Protecting turtles in North Liberty

Before crews began installing sewer pipe for Liberty High School through what environmental consultant Kevin Griggs called “marginally suitable habitat” for ornate box turtles, we wanted to take steps to confirm the work zone was free of the animals.

So, last week, once the weather warmed to the point the turtles would be active, Griggs surveyed the work zone for the threatened species. He was unable to locate any turtles during his examination of the worksite.

Griggs also conducted an initial survey of the city’s waste water treatment plant expansion site, immediately adjacent to both the sewer extension work and the current plant. This expansion, which is expected to start this year, was found to have no significant impact in an environmental review conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as part of the project’s State Revolving Fund financing.

Through the course of these utilities projects, the work zones will be surveyed before work begins each day. Should a threatened species be found, the individual will be relocated by qualified personnel to suitable habitat outside the work zone.

You can learn more about these and other North Liberty public projects at northlibertyiowa.org/projects.