharing stories and reminiscing as they explored the unique display created for Badger Creek Lake inside the trailer. The air conditioning inside was a nice draw, too! The Madison Co. commissioners were a gracious welcoming committee, greeting guests as they arrived, mingling with watershed residents, and helping transport people out to the wetlands via hayrack (though they were down to one due to a blown tire).
Madison Co. commissioner Frederick Martens led the 50+ guests on a tour of the newly established Martens wetland, part of the CREP program. Fred was a wonderful tour guide, answering questions and sharing his experiences in establishing the wetlands site at the head of the watershed, and its many benefits on water quality, including sediment removal and nutrient cycling.
Whether on foot or via hayrack, the 50+ people in attendance got to see firsthand the quiet beauty of this wetland. Even though it is newly established, you didn’t have to look far to see (and hear) abundant wildlife all around.
While some took in the sights and sounds of the wetlands, others self-entertained with a grass sword fight!
Nonetheless, folks thoroughly enjoyed seeing the wetlands up close and personal and getting the chance to visit with Frederick and several agency personnel in attendance.
After touring the wetlands, we all came together for a community picnic and some time for fellowship. We shared a delicious meal of sloppy joes, chips, pasta salad, plus brownies and cookies for dessert. Oh, and baked beans – it’s not a real field day without the baked beans!
We also recruited several new members to join the Conservation Pack.
Thanks to the Madison Co. SWCD commissioners and secretary Diane Fitch for their work in planning this event, being such gracious hosts, and bringing folks together for an evening of education, fun, and fellowship. We are better together!