2016 TWI Bureau Co. Wetland
Over nine days from the end of August into the beginning of September, ILICA installed the second constructed wetland in Bureau County for The Wetlands Initiative of Chicago. Co-hosted by ILICA and The Wetlands Initiative (TWI), the constructed wetland project, located at Bonucci Farms in Princeton, IL, totalled around 1 acre in size and will be surrounded by another 3 acres of buffer area seeded to pollinator habitat. Despite the project redesign based upon the dynamic soils and hydrology of the site and frequent rain events during construction, the project was satisfactorily completed and the news media and social media buzz around the event was substantial.
Jill Kostel and Vera Leopold of the Wetlands Initiative coordinated many of the event details, such as tents, speakers, lunch and volunteer t-shirt design, along with their engineering responsibilities for this project. Although the official Conservation Day was a rain-out in terms of construction demonstration, presenters were still on-hand to speak and answer questions on topics such as constructed wetlands, cover crops, pollinator haitat, USDA programs, and soil conservation. Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (ILCBMP) was even providing water quality testing for attendees' tile drainage, runoff, and stream water samples. Outstanding speakers/presenters included Dean Oswald and Caroline Wade from ILCBMP, Jannifer Powelson with Stark Co. Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), Erika Turner from Bureau Co. Natural Resources Conservation Services, Kevin Bennett with Bureau Co. SWCD, and Julie Armstrong with the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council.
Our sincere thanks goes out to our generous Associates and partners for their donations including equipment, materials, and manpower: Agri Drain Corp.; Altorfer, Inc.; Martin Equipment of Illinois, Inc.; Roland Machinery Co.; Springfield Plastics, Inc.; Storm Water Supply, LLC.; Vermeer Midwest, Inc.; Princeton FFA Chapter; and to the Bonucci family for their dontations and outstanding hospitality.
Thank you to the ILICA volunteers who showed up and volunteered their time, expertise, and staff during construction of the project including: Tom Beyers, Steve & Stuart Anderson, Lee Bunting, Grant Curtis, Joe Krupps, Wayne & Wes Litwiller, Joe Streitmatter, Brian Brooks, Jon Seevers, Randy Brownfield, Norm & Steve Kocher, Eric Layden, and Ron Masching.
And without Jill Kostel, TWI, securing grants, designing and coordinating this project, it would have never come to fruition. She worked tirelessly alongside the ILICA volunteers to accomplish this successful project and will continue to monitor the site for the impact this wetland will have on nutrient reduction.
Finally, the biggest thank you to our show committee chairman Bill Doubet who invested countless hours to the planning and execution of this project.