Evergreen Lake receives the water drained from the Village of Hudson, the far north edge of the Town of Normal, and agricultural land in McLean & Woodford counties. It was built to be a supplemental drinking water source for the City of Bloomington. Six Mile Creek deposits its water into Evergreen Lake. The lake is immediately surrounded by Comlara Park, which has five different kinds of vegetation: All of these provide wonderful nature, recreation space, and buffers to improve water quality! To learn more about how to keep our drinking water safe and protect our lakes, Click Here .
Evergreen Lake Watershed
Watershed ~ 26,500 acres/41.1 square miles
Lake ~ 900 acre surface area/22.5 miles of shoreline
THE EVERGREEN WATERSHED SOIL EROSION AND CROPLAND TILLAGE TRANSECT SURVEY
The Illinois Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, completes a Soil Erosion and Cropland Tillage Transect Survey. The survey aims to gather more information about the implementation of conservation farming practices, and to assess the condition of McLean County. Tillage data is gathered for corn and soybeans, and the county’s T levels are assessed. “T” represents the tolerable soil level loss, or the amount of soil that can be replaced naturally by the decomposition of crop residue. In addition to T levels and tillage data, the survey compiles some information on cover crop use.
Agricultural runoff is a significant source of phosphorous and nitrate-nitrogen loading into Illinois waterways. Nutrient runoff is carried by the rivers and streams to the Mississippi, and down to the Gulf of Mexico. Nutrient concentration in the Gulf of Mexico is so high that it causes algal blooms, and subsequent dead zones called “hypoxic zones”, devoid of life. To combat this issue and promote soil health and water quality, Illinois’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) was created. The NLRS aims to direct efforts to reduce nutrients from point and non-point sources. The goal is for Illinois to reduce its phosphorous load by 25% and its nitrate-nitrogen load by 15% by 2025. The eventual target is a 45% reduction in the loss of these nutrients to the Mississippi River.
Some conservation practices that help reduce nutrient runoff include cover crops, filter strips and buffers, conservation tillage (no-till, strip-till, etc.) and habitat projects, such as pollinator habitat and constructed wetlands .
EVERGREEN WATERSHED TRANSECT SURVEY RESULTS
The latest Evergreen Lake Watershed Transect Survey was conducted on 100 McLean County field locations. Comparable to prior surveys these results suggest an increase in conventional tillage but no-till and reduce tillage practices remained steady. Results on corn acres showed 56% Conventional, 22% Mulch Till, 17% Reduced Till, and 5% No-till. Soybean acres resulted in 54% Mulch Till, 37% No-Till, 9% Reduce Till, and 0% Conventional. The cumulative figures were as follows: 100 locations measured, 20 No-Till fields, 37 Mulch Till fields, 13 Reduce Till fields, and 30 Conventional fields. More than 2% of the fields contained Cover Crop residue.