Throughout the planning process, the stakeholders developed goals for the watershed as well as an overall vision and mission.


Engaged residents working across political and property boundaries to create and sustain a healthy watershed.


Through collaboration, education and research, implement science- based policies and practices for flood mitigation, water quality improvements, natural resources protection and improved recreation while maintaining economic health.


Watershed Goals

  1. Reduce flooding.
    1. Implement urban and rural best management practices (BMPs) to:
      1. Mitigate increases in runoff volumes and peak rates of flow caused by man-made alterations to the landscape
      2. Reconnect Walnut Creek and tributaries with their adjacent flood plains
      3. Reduce streambank and channel erosion
      4. Improve physical habitat within the stream and adjacent flood plains and stream buffers
      5. Reduce flood damage overall and protect municipal infrastructure
    2. Promote policies and practices
  2. Improve water quality, with an emphasis on sediment, nitrate, phosphorus and E.coli reductions.
    1. Improve effectiveness and consistency of enforcement of Stormwater Pollution Protection Plans
    2. Develop and implement a monitoring program to measure results and identify additional pollutants of concern
    3. Implement urban and rural BMPs to meet water quality standards, reduce sediment and allow water contact recreation
  3. Enhance recreation and public health.
    1. Phase improved stream accesses to coordinate with water quality and safety improvements
    2. Improve watershed-wide volunteer coordination/opportunities for habitat improvement projects
    3. Incorporate purposeful community arts initiatives for improved public engagement and education, as well as enhanced aesthetics
    4. Enhance/improve greenway development within the watershed
    5. Use buffering to expand the watershed’s greenways network and connectivity of waterways and trails
    6. Implement BMPs to:
      1. Restore wetlands/natural areas
      2. Expand native landscape cover and riparian areas iii. Improve wildlife habitat and remove invasive species
      3. Promote healthy soils
  4. Deliver enriched conservation education and programming with emphasis on water quality/quantity
    management, wildlife/habitat, urban and agricultural needs within the watershed.
    1. Implement the Education and Collaboration Plan included within this Watershed Plan (Chapter 11)
  5. Support community vitality and maintain economic health through implementing multi-purpose projects producing benefits in public, natural resources and economic health that can be documented.

    1. Establish metrics for projects that identify appropriate scales to measure social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits for projects
    2. Identify BMPs with multiple benefits through use of this Watershed Plan’s BMP Matrix,
      particularly employing use of the Community Section where multi-purpose projects, citizen awareness and regional connections are emphasized
  6. Develop ongoing means for collaboration and implementation of effective policies and practices, taking a consistent watershed and/or regional scale approach as much as practical. (Also see Chapter 11: Collaboration and Education Plan, and Chapter 9: Policy Recommendations).

    1. Priority policies for watershed-wide (and/or metro-wide) adoption include:

      1. Unified sizing criteria as described within the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual (ISWMM)
      2. Protected stream buffers, protecting the five-year flood plain in rural areas and
        following guidance within this plan for urban areas (see Chapter 9)
      3. Construction site pollution prevention improvements (see Goal 2a above) to address both erosion and sediment control practices that are currently falling short
      4. Ordinances to protect or restore healthy soils, referencing ISWMM for
      5. Flood plain protection standards designed to reduce structural/property losses,
        maintain flood storage capacity, identify areas of active stream movement (for preservation) and provide flood “head room” (set building protection elevation three feet above regulatory 100-year flooding elevations).
    2. Advocate for expanded regional/watershed resources for planning and practice
      implementation at the county, state and federal level
    3. Collectively pursue resources for plan implementation, recognizing projects often have benefits beyond the jurisdiction/property boundaries in which they are implemented
    4. Recognizing upstream partner costs and downstream partner benefits, explore creative funding options (e.g., a water fund or nutrient trading, whereby downstream partners support upstream practices)
    5. Similarly, pursue incorporation of regional-scale practices with associated cost-benefits, e.g., wetland mitigation banks
Walnut Creek Watershed stretches across 53,000 acres