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Although watersheds are usually associated with lakes, rivers and streams, roughly 75 percent of the 236 mile Tippecanoe River Watershed is agricultural land. TWF not only focuses its efforts on lakes and streams, but also on land, the source of pollution.
Creating and maintaining healthier waters begins by containing the amount of pollution that is allowed to enter the water in the first place. TWF’s team of watershed conservationists works to help land owners and farmers achieve practices that benefit both the land and the water.
TWF’s Watershed Conservationists work with local farmers to get to know the current situation of the land, help them increase yield, decrease overhead prices, and protect natural resources that are abundant in the watershed. These projects have ranged from restoring wetlands, to adding water and sediment control basins, planting grassed waterways, creating grade stabilization structures, and installing fencing to keep livestock off of streams to name a few.
The Soil Health Initiative is also one of the main programs implemented by TWF. Its focus is changing the way the farms operate to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.This initiative includes practices such as no-till farming, cover crop planting, targeted pesticide application and advanced nutrient placement. Farmers interested in learning and seeing the difference these practices can yield may receive grants for the first two years. Many of the recipients of this information then continue to utilize these practices after seeing first-hand how beneficial they are for their farms and the environment.
By working with partners, landowners and farmers, the TWF has prevented hundreds of thousands of pounds of weeds and algae from growing and sediment from entering the lakes and creeks of the area. The continued efforts of the TWF team have led to over 60 contracts with local farmers, more than doubling the number of local land owners utilizing best practices.