Protecting the Mississippi — One Farm at a Time

Flowing 2,300 miles through the heart of America, the Mississippi River provides water, food, industry, habitat for wildlife and recreation for millions of people. Clearly this is one natural resource that affects all of us, everyday, and we need to be conscious of how we use it so we can preserve it as best we can for future generations.

That is exactly what farmer Charles Pearce is working on. Pearce has lived and worked on his family farm for decades and has been looking for ways to improve the health of the land and water around him and his farm. Lucky for Pearce his local land trust, Kettle Moraine Land Trust (KMLT), also recognized the importance of addressing water quality issues in the Walworth County area.

Pearce inspecting the cover crops on his farm. Photo by KMLT.

 

So, KMLT asked the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to become a partner in their Watershed Initiative Network. NRCS agreed, and through this partnership funding is now available through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative.

How the partnership works is that KMLT requests funds from NRCS to help local farmers like Pearce implement conservation techniques that will improve the quality of water that eventually flows into the Mississippi River. Pearce is then able to plant cover crop on his fields to prevent soil erosion that protects nearby Lake Delavan.

Thanks to national programs like this and local land trusts like KMLT, landowners are able to reap the benefits of not only protecting their land but also entire watersheds, which we are truly grateful for, because they impact us all everyday.

Delavan Lake in Walworth County, WI. Photo by KMLT.