Last month, the City of North Liberty launched what we believe is the largest soil quality restoration program in the state: $300,000 for grants up to $1,500 per household. Soil quality restoration involves deep-tine aeration of lawns, which then are covered with compost. The process returns nutrients to the soil, builds topsoil and helps soil absorb storm water to slow its path to wetlands, lakes and streams, which in turn reduces the pollutants that reach our waterways.
An added benefit: green, luscious lawns.
To take advantage of the grant program, North Liberty residents must use an approved contractor. Approved contractors are:
- Absolute Outdoor Services, (319) 331-9960
- Forever Green, (319) 626-6770, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Harbit Landscaping, (319) 354-2430, email@example.com
- Sustainable Landscape Solutions, (319) 359-0200, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Quality Care, (319) 354-3108, email@example.com
The photos above were taken at the May 14 field day demonstration and then June 6.
The program is funded through a mechanism of the city’s nearly $21 million loan for our waste water treatment plant expansion from the State of Iowa’s State Revolving Fund. The program allows the city to use interest on the loan to fund water-quality initiatives. Funds will also be used for permeable pavement, native plantings and the state’s largest bioswale at Centennial Park this summer.
In addition, households can also apply for a best management practices grant, which offers a dollar-for-dollar match up to $750 for projects such as rain barrels, soil quality restoration and rain gardens. The city has offered this program since 2009.
Applications for both programs, as well as guides to best management practices, are available at northlibertyiowa.org/stormwater.