Did You Know?

The earth makes its own soil, but it takes a VERY long time. In Iowa, it takes 500-1000 years to make one inch of topsoil!


The state of Iowa is made up of the richest, most fertile soil in the whole world.
This allows us to grow many plants and crops.

Dig up one shovel of soil and you would find more living creatures in that pile of soil than there are people on the entire planet - over 7 billion creatures!
Think about all the living creatures you might find in a shovel of soil…  

...earthworms, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, and germs/bacteria that are so small we can’t see them with our bare eyes.  These creatures are very important to building healthy soils.

   Did you know?
It takes the Earth 500-1000 years to form just one inch of soil!  See how this happens in Land Formation in Iowa!

Because it takes so long to form, it’s very important to protect that soil from erosion.

Erosion is the process of soil getting blown away by wind or washed away by water.  That soil (sediment) moves with the wind or rain water to nearby streams, rivers, and lakes, and it ends up polluting the water, leaving it muddy and dirty.


Sediment can come from farm fields, gardens, or construction sites
where the soil is bare and exposed.

Have you seen areas in your neighborhood that look like this? 


How can we protect our valuable topsoil?
Some ways include...

less tilling on farm fields, keeping residue
(corn stalks or bean stubble) on the land...

 using mulch in flower beds and gardens and planting prairie grasses
along stream banks and field edges.


Soil      Water     Prairies      Wetlands       Urban      Farms