WALL LAKE RESTORATION PROJECT — PART 3

This is Part Three of a three-part historical series about the Wall Lake Restoration project, which began in 1989. The Dewey C. Gevik Outdoor Conservation Learning Area came about as a direct result of the Wall Lake Restoration Project, and is enjoyed today by wildlife enthusiasts, leisure walkers, home schools, research groups, youth groups such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, gardening clubs, and professional photographers.

“Another major contributor to lake pollution was wastewater seepage from septic tanks. At the time there were 68 lake residents, one commercial property, beach facilities, and the Girl Scout camp surrounding the lake. The Wall Lake Sanitary District was formed in 1992 by lake area residents who installed a central sewer system. With the sewer system installed, wastewater seepage was no longer a problem, water quality improved, and property values increased for homeowners around the lake.

Through the hard work, cooperation, and dedication of area farmers, lake residents, federal, state, and county agencies, the Wall Lake Restoration Project serves as a model for future restoration activities throughout the state.”

The following individuals, businesses, and organizations made generous contributions and donations towards the formation of the Dewey C Gevik Outdoor Conservation Learning Area:

  • Sweetman Construction, Sioux Falls (concrete materials)
  • City of Sioux Falls (Dave Munson, Mayor)
  • Kerry Norberg, Sioux Falls (landscape concepts)
  • Josten Concrete, Clarence Josten, Sioux Falls
  • Sward Tree Service, Terry Sward, Dell Rapids
  • Croplan Genetics, Ellis
  • Pheasants Forever, Sioux Falls Chapter
  • Citibank of South Dakota, Sioux Falls
  • Ree Masonry, Dave Olson and Brian Ree, Sioux Falls
  • Builders Supply Company, Sioux Falls
  • Gage Brothers Concrete, Fred Gage, Harrisburg
  • Twin City Concrete, Sioux Falls
  • P & M Steel, Sioux Falls
  • Brooks Construction, Ray Brooks, Sioux Falls
  • WalMart Foundation, Sioux Falls
  • Hjellming Construction, Scott Hjellming, Sioux Falls
  • #1 Bricklayers, Apprenticeship Committee, Merle Schumacher, Sioux Falls
  • Minnehaha County Highway Department, Sioux Falls
  • East Dakota Water Development District
  • Nolz Dragline and Crane Service, Ed Nolz, Sioux Falls
  • Izaak Walton League, Sioux Falls Chapter
  • Handyman Home Remodeling Centers, Swenson Family, Sioux Falls
  • Ronald Johnson, Hartford
  • Jeff Oyen, Crooks
  • Tom Wolles, Colton
  • State of South Dakota Resource, Conservation, and Forestry Division
  • Pfeifer Implement, Bob and Jim Pfeifer, Sioux Falls
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office, Madison
  • Landscape Garden Centers, Paul Dejong, Sioux Falls

 

WALL LAKE RESTORATION PROJECT — PART 2

This is Part Two of a three-part historical series about the Wall Lake Restoration project, which began in 1989. The Dewey C. Gevik Outdoor Conservation Learning Area came about as a direct result of the Wall Lake Restoration Project, and is enjoyed today by wildlife enthusiasts, leisure walkers, home schools, research groups, youth groups such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, gardening clubs, and professional photographers.

“In order to prevent sediment and pollution from entering the lake in the future, best management practices were established throughout the watershed which included:

  • Grassed waterways on cropland to help filter nutrients and pesticides from runoff before it reaches the lake.
  • Earthen dams to hold back water and sediment in wetland areas.
  • Tree plantings to prevent wind erosion, protect buildings and livestock, and provide wildlife habitat.
  • Terracing on sloping cropland to prevent soil erosion and increase water filtration into the water table.
  • No-till and ridge till farming on cropland to reduce erosion, increase organic matter, and water infiltration in the soil.
  • Establishment of wetlands on the north and west sides of the lake to filter out sediment and nutrients, store water, and provide wildlife habitat.”

We have created a resource document to help you learn more about Best Management Practices and what you can do in your own homes to help maintain the quality of our water. We call this new resource the “Walking Trail Guide”. You can download and print it to use at your convenience while walking out at the Gevik Learning Area, or in your classrooms, or as part of your family fun nights. Here’s a quick link for you to access the Walking Trail Guide. We hope you enjoy using it!

COVER CROPS AND PASTURE TOUR
Striving To Improve Soil Health And Profitability
October 4, 2018 — 10:30am to 3:30pm CST
Keith Olson Ranch and Mizera Farm, 10711 257th Avenue, McLaughlin, SD, 57642

Cover crops, rotations, planting dates, rates, soil observations, and evaluations for continued improvement will be discussed. The day will begin at address listed above and participants will drive to various tour stops in the afternoon.

