How to Apply for Soil Quality Restoration Funding

Since the start of the Easter Lake Watershed Project in 2013 more than 100 watershed residents have implemented soil quality restoration at their homes. These projects have helped reduce more than 5 million gallons of stormwater runoff each year!

What is Soil Quality Restoration?

Soil quality restoration is a natural lawn care method that helps to green up your lawn while keeping Easter Lake clean.

The process uses deep aeration (core aeration) and topdressing with compost to help reduce compaction, increase pore space, and organic matter content.  Together these improvements improve the health and functionality of your soils.

Problems soil quality restoration can help to fix

In urban environments, construction and grading processes leave soils very compacted and often without topsoil or organic matter resulting in poor soil health. Common problems addressed by soil quality restoration in the Easter Lake watershed include:

  • Hard, clay soils, & compaction
  • Patchy & Dead Grass
  • Ponding & Drainage issues
  • Hard to mow wet lawns
  • Constant need for watering

Benefits to your lawn & Easter Lake

  • Adds nutrients without additional fertilizers
  • Reduces compaction
  • Increases organic matter content
  • Helps your lawn to soak up and store more water

Soil quality restoration is a natural lawn care method that doesn’t use additional fertilizers. Phosphorus in fertilizers, grass clippings, and leaves all contribute phosphorus to Easter Lake. It only takes 1 pound of phosphorus to create 300 to 500 pounds of algae.

Soil quality restoration helps to reduce stormwater runoff by absorbing rainfall where it lands. This can help reduce ponding and other drainage problems in your yard and gives your lawn access to more water. Stormwater runoff transports trash, oils, and other pollutants to Easter Lake, and causes erosion in streambanks that send sediment to the lake.

Funding for Watershed Residents

Residents of the Easter Lake Watershed are eligible to receive funding to cover 75% of the cost of soil quality restoration. Funding must be pre-approved. Any installation work completed before before pre-approval will not be reimbursed.

How to apply

Get an estimate – contact local contractors to give you a bid

You are not required to use one of the listed landscaping companies. These are local companies identified as being able to able to complete soil quality restoration projects. The Easter Lake Watershed Project and its partners do not endorse any particular company.

Fill out an application form

Please carefully read the program application form directions and other helpful information to make your project approval process run smoothly.

Submit your estimate and application

Please scan and email all documents to the watershed coordinator.

Easter Lake Watershed Coordinator – Cody Acevedo

What happens next

Once you have submitted your application and estimate, the watershed coordinator will follow up with you.

Projects are approved at monthly meetings by the Polk Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioners. Meetings typically occur on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. To get on an approval meeting agenda, estimates and applications are needed at least 1 week prior to the approval meeting date. Once you have submitted the application and estimate, you will be sent a Request for Assistance Letter that must be signed prior to the approval meeting.

Once approved, you will be notified and can then have your soil quality restoration completed. After inspection by the watershed coordinator and paid invoices are received, your reimbursement will be approved at the next available monthly meeting.

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! Send in your estimate and application form and we will walk you through the rest!

Upcoming approval meeting dates:

  • April 19th, 2022
  • May 17th, 2022
  • June 21st, 2022

Not an Easter Lake Watershed resident? Funding for soil quality restoration is available across the Des Moines metro.