URBAN CONSERVATIONIST POSITION –  The Buena Vista Soil and Water Conservation District is accepting applications for an Urban Conservationist to work in the Storm Lake area and the northwestern one-third of Iowa. Salary and benefits are competitive. Under general supervision by the Commissioners and day to day coordination by the District Conservationist, the employee will manage and coordinate the implementation of the objectives of an Urban Conservation Program.  Work activities include:

  • Provide technical and planning assistance in the development and implementation of urban conservation programs and practices funded through a number of sources and in coordination with partner organizations and state Agencies.
  • Coordinate with engineering consultants, local community officials, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), and other entities participating in these programs to develop projects and assist on practice siting and designs.
  • Reviews practice design plans and specifications for projects implemented through various programs to ensure they meet the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual guidelines.
  • Reviews and provides input on the development of the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual technical and policy guidance.
  • Develop and provide information and educational materials to clients for use in communities as well as presentations and training opportunities.

Other activities include promotional efforts and collaborating with appropriate agencies, groups, and individuals that affect the success of the program, such as:

  • planning and carrying out group meetings,
  • meeting one on one with cooperators and sponsors,
  • professional and technical duties that relate to water quality monitoring, information & education activities, and implementing of urban best management practices.
  • anticipating and preventing or solving potential problems
  • Maximizing communication with all Program participants.

Full job description is available upon request. Send cover letter and resume to: colleen.schwanz@ia.nacdnet.net or mail to: Buena Vista SWCD 1617 North Lake Avenue, Storm Lake, IA 50588. Application deadline is 4:30 p.m., February 18th, 2022. The BV SWCD is an Equal Opportunity Employer.    

The Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) has received the 2021 Project of the Year Award from the Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association (IFSMA). The award was announced during the IFSMA Fall Conference in October.

The Iowa Watershed Approach is recognized for its collaborative approach in bringing over $100 million to the state of Iowa to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and develop equitable strategies to increase community resilience to water resource challenges. The program brings together local, state, and federal partners, as well as private contractors and non-profits, to develop long-term watershed management goals and guide strategic conservation practice implementation efforts.

A group tours a pond installed east of Riverton in the East Nishnabotna Watershed. Photo by JEO Consulting Group and Golden Hills RC&D

The IWA works progressively with agriculture and landowners to identify priority areas in select watersheds to implement flood mitigation practices such as ponds, terraces, and wetlands that work to restore the landscape’s natural resiliency to heavy rainfall. Participating landowners receive up to 90 percent cost-share assistance to implement practices. The dual program also focuses on community flood resilience programming and helps to protect vulnerable populations from flooding. As the project comes to an end, nearly 800 conservation practices will have been installed with over $30 million directed towards conservation.

The adaptive framework of the IWA has transformed integrated watershed management in Iowa, and beyond. The success of the IWA depends on collaborative partnerships among many statewide organizations and local stakeholders who together carry out the work necessary to achieve the IWA goals. The award was presented to the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa in recognition of IWA Principal Investigator Larry Weber’s leadership and vision that has guided the program to success. Congratulations to the many, many partners who have contributed to the achievements of the Iowa Watershed Approach!