Please RSVP For planning purposes to Candice Mizera at (605) 314-2110.

PLEASE NOTE: The poster times are in MOUNTAIN TIME, which is one hour behind our Central Time Zone.

WALL LAKE RESTORATION PROJECT — PART 1

This is Part One of a three-part historical series about the Wall Lake Restoration project, which began in 1989. The Dewey C. Gevik Outdoor Conservation Learning Area came about as a direct result of the Wall Lake Restoration Project, and is enjoyed today by wildlife enthusiasts, leisure walkers, home schools, research groups, youth groups such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, gardening clubs, and professional photographers.

“Wall Lake has always been and continues to be a heavily used and popular recreational area for surrounding communities. When the lake restoration began in 1989, there was an estimated population of 300,000 people within a 65-mile radius.

Over the years, Wall Lake had become shallow and polluted from sediment erosion, agricultural runoff, and wastewater seepage. Environmental studies conducted in 1980 indicated a need for implementation of best management practices (BMPs) throughout the 3,680 acre watershed, including removal of sediment from the lake itself. The Wall Lake restoration project began in September of 1989 with the cooperation of concerned land owners, lake area residents, and federal, state, and county agencies. Financial assistance was made available through the Environmental Protection Agency, Minnehaha County, and East Dakota Water Development District. Minnehaha County was named the project sponsor. Project ownership responsibilities were given to the Minnehaha Conservation District who appointed Ron Adamson as project manager.

“The average depth of the lake before dredging began in October 1989 was 8 feet. Now the average depth is 20 feet, with some areas as deep as 35 feet.” — Ron Adamson, Project Coordinator.

Dredging required the construction of earthen holding ponds to store the sediment that would be pumped from the water basin. Eighteen holding ponds were constructed on adjacent farmland north and west of the lake. The dredge was pumped from the lake basin through a rubber pipe up to 3/4 of a mile in length into a holding pond. Water was drained back into the lake, leaving the sediment in the holding ponds.”


Photo credit: Steve Johnson, Sioux Falls, SD

THE GEVIK LEARNING AREA IS CLOSED

Due to excessive rain, we need to close the Gevik site until further notice. The walking trails and parking lot have been flooded and we are concerned for your safety. Please help us spread the word to your families and friends who visit the Gevik site by sharing this on your Facebook pages. We will let you know when the Gevik Learning Area is open again. Thanks for your help!

GROW YOUR WAY TO MORE CARBON
September 20, 2018
Wagner’s Inc Bin Site (one mile west of Roslyn, SD on Highway 25)

Building soil health and organic matter with high carbon crop rotations, tillage reductions, and nutrient management

RSVP to Jim Ristau at jimr@sdcorn.com or (605) 730-3474

DEWEY C GEVIK OUTDOOR CONSERVATION LEARNING AREA

We’ve been hearing from school groups, bird watchers, and outdoor walkers who are discovering the Gevik Learning Area and finding it to be a very pleasant surprise! We love hearing your stories!

In case you’re not aware of the Learning Area yourself, it’s over 100 acres of wetlands, wildlife, conservation practices, and two walking trails. One of the trails is not quite 1/2 mile, and the other is just over 3/4 mile. The site was established in 1989 as part of the Wall Lake Restoration Project. A future blog will talk more about that.

We wanted to let you know that a walking trail guide has been developed. If you’re a teacher or just want to learn more about wetlands, conservation, and watersheds in general, you may enjoy taking a copy of the walking trail guide along with you. It’s a step-by-step guide explaining what you’re seeing at each stop. Walking out at the Gevik site with your family and a copy of the guide would be a very enjoyable way to spend a weekend afternoon. If you’re able to go at sunset, however, the views from the top of the hill are breathtaking. Be aware that there is no outdoor lighting at the Gevik site so plan your trip accordingly. Here’s a link to the guide: https://minnehahacd.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/walking-trail-guide.pdf.

Much has been done, but the work continues! Future plans include updating the signs, building up some lower areas on the trails, and developing a research area of the native prairie grasses found at the Gevik site.

The Gevik Learning Area is 1/2 mile west of Wall Lake, or 1/4 mile north of the intersection of 266th Street and 462nd Avenue, about eight miles west of Sioux Falls. The official address of the Gevik site is 26581 462 Avenue, Hartford, SD. Remember that if you take a furry friend with you, they must be kept on a leash. We appreciate your cooperation (and so do the critters that live there).

To help spark your interest, here are some pictures that were taken recently and used in the walking trail guide. Credit for all of these photos goes to Steve Johnson from Sioux Falls.