Iowa Byways Conservation Innovation Interpretive Panel Project

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development worked with the Iowa League of RC&D’s, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 5 other Iowa RC&Ds, 10 scenic byway boards, 10 County Conservation Boards and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers across Iowa, to design, fabricate and install 25 interpretive panels with weathering steel artwork along 10 of Iowa’s Scenic Byways.  The goal of the project was to develop a cohesive, statewide set of interpretive panels along Iowa’s Byways to provide information and interpretation about how Iowa’s agricultural producers are utilizing conservation systems throughout the state.

Interpretive panel topics included:

  1. stream bank stabilization & fish habitat creation,
  2. water quality protection through contour farming & buffering,
  3. timber stand improvement & management,
  4. enhancing public & private lands to increase monarch habitat,
  5. wetland restoration,
  6. installation of conservation practices to prevent erosion & improve water quality,
  7. protection of fragile soils through crop rotation,
  8. prairie reconstruction & the benefits of deep-rooted perennials,
  9. using CRP to develop critical nesting habitat for waterfowl,
  10. the importance of pollinator-friendly practices,
  11. using prairie buffers as filters,
  12. restoring soil health and protecting sensitive areas near streams & wetlands,
  13. understanding how topography, geology and historic land use impact conservation & agriculture,
  14. the importance of landscape diversity for wildlife,
  15. how geology shapes the landscape & land use,
  16. how topography influences land use,
  17. how land owners are restoring native ecosystems,
  18. how restored wetlands harbor wildlife,
  19. the dynamic interactions between native prairie & invasive species,
  20. the importance of the restoration of bison herds to ecosystems,
  21. benefits of intensive grazing,
  22. history of land use & prairie,
  23. benefits of soil conservation practices,
  24. prairie restoration & maintenance,
  25. importance of eastern red cedar tree removal in prairies.


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