In 2016 the Scott County Board of Supervisors voted to participate in the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) Program. IRVM is an approach to right-of-way maintenance that combines a variety of management techniques with sound ecological principals to establish and maintain safe, healthy, functional roadsides. The decision to start an IRVM Program in Scott County emerged out of the interest and concerns of a group of Scott County residents. These residents identified improving water quality, pollinator species decline, preserving and restoring native landscapes, and reducing herbicide use as the focus of their interest. With these goals in mind, the task was begun and Scott County’s story of IRVM became different from other Iowa county programs in one very special way. This group of residents, which includes Tony and Joyce Singh, Cal Werner, Ann Werner, Sue and Bill Tate, Catherine Weideman, and Curtis Lundy, were willing to put more than an idea and some hard work on the line; they actually wanted to financially support a position at Scott County Secondary Roads to do the job. This dedicated group provided monetary donations toward a Road-side Manager position for three years in order to start off our county native roadside program on the right foot.
Donations of time and effort continued to roll in as a Task Force was formed to draft an IRVM Plan. The Plan is necessary to be eligible to receive technical assistance, training and education from the IRVM Program Office at the Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa. Additionally, an approved plan is required to receive funding from the Iowa Living Roadways Trust Fund. The Task Force provided guidance and in-kind support in drafting the plan and includes representatives from Scott County Secondary Roads Department, Scott County Conservation Board, City of Davenport, Partners of Scott County Watersheds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Scott County Pheasants Forever, Nahant Marsh Education Center, and private individuals. The Task Force completed the IRVM Plan and following acceptance of the Plan by the Scott County Board of Supervisors, a Steering Committee was formed to implement the plan in cooperation with the new Roadside Vegetation Manager, Scott County Secondary Roads Department.
The Steering Committee intends to supplement the native roadside program by utilizing support and funding from state and local non-governmental organizations, through grant funding, private financial support, and by working cooperatively with Scott County Conservation and other resource agencies.
We are hoping that donations continue to set us apart from other county programs in Iowa by offering you the opportunity to donate to Scott County’s IRVM program online. If you would like to participate in IRVM in other ways; please consider enrolling your Scott County right-of-way in support of our native roadsides program. Contact Brian Burkholder Roadside Vegetation Manager, Scott County, Iowa, for more information at [email protected] or phone 563-326-8640, extension 8457.