Aug 4, 2023 - News

A new, first-of-its-kind wetland in Ankeny

A photo of a wetland.

Wetlands like this in the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt reduce flood risks. Photo: Courtesy of Polk County Conservation

An undeveloped area along Fourmile Creek in Ankeny will become Polk County's first stormwater wetland project that's initiated by a private developer and land donor, John Swanson, Polk's water resources supervisor, tells Axios.

Why it matters: The $1.4 million project will slow the flow of millions of gallons of water that drains from hundreds of acres.

  • It'll help protect Des Moines and other downstream areas from floods and erosion that have caused millions of dollars in damage in the past decade.

State of play: The 15-acre property is near the corner of Southeast Creekview Drive and East First Street, adjacent to the creek.

  • It was owned by metro businessman Rich Eychaner, who initiated the idea for the project that Polk County is now developing.
  • Ankeny will own and care for the wetland after the work is completed.

Zoom in: Dirt excavated during the wetland area's construction will be transferred to another nearby property owned by Eychaner in coming months.

  • That'll save the county transportation costs in disposing of the dirt while also raising the heights of Eychaner's adjacent properties, making them more developable and less susceptible to floods, Swanson says.
  • The donated land is worth around $150K and the truck disposal savings is valued at around $200K.
A map of the Creekview Wetland.
Screenshot: Google Maps
A map of the Creekview Wetland.
Map: Courtesy of Snyder & Associates via Polk County/Rich Eychaner

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more