Palo Alto County Conservation Board
& Lost Island Prairie Wetland Nature Center


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IRVM Brochure

Blazing StarAs of July 1, 2001, Palo Alto County has an Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program (IRVM).  This is a joint program with the County Supervisors, County Engineer, Secondary Roads and the County Conservation Board.  Tim Stowell is the roadside manager. 

The IRVM program objective is to maintain a safe, stable, low maintenance roadside that is attractive and healthy for humans and wildlife, preventing weed invasion and soil erosion.  a cover crop of oats, rye or some quick growing vegetation is planted along with the native seed mix.  A good cover crop will protect  the soil from erosion and shade out competing weeds while the native grasses and wildflowers become established.  These plants are the key to reducing maintenance costs.  Not only are prairie plants adapted to a wide variety of soil types and climate conditions, they also provide excellent wildlife habitat and add variety with their brightly colored flowers, beautifying our roadways.  Spot spraying is an important part of an IRVM program.  It may take two or three applications in one year to adequately control problem weeds.  Tim Stowell, Roadside Manager works with landowners to prevent overspray and soil erosion into ditches.  Since 1985, nearly 50 counties across Iowa have implemented an integrated approach to prevent weeds and control soil erosion in their roadsides by planting native prairie grasses.


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