Polk County Conservation to Acquire Land Along Four Mile Creek for Nature Restoration Purposes

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Polk County Conservation board approved a one  - million dollar contribution on Wednesday to acquire land along Four Mile Creek. That money will go towards restoring wetlands in an area that experienced significant flooding this summer.

Already, Des Moines city leaders promised $11.5 million dollars to purchase flood damaged homes. Although, the damage is done the county says there is still more work to be done.

"It is in the best interest of everybody, including a lot of the folks that have been effected by this, to clear a path for these streams and water ways," says Rich Leopold, Director of the Polk County Conservation.

A protective green belt has been in the works for about four years. Leopold says recent flooding expedited those plans and the money approved will help see the project through.

"What we are hoping to do with some of the money is protecting the green belt by providing for water quality benefits, flood plain restorations and water retention."

The contribution will be taken from the county's Water and Land Legacy Fund. The measure was approved unanimously during a board meeting Wednesday night. Officials say the money will make a big impact on controlling future flooding along the lower Four Mile Creek.

"What we are hoping to do is create the capacity so the flooding isn`t as severe and as quick. If you can slow the water down and retain the water, the flooding peaks are much lower," he says.

Work will be along the creek as a early as next summer. Officials are also planning preventative nature restoration measures for creeks like Beaver , Walnut and Gator.