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Help Us Help Five Island Lake

June 12, 2014
Emmetsburg News

Help us help our lake. TheFive Island LakeRestoration Board is reaching out to the public to help preserve the wter quality of our lake.

Did you Know...

Phosphorus is one of the most troublesome pollutants in storm water runoff. Phosphorus comes from many sources, and it is the primary cause of water quality problems in our lakes and streams. Everything that is or was living contains phosphorus.

Article Photos

Many fertilizers, including leaves and grass clippings, contain nitrogen and phosphorus. When these nutrients wash into the lake they cause water pollution.

Ruby Raindrop and Watershed Education

The Palo Alto Soil & Water Conservation District and County Conservation Board have partnered to bring the "Raindrop and Friends" program to area classrooms since 1992. This three week, three visit program for third grade students focuses on water quality, watersheds and best management practices.

We all live upstream or downstream from others. What we do on the land affects the quality and cleanliness of the water that runs off.

A Velcro board is used to create a picture of a watershed and introduce the concept of run off. Characters appear during the second visit to talk to Ruby and the class. Ruby and the students help each of them figure out best management practices for their land. The third session actually looks at local, regional and national maps so that students can visualize where their run off water goes. Students receive a packet with review worksheets and fun pages after each visit.

Most classes participate in some type of follow-up activity like stenciling storm drains that run to a nearby lake; creating radio announcements that cover ideas they have learned; or writing a mini newsletter or drawing posters that can be shared with the public in their town.

The storm drain stenciling project in Emmetsburg focuses on the drains that go directly into Five Island Lake.

We line up volunteers to help students as they spray paint, taking care to watch traffic while walking down the street. Often times our volunteers are Emmetsburg FFA students, who remember doing this project when they were in third grade.

The goal of this project is to reach students when they are young, so that they begin to think about the impact each and every one of us has on our land, whether we live in town or out in the country.

We all depend on clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing. We also enjoy recreation like fishing, hunting, swimming, associated with our local lakes, rivers and marshes.

People from across the country come to Northwest Iowa because of these wonderful water habitats.

It is important to remember that it is up to all of us to be good stewards of the land and make sure our water stays clean.

Information about Ruby Raindrop and Watershed Education was provided by Miriam Patton, Palo Alto County Naturalist.

Emmetsburg residents are reminded: do not blow grass clippings onto the street when mowing. When it rains, the grass clippings are washed down the storm drains and, in many locatitons, directly into Five Island Lake. Help us help Five Island Lake.



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