Stormwater Resources for Teachers

The Watershed Guardian Program


This project engages young people to participate in a stormwater management movement, a topic of increasing concern for the region, and empowers them to directly impact their communities through the installation of urban stormwater practices.  It will increase understanding of the issues and build a community of youth leadership. See more information below on how your students can become Watershed Guardians.

Step 1: Field trip to Regional Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site in Postville, Iowa

The City of Postville and Northeast Iowa RC&D have teamed up to develop the Regional Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site in Postville, Iowa where several urban stormwater conservation practices have been installed along with bilingual interpretation of each practice. Upper elementary and middle school classes from around Northeast Iowa are invited to visit the demonstration site where they will engage in hands-on learning about the effects storm water runoff has on water quality and flooding. The site visit will include a tour of the grounds and interactive activities such as the EnviroScape, which illustrates point and non-point source pollution, and the Stream Table, which shows the behavior of water over different types of surfaces.

Students take part in activities offered at the Regional Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site.

Can’t make it to Postville, Iowa for an in-person class tour?

No problem! A virtual tour is available HERE.


Step 2: Participation in the cross-curricular Watershed Guardian Teacher’s Packet

After students visit the Regional Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site, teachers are encouraged to lead cross-curricular learning through the Teacher’s Packet. Lessons included in the Teacher’s Packet will help students understand the overall impacts of urban stormwater on flooding and water quality. The packet includes a mixture of indoor and outdoor, and visual and hands-on learning activities that apply to almost every student’s learning needs. Lessons in the Teacher’s Packet are transformed to reflect the Karst topography of Northeast Iowa. A pre and post assessment measures the students learning throughout the program. The teacher’s packet also includes project ideas and activities that will prepare them to implement their own stormwater project.

Download the Teacher’s Packet Here

Step 3: Implementation of a Best Management Practice

Teachers who bring their classes to the Northeast Iowa Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site in Postville or take part in the virtual tour, and complete section three of the Watershed Guardian Teacher’s Packet are eligible to apply for the Watershed Guardian Grant. The Watershed Guardian Grant of up to $3,000 helps classes implement stormwater practices at their school or in their community. No match is required! The Watershed Guardian Grant supports classes implementing stormwater best management practices that measurably improve storm water runoff management at their school or in their community. All conservation practice development and installation will be overseen by the Northeast Iowa RC&D Environmental Education Specialist.  Student participants will be recognized for the efforts through press releases to local newspapers.


Only Watershed Guardian Grants of up to $1,000 are still available. These $1,000 grants can be used to purchase and plant trees at your school, student’s homes, or anywhere in the community. Examples of tree projects include installation of a community orchard, the replacement of ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer throughout your community, and many more.

Northeast Iowa Stormwater Education Program: Watershed Guardian Grant for Trees Application PDF 


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