In 2017, the first steps were taken to form a “Watershed Neighbors Group” to identify common conservation concerns and interests. We started by inviting folks with running water that drains into the West Fork between Bloomingdale and Liberty to a potluck gathering. Attendees voted on the top three conservation topics to focus on; flooding/erosion control, forest management, and bird/ non-game habitat.
In 2018, the West Fork Watershed Neighbors Council held three committee meetings and one large potluck and beer gathering with guest speakers. Over 600 landowners, those whose properties drain into the West Fork between Bloomingdale and Liberty, were invited to participate, and were surveyed for their interests in conservation topics.
Over 65 people responded to the survey. 22 of them requested and received property site visits from professionals to advise them on their greatest concerns. Over 75 folks came to the September gathering and heard two professional presentations, one on birds and one on invasive plants. It was a great time to socialize, meet new neighbors, share food, and drink some good beer.