watershed- noun 
:a time when an important change happens
:a region of land within which water flows down into a specified body, such as a river, lake, sea, or ocean




We all live in a watershed. That means every drop of water that doesn’t soak into the ground and runs off ends up in one place – your watershed – where it eventually makes its way into other drainage systems each with their own watersheds.  Take a look at this map showing the City Campus Pond and its watershed.  Find your home or business to see the route your water takes to the pond.

If you’ve visited the West Des Moines City Campus (4200 Mills Civic Parkway) lately and glanced off to the hillside southeast of the pond, you may have noticed that the City Campus Pond Watershed Improvement project is underway!  The goals of this project are to demonstrate ways to reduce runoff and water pollution, to educate residents on the benefits of water quality, to improve the City Campus Pond’s water quality, and to ultimately create a great place for urban fishing.  The project is being funded by a $33,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship Water Quality Initiative program along with City funds.Clean%20Water%20Iowa%20logo


What Has Been Going On?

Native Plantings

The hillside southeast of the City Campus Pond was sprayed twice to kill non-native vegetation and weeds, orange “silt socks” were installed to prevent erosion into the pond, areas along the hill were plowed, and a cover crop of oats was planted across the entire project site.  A dormant seeding took place in November of 2015 with the planting of a diverse native seed mix on all 11 acres.  Remember – native plantings take time and patience, but good things come to those who wait!  Butterflies, beneficial bees, beautiful blooms…and improved water quality.  Find out what will be planted in this City Campus Native Planting brochure.

Soil Quality Restoration

The soil around the City facilities on the City Campus is very compacted with a high clay content.  This leads to water running off turf areas directly into the pond.  City staff hired a contractor who aerated the site using a deep-tined aerator followed up with a ¾ inch layer of compost.  You can find a more detailed map of where work was done here.  For more information on soil restoration, check out: www.rainscapingiowa.org.  

What Can You Do?love your watershed photo wrap up

  1. Follow some of the suggestions on the publication Pollution Prevention for Homeowners.
  2. Start talking with your neighbors and friends about what you can do together to improve the water quality of your local watershed.
  3. Call us at 515-222-3444 with questions about how you can continue to help with the City Campus Water Improvement Project.







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