Katelynn Clement functioned superbly as an earth team volunteer in the Normal, Illinois Field Office this year. She was instrumental in efforts of both the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to target conservation practices in the City of Bloomington’s water supply lakes.
The Lake Bloomington watershed includes 43,000 acres and the Evergreen Lake watershed encompasses 26,000 acres. Both watershed groups have developed recent watershed plans, which include substantial implementation strategies to address local resource concerns in each watershed. The highest priority for the City of Bloomington and the Mclean County Soil and Water Conservation District is the seasonal high nitrate levels in the lake water, which dovetails perfectly with the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Plan.
Katelynn used Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to identify potential conservation practices needed in the drinking water supply lakes watershed for the City of Bloomington. She input this information into an excel spreadsheet she designed that has allowed an outreach effort that targets landowners and operators. The goal is to make landowners aware of the various conservation practices they can implement on their land to improve the overall health of their watershed. The result is increased participation in USDA programs in both watersheds.
Katelynn helped assemble information for producers regarding USDA programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This brought new ideas and options to producers so they could make informed decisions for specific practices they can implement on their land.
She also assisted the Normal Field Office with mailings and case file documentation that resulted in a huge reenrollment (45 contracts) covering over 53,000 acres for the Conservation Stewardship Program. Katelynn’s assistance was very beneficial as part of the overall team effort in meeting the tight deadlines.
This is another example how the efforts of one Earth Team volunteer can make a huge difference in local conservation successes. Thank you, Katelynn!
If you would like to find out more, visit the webpage Illinois NRCS Earth Team.