Backyard Conservation

Just as they do on the farm, conservation practices used in the urban setting can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.

For a complete list of information about urban and backyard conservation, visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service website.

"Backyard Conservation" shows you how conservation practices that help conserve and improve natural resources on agricultural land across the country can be adapted for use around your home. These practices help the environment and can make your yard more attractive and enjoyable. Most backyard conservation practices are easy to use. America's farmers and ranchers have been using these practices successfully for decades.

Backyard Conservation pages 1-14
Backyard Conservation pages 15-28

Urban Conservation

Photo courtesy of the NRCS“Conservation Strategies for Growing Communities” provides information and direction relating to conservation in urban areas. This brochure discusses water quality laws and regulations and elements of effective erosion and sediment control plans. It includes sections on erosion control practices, sediment control practices, and concludes with a section on storm water management practices.

Conservation Strategies for
Growing Communities

Rain Gardens

Photo courtesy of the NRCS

A rain garden captures rain from rooftops, driveways, yards and streets. A rain garden is a depression or a shallow bowl made in the landscape that is level from side to side and end to end. Runoff that travels to a rain garden is temporarily ponded - but it doesn’t stay ponded for long. Capturing runoff in a rain garden allows water to infiltrate into the soil rather than run into storm drains. Dirty runoff that enters storm drains is sent directly to “receiving waters” - our rivers, streams, lakes, ponds or wetlands.

 Iowa Rain Garden Design and Installation Guide


You can help prevent pollutants from reaching storm drains and streams by incorporating rainscaping practices into your landscape.

 Rainscape It!  Don't just landscape...Rainscape!

For more information on how you can manage rainfall, visit Rainscaping Iowa  


For more information on cost share assistance, please go to the Conservation tab above and navigate to Cost Share Programs.  Additional information is also available by contacting the office at 377-5960 Extension 3.