Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District

Latest News

Mill Creek Watershed Plan Coming Soon!

On December 1st, 2022, RISWCD hosted a Mill Creek watershed stakeholder meeting at Sherrard High School. A partnership comprised of RISWCD, the Mill Creek Steering Committee, Northwater Consulting, and University of Illinois Extension had applied and were awarded grant funding by Illinois EPA to form a comprehensive watershed plan for Mill/Mud Creek. Over the past two years, the plan has been developed and the final draft was submitted to IEPA on November 30th. This meeting was an opportunity to share updates on the watershed plan with the local stakeholders and partners. The meeting brought in around 30 stakeholders and food was generously supplied by the Sherrard FFA. Jeff Boeckler from Northwater Consulting gave an extremely informative presentation discussing his revelations after hiking over 50 miles of stream within the watershed then diving into water quality conditions, conservation strategies, and implementation strategies to restore and protect Mill Creek for the future. Following Jeff were presentations highlighting various programs and funding currently available. Joe Gates (CSP/EQIP), Joey Deloian (PFC), Lou Liva (PCM), and Trey Thompson (Pheasants Forever) gave great short presentations about their associations as well as options for conservation. To conclude the meeting, Rachel Curry (University of Illinois Extension) and Dawn Temple (RISWCD) discussed future goals and potential funding strategies for the watershed. This meeting ended with an insightful Q&A between stakeholders and presenters. The final watershed plan should be available to the public sometime this summer and will be posted to our website. If you would like to request a hard copy, please call our office.

Rock Island County SWCD grows interest in conservation farming.

MILAN, Ill. — When it comes to showing the benefits of cover crops, for Joey Deloian of the Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District, the proof is in the planting. “I’m growing four different varieties of cover crops to have on display at the farm show. It gives farmers an idea of some options of cover crops that they can plant, and people are just happy to see something green and growing at this time of the year,” said Deloian, a resource conservationist with the Rock Island County SWCD. At the Quad Cities Farm Equipment Show, in the midst of a Midwest winter, the green and growing trays of cover crops at the SWCD booth are a welcome sight. But for Deloian, the trays also offer a way to start conversations with farmers and landowners about cover crops. Those conversations are paying off.

In 2022, through the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Partners For Conservation cost-share program, eight Rock Island County farmers planted cover crops for the first time. The program offers up to $40 an acre to cover the cost of cover crop seed and implementation. “This was the most cover crop cost shares we’ve had through the program and more interest is always good,” Deloian said.

Farmers and landowners who are interested in implementing conservation farming practices — whether it’s cover crops for the first time or tillage practices like no-till and strip-till — want examples. “They really want examples of farms where it’s worked. They want to know that it is going to make sense for them to spend the money to do it. We’re often asked, is there another farmer who’s done this? What kind of success have they had? What problems have they encountered? They want to know the full picture, they want to know the successes, but also the failures,” Deloian said.

A major ongoing project at the Rock Island County SWCD is the Mill Creek Watershed project in lower Rock Island County. The watershed covers some 40,000 acres in Rock Island and Mercer counties. Read full article here... 

Our 7.5 foot Great Plains No-Till Seeding Drill is available for rent for spring seeding.

Can be used for grain, small seed or native grasses. Rent our drill for $100/day + $12/acre. Pick-up at our office in Milan. All proceeds support conservation in Rock Island County.

Upcoming Events

Name Day Loc and Time
Pollinator Habitat Field Day @ Niabi Zoo 6/15/23 10am
Native Garden self-guided tour @ Details coming 7/21/23 9am-12pm
Family Farmapalooza @ Keith Gorham farm, near Illinois City 7/29/23 2pm-6pm
Invasive Species workshop @ Bluegrass, IA 8/10/23 Details coming

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Contact Us

Rock Island SWCD
NRCS Milan Service Center
3020 1st Avenue East
(309) 764-1486 X 3