Today I welcome Eric Schmechel from Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation District where he serves as the Director of the Watershed Program. Throughout this interview with Eric, I not only got all the “dirt” on runoff, soil health, and Catfish Creek, but we dig deeper into together, how we can coordinate and collaborate as our rural communities continue to develop.
Eric’s mission is to continue to bring diverse groups of urban and rural community members together. He does this by building relationships and focusing on profitability and return on investment within soil health, conservation, carbon, climate change, and so much more!
One of Eric’s most publicized projects has been the reconstruction of Catfish Creek in Dubuque County, Iowa. Catfish Creek is a naturally producing stream which has been surrounded by urban development. Eric brought citizens together and held many public forums to develop a watershed management plan for the Creek. Today, the plan is being put into action, with soil quality restoration, stream bank restoration, and other conservation practices.
Friends, get ready to learn, think GREEN, and expand your knowledge!
- The most important aspect when bringing people together is forming and building relationships. For Eric, this is with farmers, producers, growers, elected officials, and community members.
- A balancing act has to take place when forming these relationships, but ultimately for the betterment of the program, it has to be done.
- We need to get away from the isolation silos and collectively work together to try and solve some of our challenges as it relates to habitat, ecosystem improvement, etc.
- “Roots in the Ground Year Around.” Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation will be focusing on this slogan throughout the summer to stress the importance of planting cover crops.
- Farmers are willing to share their experience and have field days, the best way is to get together and chat about what’s working and what’s not.
Follow along with Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation!
If you want to connect with Eric and the Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation District, visit: www.facebook.com/CatfishCreekWMA