Johnson County Conservation - Water Quality

By Johnson County Conservation Department

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Kent Park Lake Restoration

  • Removes high levels of nutrients and bacteria from entering Kent Park Lake, providing safe water for swimming, boating, fishing and other water-based recreation activities.
  • Provides outstanding habitat for fish and wildlife that depend on wetland and lake environments.
  • Removes the lake from the State of Iowa impaired waters list.

F.W. Kent Park Lake, located about five miles west of Iowa City/Coralville, is one of the most heavily used publicly owned lakes in East Central Iowa. The 27-acre lake serves as the focal point in a 1,052-acre park. The lake is used by people of all ages for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming and a two-mile length trail provides excellent access around the lake.

Cedar River Crossing Wetland Development

  • Removes high levels of nitrates from water being transported by more than 100 miles of an agricultural drainage system, before the water enters the Cedar River.
  • Expands the flood storage capacity of the Cedar River floodplain equivalent to 40 football fields, one foot deep.
  • Provides outstanding wetland habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife, such as eagles, waterfowl, turtles, wading birds and river otter, including several threatened species.
  • Cleans and purifies surface water runoff from more than 800 acres of watershed before entering the Cedar River.

Cedar River Crossing is a public area, located in northeast Johnson County, near Sutliff, Iowa. The Cedar River winds its way through the property and in the recent past, surface water drainage systems have been channeled directly to the river, resulting in loss of hundreds of acres of wetland habitat and reduced water quality. This project restores the natural wetlands and removes excess nutrients from entering the river system and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

The Johnson County Conservation Department manages natural resources, provides outdoor recreation opportunities and environmental based education programs throughout Johnson County. This includes several native prairie, forest and wetland areas, river access sites, community parks, education centers and trail systems throughout the county.

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