If you live or own property in the Lower Upper South Branch of the Kishwaukee River Watershed (see attached map) you are invited to attend a Watershed Goals Workshop on Feb. 5 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the DeKalb Park District’s River Heights Club House, 1020 Sharon Dr., DeKalb.
The Watershed Steering Committee which is made up of representative government agencies, institutions and private landowners within the watershed are currently working on a watershed plan for the area.
A watershed plan is a voluntary, community supported approach to protecting and improving water quality in streams, lakes, and wetlands, protecting groundwater resources, restoring habitat, reducing flood damage, providing recreational and educational opportunities, and improving quality of life for people.
The planning process takes about 18 months to complete. Funding for this plan is through the Illinois Environmental Agency’s Section 319 grant program. Local matching funds and in-kind contributions make up 40% of the grant allocation.
A key part of watershed planning is stakeholder input which is the stakeholder’s opportunity to share information and identify common water-related challenges. These challenges may include improving stream and lake water quality, preserving and protecting groundwater resources, managing stormwater, reducing soil erosion and flood damage, conserving open space, protecting wildlife habitat, providing safe recreational opportunities, supporting opportunities for
economic develop-ment and other issues of concern.
Stakeholders will briefly learn about the condition of the watershed. They will be allowed to share information about flood problem areas and locations that are important to them in the neighborhood.
“An important realization of watershed planning is that we need to understand how many components there are to a watershed from the rural agriculture settings to urban development. What each stakeholder does in that watershed affects the whole watershed community,” says Dean Johnson Watershed Coordinator with the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Please contact the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District if you would like to get more information at 815-756-3234, ext. 9488 or email Dean.Johnson@il.nacdnet.net.