Copyright © Winneshiek SWCD

Wetland Creation

Native Prairie Planting - Blazing Star and Yellow Headed Coneflower

Black Falls

Like us on Facebook!

Riparian buffer

Howard SWCD Technicians Derek Grube and Hunter Slifka install a thermograph to monitor temperature in Silver Creek. 

Monoslope Building

Silver Creek Watershed Project

Silver Creek is located in Howard and Winneshiek Counties in northeast Iowa. The land use in the watershed consists of row crops, grassland, timber and the city of Cresco (pop. 3,868). The land area is 22,410 acres (13,104 acres in Howard County and 9,306 acres in Winneshiek County) and empties into the Upper Iowa River. Silver Creek is on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) 303(d) "Impaired Waters List" due to high bacteria levels. The Howard Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in cooperation with the Winneshiek SWCD has been awarded an Iowa DNR Section 319 project grant to improve the water quality of Silver Creek.


Several funding sources with cost-share up to 75% are available for the following practices in the watershed. Contact the Howard SWCD, located at 311 7th St SW #2, Cresco IA 52136, to plan your future project! Neil Shaffer, Project Coordinator, may be contacted at 563-547-3040 x3 or More information may also be found online at and on Facebook.


   Grassed Waterways - Construct and seed waterways to eliminate ephemeral gully erosion

   Manure Storage Structures - Construct stacking pads and storage basins to better manage application of manure

   Pasture Management - Field days, grazing systems, fencing and watering systems to enhance pastureland

   Urban Landscapes - Rain gardens, bio-retention and infiltration basins, native landscapes and shallow wetlands

   Septic Systems - Vouchers for permits and soil evaluations and information on low-interest loans for system upgrades

   Native Grass Seeding - Seed native grasses and flowers along streams and critical areas to filter nutrients

   Terraces - Construct terraces on the contour to eliminate sheet and rill erosion

   Wetland Creations - Return degraded and former wetlands to their naturally functioning condition

Neil Shaffer, Project Coordinator