At this time, a new installment of the Plummer Creek Watershed Project is underway: the Implementation Phase! After applying for and receiving 319 funding from a competitive IDEM grant, the Greene County SWCD has hired a new Watershed Coordinator to manage the program by promoting conservation practices throughout the watershed in an effort to improve water quality and educate landowners about best management practices. Plummer Creek is located primarily in eastern Greene County, with some acreage spreading into Monroe and Owen counties.
Based on studies conducted by IDEM in 2008, impairments for E.coli were noted in streams throughout the Richland-Plummer Creek watershed http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/2850.htm
As a result of this study, the Greene County SWCD, along with neighboring county SWCDs and partner organizations, launched the Plummer Creek Watershed Project. From 2009-2015, the group formed an Advisory Committee as well as a group of youth volunteers to collect additional data through water monitoring, stakeholder surveys, and locally reported concerns. They also educated the public by offering field days, conducting trash clean-ups, building a rain garden, and spearheading the creation of a viewing platform and native grassland planting at the historic Tulip Trestle. All of this information helped the Advisory Committee establish goals for improving water quality throughout the watershed, as well as defining ‘critical’ areas most in need of conservation practices to reduce pollutant loads. A Watershed Management Plan was compiled at the conclusion of this ‘Planning’ phase of the Plummer Creek Watershed Project and will soon be available to view online.
For the ‘Implementation’ phase (current), landowners within the Plummer Creek watershed may now be eligible to receive cost-share for installing certain best management practices. Through this new 319 Implementation grant, $140,000 has been allocated solely for practice installation. A comprehensive cost-share plan is currently under development and will be released in the upcoming months. Anyone interested in conservation practices that prevent erosion, reduce fertilizer inputs, slow run-off, or increase riparian zones should contact the Greene County SWCD or the Watershed Coordinator. Livestock owners may also be eligible for financial assistance with fencing, heavy use area protection, grazing management, and more.
Additionally, stakeholders and others interested in offering guidance for this project are invited to join the Plummer Creek Advisory Committee. Meetings will occur on at least a quarterly basis, with the first meeting to be scheduled later this summer. Feel free to contact the Greene County SWCD or the Watershed Coordinator to find out more.
Currently, Laura Demarest has been added to the Plummer Creek Watershed Project to serve as the Watershed Coordinator. Laura has had experience with 319 grants, having worked in the neighboring county of Sullivan as the Watershed Coordinator for the Busseron and TTK (Turman Creek, Turtle Creek, Kelley Bayou) watersheds since January 2013. She will continue to work in Sullivan County, as well, splitting office hours between the two counties; Mondays and Tuesdays she can be found at the Greene County SWCD office or can be reached for appointment.
To learn more about the Plummer Creek Watershed Project:
Contact Laura Demarest
Greene County SWCD Office (Monday, Tuesday) (812) 384-4781 ext. 3
Sullivan County SWCD Office (Thursday, Friday) (812) 268-5157 ext. 3
Mobile Phone: (812) 564-1162