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Summer 2018 Happenings


We have an exciting summer planned for 2018! Our heads are aswirl with native trees, floatable wetlands, science fairs, grazing plans, and stormwater retention. Please keep reading to find out why!

Upcoming Events
Riparian Buffer Field Tour

Date: Thursday, June 7th
Time: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Registration begins at 8:45 am
Location: Washington County Cooperative Extension Office, 2536 N. McConnell Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72704
RSVP: Email stephanie@irwp.org or call 479-215-6623

Come out and join us to learn all about riparian buffers! This event will begin with two presentations by experts regarding riparian buffers and their importance. The first presentation will focus on different types of riparian buffers, and the second presentation will cover techniques on the installlation and establishment of those buffers. Presenations will be followed by lunch, which is included. 
The afternoon portion of the event will be at two field tour locations. The first site will showcase a demonstration area with 5 different types of riparian buffers, and the second site will feature Gulley Park, which has an older streambank restoration project and a recent invasive species removal that was paired with a native species planting to re-establish the riparian area. 
Four International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) CEUs and 4 EnviroCert PDHs have been approved
For questions, please contact Stephanie at stephanie@irwp.org. To register, please visit this webpage
Watershed Summer Camps
Our parents spoke and we listened! IRWP's Watershed Summer Camp will be open to students ages 7 and up for all four weeks! Drop off will begin at 8:45 am and camps end at 4:00 pm. Please find below a detailed description for each week. Please visit this page to register.

Week 1: June 11 to 15
Week 2: June 25 to 29
Week 3: July 9 to 13
Week 4: July 23 to 27

Tentative schedule for ages 7 to 8:
Water Cycle: Creating the water cycle in a jar
Clean Earth: Creating new paper out of recycled paper
Habitat and Animals: Designing an aquatic habitat
Soils: Creating a wormery
Water Quality: Collecting and learning to identify streambed critters (macroinvertebrates)

A field trip to a local farm will take place on Wednesday. Campers will visit local Osage Creek to collect streambed critters and learn about aquatic habitat (as well as play in the stream!). They'll also learn about local farming, as agriculture is an important land use in our watershed.

Each day, campers will create a poster specific to the concept of that day, with a poster contest on the last day. We'll will have a break at the end of each day to reflect and journal on what they have learned.

Tentative schedule for ages 9 and above:
Scientific Method: Learn to follow the scientific method from beginning to end.
Developing Experiments: Campers will develop an experiment and then present their findings in a science fair format on the last day.
Wetlands: Campers will learn about wetland ecology and spend the day constructing a floating wetland to be used on the lake at IRWP's Watershed Sanctuary.
Ecological Assessment and Water Quality: Campers will learn how to conduct habitat, aquatic biological, and water quality assessments.

Students will take two field trips:
1. Campers will travel to local Osage Creek to conduct assessment methods learned at IRWP's Watershed Sanctuary.
2. Campers will practice conservation stewardhip by participating in a creek clean-up.

We will have a guest speaker each day from local organizations that work on water quality in Northwest Arkansas.

Please feel free to contact Casey Rector, IRWP Program Manager, with any follow-up questions or for additional information. Casey can be contacted at casey@irwp.org.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

Residential Low Impact Development Field Tour

Date: Thursday, August 30, 2018
Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Check-In at 8:45 am
Location:  Washington County Cooperative Extension Office, 2563 N. McConnell Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72704
RSVP: Email stephanie@irwp.org or call 479-215-6623
Are you a homeowner who is curious about how to protect and improve water quality? Residential low impact develoopment is what you need! Practices to be featured include bioretention/rain gardens, soil amendments, grassed swales, rain barrels, permeable pavers, and recommended practices for chemical treatments (fertilzers/pesticides/herbicides). 

1st Annual Grazing School

Date: Thursday, September 6
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: 16734 Old Highway 68, Siloam Springs 72761
RSVP: Email stephanie@irwp.org or call 479-215-6623

This event will feature rotational grazing methods and U of A Cooperative Extenstion's 300 Days of Grazing Program. After a field tour of a rotational grazing set-up on Butler Creek of the Illinois River, we'll have interactive discussions on grazing plans, fence building, forage inventories, and financial incentive programs to install such practices. Presenting individuals include John Jennings, Kenny Simon, and Johnny Gunsaulis of Cooperative Extension, Greg Watkins of NRCS, and Linda Coffey of National Center for Appropriate Technologies. 
Landowner Services: 
IRWP provides a variety of one-on-one services to Illinois River Watershed landowners who are interested in improving native habitat, water quality, and soil health. Whether you are a homeowner on a small plot of land, a business owner with thousands of square feet of building space, or a rancher with hundreds of acres, we can help! 
Streamside tree-planting: Help us meet our goal of 20 miles of riparian restoration! Free of charge, IRWP will provide native trees to landowners with riparian areas on their property. If you live in one of our priority subwatersheds (Moore's Creek, Muddy Fork, Clear Creek, Sager Creek, or the Illinois River around Savoy) we'll even plant them for free with one year of monitoring! 
Conservation planning: IRWP staff will create a basic conservation plan for your property, then connect you with resources and/or programs to assist with installation of best management practices. 
Creek Clean-Ups: If you see an area of the watershed with trash and litter, please let us know. We will recruit local organizations and volunteers to organize a creek clean-up. 
If you are interested in any of these services, please contact Stephanie at stephanie@irwp.org or 479-215-6623. 
Thank you to our sponsors and partners who help IRWP fulfill our mission of improving the integrity of the Illinois River through education, monitoring, conservation, and restoration!
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