The fourth annual Iowa Watershed Awards Program was held recently with Miranda Haes, watershed coordinator for the Lower Skunk River Water Quality & Soil Health Initiative receiving a Circle of Excellence award from the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance for the 2nd consecutive year.
Sean McMahon, Executive Director of the alliance said. “These watershed coordinators have worked during a global pandemic to help meet local community goals while also simultaneously advancing the objectives of the statewide Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
Haes said “The most exciting thing for her was to submit a grant application again and have it accepted,” adding “It’s a bigger area, with nine watersheds added to the previous five.” The grant mentioned was a Water Quality Initiative grant that allows the project to continue for three more years.
Haes now works with around 2,000 land owners and 340K acres in the area compared to approximately 800 landowners and 135K when she accepted the position about 5 years ago.
Her office is based in Mount Pleasant, however she also works with conservation districts in Jefferson and Van Buren Counties.
To help maintain momentum for this work, Haes will receive funding through the Iowa Watershed Award to apply to the Lower Skunk River Water Quality Project as well as funding for her own professional development.