Hickory Grove Lake is a popular destination for recreation in central Iowa. The 400-acre park and 98-acre lake have campground amenities, a beach for swimming, and fishing opportunities, which had been effected by erosion, which occurred because the riparian vegetation was no longer a viable source of channel protection. We were hired to restore the channel to a healthy stream environment.

We worked with Story County Conservation (SCC) staff to develop and submit grant applications to the Iowa Department of Agriculture Watershed Improvement Review Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Lakes Program for approximately $423,000 of the total anticipated $598,000 project cost. SCC was awarded full funding from both programs.

Project design included stream channel improvements on the area upstream of the lake, outside the Story County property, to the outfall of an existing drainage district tile outlet as described in the lakes Watershed Management Plan.

This project focused on habitat modification and restoration, limiting livestock access to the stream, stabilizing the channel, grade stabilization of a channel branch susceptible to heavy gully erosion, and a saturated buffer to remove nutrients from drainage tiles.

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