Iowa City Cohousing is seeking to implement sustainable practices in many aspects of our development. With our land, we are not only seeking sustainability, but working to restore soil quality. We have sought and are seeking funding from outside sources to further these aspects of our development. On November 4, 2015, we received notice that we had received a 50% cost-share grant from the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District for $12,804 to help pay for our bio-retention cell. The main purpose of this bio-retention cell is to keep rainwater on our land rather than having it run off into city stormwater drains. A great fringe benefit is that it will also add beauty to the site, since it will be full of flowering plants.
On the same day that we got notice of the Soil and Water Conservation grant, we also received notice that we were awarded $17,207.16 cost-share money to help with our soil quality restoration. We plan to incorporate compost into the topsoil on over one half of our property. This will be the largest soil quality restoration project undertaken in Iowa. So not only are we being sustainable; we are also being restorative at Prairie Hill.