In 2015, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership celebrated its 10th birthday. Formed from the mission to improve and protect the Illinois River Watershed, the Partnership continues to grow and accomplish many efforts that help our watershed to be more sustainable and resilient, thanks to our Board of Directors’ leadership, sponsors, volunteers and supporters like you.

Together, in 2015, 18,358 people participated in IRWP activities, contributing 30,744 hours towards conservation efforts and education for the Illinois River Watershed.

Translated into an economic impact, this equates to $645,624 in in-kind contribution of volunteer hours to improve our communities and watershed. Financial support in 2015 came from $1,255,260 in income with $1,246,310 in expenses. Our 2015 annual report is at www.irwp.org or by clicking the screenshot below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 11.25.47 AMTo view full IRWP 2015 Annual Report, click photo.

THANK YOU for participating in conservation projects such as tree plantings, riparian restorations, creek clean-ups, educational events and THANKS TO OUR LEADERS for your efforts in improving and protecting the Illinois River and its tributaries!

2015 marked another year of major accomplishments, including the delisting of a 2.5 mile section of the Illinois River listed on the EPA 303(d) list of impaired streams. Over 1,000 linear feet of streambank was re-vegetated with trees along Osage Creek, 4,000 tree seedlings were planted to protect and enhance our riparian areas, and continued success with local agencies, such as Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), who worked with streamside landowners to install practices to help land be more productive while helping to address environmental concerns.

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Re-vegetation area along Osage Creek in partnership with private landowner

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IRWP Education Outreach Coordinator Chas McCoy plants native seedlings for stream restoration

Urban efforts continued as the IRWP strives to help communities address rainwater runoff by installing Low Impact Development and enhancing our Green Infrastructure along the Razorback Greenway for better absorbing and handling rainfall to our streams.

Grants for these projects make this work possible and we thank our funders for the opportunity to continue to work to improve water quality for the Illinois River Watershed: Walton Family Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Forestry Commission, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency along with many supporters and sponsors from the community.

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Green Infrastructure project construction at Lake Springdale on the Razorback Greenway

IRWP is working with cities and counties to identify and locate areas along creeks and streams and along the Razorback Greenway Trail System to help clean-up debris and trash generated from the recent floods. If you are interested in volunteering to help with these local conservation efforts, sign-up to volunteer at www.irwp.org/volunteering/.

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Anheuser-Busch creek cleanup volunteers, June 2015

Riparian areas are the best defense for protecting our streambanks and mitigating flooding. Each year, IRWP works to locate areas in need of riparian enhancement. Saturday, March 5, 2016 will be our 9th Annual Riparian Project, focused on planting tree seedlings along waterways and conducting creek clean-ups. Look for efforts in your community to participate in this watershed-wide event! If you live along a creek or stream, or know of an area that could benefit from tree plantings, please contact us at contact@irwp.org or call our Resource Specialist at 479-215-6623.

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